Egyptian actor Mohamed Sallam backs out of Riyadh comedy show in solidarity with Palestine

Ahram Online , Wednesday 25 Oct 2023

Expressing his support for the Palestinians, Egyptian actor Mohamed Sallam revealed in an Instagram post that he would not be joining the cast of the comedy play Zawag Estenaay (Artificial Marriage) in their Riyadh performance scheduled on 30 October.

Mohamed Sallam


"Many of us cannot do anything. So we remain silent. But [months into the future] once we are asked what we were doing during the massacre of Palestinian people, including children, we will say 'we were having fun, making people laugh, dancing and singing in a comedy play.' I cannot do that!" Sallam said in a short video he posted on Instagram on Wednesday.

The comedy play Zawag Estenay is one of the first events of the 4th Riyadh Season, which launches on 28 October, offering a large assortment of music, dance, theatre, and other entertainment activities.

The cast of Zawag Estenay also includes Bayoumi Fouad, Eman El-Sayed, Soleiman Eid, Donia El Masry, and Moustafa Ghareeb, among others.

As Sallam explains, the Zawag Estenay is "a comedy play, filled with singing and dance. We are supposed to perform the play on 30 October, in the midst of the ongoing events in Gaza," referencing the escalating Israeli bombardment across the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 5,800 Palestinians have been killed and 16,300 wounded by the bombardment over the past 19 days.



Sallam also apologized for the last-minute cancellation.

"I was hoping until the last moment that the show would be cancelled or that the situation in Gaza would calm down. But nothing is changing. As I talk to you, people keep dying," he explains.

"Forgive me if I am exaggerating a bit, but I do feel that if I have done this [performed], I would resemble those who kill them [the Palestinians]. I cannot do anything for the Palestinian people. There is silence everywhere, nobody is doing anything. [Through performing] not only would I remain silent but I would also have fun, sing and dance."

He concluded by calling on all Muslims to extend their support to the Palestinian people.

Mohamed Sallam is an Egyptian actor, a graduate of the faculty of commerce in Cairo, where he started acting on stage. His debut as an actor was in 2006 film El Rahina (The Hostage) and a highly popular theatre play Ahwa Sada (Black Coffee, 2009). He went on to play in numerous films and TV series including El Kebir Awy, and Captain Egypt, among others.

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