Egyptian comedian actor Adel Imam denied all allegations against him that during his visit to Iraq before the US-led was in support to the old Iraqi regime or that he wanted to meet with Saddam Hussein. Adel stressed that the sole purpose of his visit was for the Iraqi people and to perform a play for them.
According to the London based Al Sharq Al Awsat, Adel added that while he was in Iraq, he was careful to interact with the public and not with any political officials. It was also noted that Saddam had never requested a meeting with Adel, and during the performance of the play "The Bodyguard", the actor refused to go on stage when the sons of some of the former Iraqi political officials were present.
The actor is currently in Kuwait paying a visit, stressing that him being there is not for the purpose of apologizing to the Kuwaitis, for he has done no harm. Adel said that the idea of any Arab wanting to visit another Arab country, has nothing to do with politics and reiterated that he had gone to Iraq for its people not its government.
While in Kuwait, Adel met with a number of Kuwaiti actors and held a press conference. The actor has also added that he intends to return to Iraq but this time not as an actor, but as a UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
An advocate of human dignity, tolerance, democracy and human rights, Adel's values as an artist are those promoted by UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in its everyday protection of refugees, assistance to victims of persecution or wars, and its search for solutions to their dilemma. The actor has begun taking on the responsibilities expected of him as and ambassador and visited refugee camps setup for Iraqi people.
Adel revealed that UNHCR expects over 600 refugees to escape from famine and war-ravaged areas in Iraq, which calls for securing a budget of 60 million US dollars in order to have all essential necessities available. Imam regretfully admitted that out of the 60 million, only 25 million are available a shortage that led UNHCR to ask for donations from countries around the world.
Imam added that the spokesperson for UNHCR called on all neighboring countries of Iraq to keep their borders open for refugees and try to support and aid those injured and in need of security.
He was appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, and visited refugee camps in many Arab countries, focusing public attention on their squalid and unbearable conditions. Imam also participated in a documentary film aimed at replenishing the fund of UNHCR.
Egypt's film superstar Adel Imam, whose credits include more than 105 movies and nine plays, is one of the best-known actors in the Arab world. In a rich career spanning 30 years, he has portrayed - with humor - victims of injustice, poverty, corruption, fanaticism, and dictatorship. –Albawaba.com
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )