Celebrity Saints! Arab stars, their pet projects and charitable causes

Published August 6th, 2015 - 13:48 GMT

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Selfish, conceited, superficial? Not these celebs! These Arab stars see the gritty reality beyond the glitter and glamour of showbiz. From conservation to campaigning on behalf of refugees, buying ambulances to fundraising for autism charities, there are more than enough causes for our Arab celebs to support.

Not everyone can be like Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who recently announced that he would be giving away his $32B fortune to charity – and certainly being a royal comes with a job description that includes championing philanthropic causes.

But even amongst royals there are some who have gone the distance such as Jordan’s HM Queen Rania, a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, appointed UN Messenger of Peace for her commitment to eradicating poverty. HH Sheikha Mozah of Qatar has been knighted an Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to education and named UNESCO's Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.

Being named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador or Messenger of Peace is not an honor to be taken lightly. The appointments carry a heavy responsibility of using celebrity as a vehicle for promoting awareness, amassing financial support, and bringing about social change.

While bragging about charitable deeds may be frowned upon in the Middle East, we think that the more pop stars and actors that jump on the charity bandwagon, the better.

Take a look at these celebs who have put their money where their mouth is by doing good deeds – all the reason to love them more!

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Mohammad Assaf - As a child of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arab Idol winner became the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s first ambassador in more than 60 years. Growing up in Gaza’s Khan Younis camp, he attended a school, health clinic and community centers founded by UNRWA, and his mother was also an UNRWA teacher.
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Image 1 of 12:  1 / 12Mohammad Assaf - As a child of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arab Idol winner became the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s first ambassador in more than 60 years. Growing up in Gaza’s Khan Younis camp, he attended a school, health clinic and community centers founded by UNRWA, and his mother was also an UNRWA teacher.

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Najwa Karam - The Lebanese songstress has held several charity concerts with all proceeds going to the Autism Association and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), as well as donating three fully equipped ambulances to the LRC and participating in charity auctions.
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Image 2 of 12:  2 / 12Najwa Karam - The Lebanese songstress has held several charity concerts with all proceeds going to the Autism Association and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), as well as donating three fully equipped ambulances to the LRC and participating in charity auctions.

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Kathem El Saher - In 2011, he became the first Iraqi nominated as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The 'Caesar of Song collaborated on an anti-war song with Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Brightman, worked with Quincy Jones on the 'We are the Future' benefit concert, and performed twice at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.
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Image 3 of 12:  3 / 12Kathem El Saher - In 2011, he became the first Iraqi nominated as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The "Caesar of Song collaborated on an anti-war song with Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Brightman, worked with Quincy Jones on the "We are the Future" benefit concert, and performed twice at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

Enlarge
Adel Imam - Known as the 'Arab Charlie Chaplin', the Egyptian actor was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. He has made numerous trips in Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Algeria and more to raise awareness and fundraise for refugees’ needs.
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Image 4 of 12:  4 / 12Adel Imam - Known as the "Arab Charlie Chaplin", the Egyptian actor was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. He has made numerous trips in Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Algeria and more to raise awareness and fundraise for refugees’ needs.

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Hend Sabry - The Tunisian film star was appointed “Ambassador against Hunger” for the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2006. She has visited WFP’s programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza as well as launched campaigns to support feeding projects in Egypt and Tunisia.
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Image 5 of 12:  5 / 12Hend Sabry - The Tunisian film star was appointed “Ambassador against Hunger” for the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2006. She has visited WFP’s programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza as well as launched campaigns to support feeding projects in Egypt and Tunisia.

Enlarge
Cheb Khaled - The Algerian rai singer became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2009 and has headlined concerts in support of Earth Day. Other FAO ambassadors include Lebanese singer Magida Al Roumi, Brazilian samba legend Gilberto Gil, Chinese actress Gong Li  and Italian footballer Roberto Baggio
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Image 6 of 12:  6 / 12Cheb Khaled - The Algerian rai singer became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2009 and has headlined concerts in support of Earth Day. Other FAO ambassadors include Lebanese singer Magida Al Roumi, Brazilian samba legend Gilberto Gil, Chinese actress Gong Li and Italian footballer Roberto Baggio

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Nancy Ajram - The Lebanese superstar and Arab Idol judge was appointed UNICEF’s first female Regional Ambassador for the MENA in 2009, following in the footsteps of Egyptian actor Mahmud Kabil. She released UNICEF’s 'A Call to Action' Video appeal and opened the 30th annual Arab's Children's Congress in Amman in 2010.
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Image 7 of 12:  7 / 12Nancy Ajram - The Lebanese superstar and Arab Idol judge was appointed UNICEF’s first female Regional Ambassador for the MENA in 2009, following in the footsteps of Egyptian actor Mahmud Kabil. She released UNICEF’s 'A Call to Action' Video appeal and opened the 30th annual Arab's Children's Congress in Amman in 2010.

Enlarge
Amr Diab - The Egyptian pop star founded the charity campaign 'Masry Begad' ('Real Egyptian'), a social national program aimed at serving and rebuilding Egyptian society. His online radio station Diab FM often presents community-oriented talks and supports humanitarian projects.
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Image 8 of 12:  8 / 12Amr Diab - The Egyptian pop star founded the charity campaign "Masry Begad" ("Real Egyptian"), a social national program aimed at serving and rebuilding Egyptian society. His online radio station Diab FM often presents community-oriented talks and supports humanitarian projects.

Enlarge
Ragheb Alama - The Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge graduated from being a UN Climate Change Supporter to being named Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environmental Program. He fronted the 'Think. Eat. Save.' Campaign and also opened schools for refugees in Lebanon, performing at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.
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Image 9 of 12:  9 / 12Ragheb Alama - The Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge graduated from being a UN Climate Change Supporter to being named Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environmental Program. He fronted the "Think. Eat. Save." Campaign and also opened schools for refugees in Lebanon, performing at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

Enlarge
Khaled Abol Naga - The Egyptian actor was an activist long before it became fashionable. He has been an outspoken proponent of social justice as well as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007. He has addressed taboos such as HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, and street children. He recently flew to Kenya to support white rhino conservation.
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Image 10 of 12:  10 / 12Khaled Abol Naga - The Egyptian actor was an activist long before it became fashionable. He has been an outspoken proponent of social justice as well as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007. He has addressed taboos such as HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, and street children. He recently flew to Kenya to support white rhino conservation.

Enlarge
Shakira - For 17 years, the Colombian-Lebanese singer's Barefoot Foundation and ALAS has provided education and support for early childhood development intervention in poor communities. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, the International Labor Organization honored in 2010 for her humanitarian work. She supports another 10 charities!
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Image 11 of 12:  11 / 12Shakira - For 17 years, the Colombian-Lebanese singer's Barefoot Foundation and ALAS has provided education and support for early childhood development intervention in poor communities. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, the International Labor Organization honored in 2010 for her humanitarian work. She supports another 10 charities!

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Assi Hilani - “The Arab Knight” and The Voice coach recorded a charity single “You Remain Silent” and made public service announcements supporting the WFP’s efforts to end child hunger. He regularly performs concerts throughout the Middle East on behalf of causes such as the Basma Association, which supports childhood cancer sufferers.
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Image 12 of 12:  12 / 12Assi Hilani - “The Arab Knight” and The Voice coach recorded a charity single “You Remain Silent” and made public service announcements supporting the WFP’s efforts to end child hunger. He regularly performs concerts throughout the Middle East on behalf of causes such as the Basma Association, which supports childhood cancer sufferers.

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Mohammad Assaf - As a child of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arab Idol winner became the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s first ambassador in more than 60 years. Growing up in Gaza’s Khan Younis camp, he attended a school, health clinic and community centers founded by UNRWA, and his mother was also an UNRWA teacher.

Image 1 of 12Mohammad Assaf - As a child of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arab Idol winner became the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s first ambassador in more than 60 years. Growing up in Gaza’s Khan Younis camp, he attended a school, health clinic and community centers founded by UNRWA, and his mother was also an UNRWA teacher.

2

Najwa Karam - The Lebanese songstress has held several charity concerts with all proceeds going to the Autism Association and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), as well as donating three fully equipped ambulances to the LRC and participating in charity auctions.

Image 2 of 12Najwa Karam - The Lebanese songstress has held several charity concerts with all proceeds going to the Autism Association and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), as well as donating three fully equipped ambulances to the LRC and participating in charity auctions.

3

Kathem El Saher - In 2011, he became the first Iraqi nominated as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The 'Caesar of Song collaborated on an anti-war song with Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Brightman, worked with Quincy Jones on the 'We are the Future' benefit concert, and performed twice at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

Image 3 of 12Kathem El Saher - In 2011, he became the first Iraqi nominated as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The "Caesar of Song collaborated on an anti-war song with Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Brightman, worked with Quincy Jones on the "We are the Future" benefit concert, and performed twice at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

4

Adel Imam - Known as the 'Arab Charlie Chaplin', the Egyptian actor was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. He has made numerous trips in Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Algeria and more to raise awareness and fundraise for refugees’ needs.

Image 4 of 12Adel Imam - Known as the "Arab Charlie Chaplin", the Egyptian actor was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000. He has made numerous trips in Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Algeria and more to raise awareness and fundraise for refugees’ needs.

5

Hend Sabry - The Tunisian film star was appointed “Ambassador against Hunger” for the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2006. She has visited WFP’s programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza as well as launched campaigns to support feeding projects in Egypt and Tunisia.

Image 5 of 12Hend Sabry - The Tunisian film star was appointed “Ambassador against Hunger” for the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2006. She has visited WFP’s programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza as well as launched campaigns to support feeding projects in Egypt and Tunisia.

6

Cheb Khaled - The Algerian rai singer became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2009 and has headlined concerts in support of Earth Day. Other FAO ambassadors include Lebanese singer Magida Al Roumi, Brazilian samba legend Gilberto Gil, Chinese actress Gong Li  and Italian footballer Roberto Baggio

Image 6 of 12Cheb Khaled - The Algerian rai singer became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2009 and has headlined concerts in support of Earth Day. Other FAO ambassadors include Lebanese singer Magida Al Roumi, Brazilian samba legend Gilberto Gil, Chinese actress Gong Li and Italian footballer Roberto Baggio

7

Nancy Ajram - The Lebanese superstar and Arab Idol judge was appointed UNICEF’s first female Regional Ambassador for the MENA in 2009, following in the footsteps of Egyptian actor Mahmud Kabil. She released UNICEF’s 'A Call to Action' Video appeal and opened the 30th annual Arab's Children's Congress in Amman in 2010.

Image 7 of 12Nancy Ajram - The Lebanese superstar and Arab Idol judge was appointed UNICEF’s first female Regional Ambassador for the MENA in 2009, following in the footsteps of Egyptian actor Mahmud Kabil. She released UNICEF’s 'A Call to Action' Video appeal and opened the 30th annual Arab's Children's Congress in Amman in 2010.

8

Amr Diab - The Egyptian pop star founded the charity campaign 'Masry Begad' ('Real Egyptian'), a social national program aimed at serving and rebuilding Egyptian society. His online radio station Diab FM often presents community-oriented talks and supports humanitarian projects.

Image 8 of 12Amr Diab - The Egyptian pop star founded the charity campaign "Masry Begad" ("Real Egyptian"), a social national program aimed at serving and rebuilding Egyptian society. His online radio station Diab FM often presents community-oriented talks and supports humanitarian projects.

9

Ragheb Alama - The Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge graduated from being a UN Climate Change Supporter to being named Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environmental Program. He fronted the 'Think. Eat. Save.' Campaign and also opened schools for refugees in Lebanon, performing at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

Image 9 of 12Ragheb Alama - The Lebanese singer and Arab Idol judge graduated from being a UN Climate Change Supporter to being named Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environmental Program. He fronted the "Think. Eat. Save." Campaign and also opened schools for refugees in Lebanon, performing at the UK’s Royal Albert Hall to support Children of the Middle East.

10

Khaled Abol Naga - The Egyptian actor was an activist long before it became fashionable. He has been an outspoken proponent of social justice as well as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007. He has addressed taboos such as HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, and street children. He recently flew to Kenya to support white rhino conservation.

Image 10 of 12Khaled Abol Naga - The Egyptian actor was an activist long before it became fashionable. He has been an outspoken proponent of social justice as well as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007. He has addressed taboos such as HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, and street children. He recently flew to Kenya to support white rhino conservation.

11

Shakira - For 17 years, the Colombian-Lebanese singer's Barefoot Foundation and ALAS has provided education and support for early childhood development intervention in poor communities. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, the International Labor Organization honored in 2010 for her humanitarian work. She supports another 10 charities!

Image 11 of 12Shakira - For 17 years, the Colombian-Lebanese singer's Barefoot Foundation and ALAS has provided education and support for early childhood development intervention in poor communities. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003, the International Labor Organization honored in 2010 for her humanitarian work. She supports another 10 charities!

12

Assi Hilani - “The Arab Knight” and The Voice coach recorded a charity single “You Remain Silent” and made public service announcements supporting the WFP’s efforts to end child hunger. He regularly performs concerts throughout the Middle East on behalf of causes such as the Basma Association, which supports childhood cancer sufferers.

Image 12 of 12Assi Hilani - “The Arab Knight” and The Voice coach recorded a charity single “You Remain Silent” and made public service announcements supporting the WFP’s efforts to end child hunger. He regularly performs concerts throughout the Middle East on behalf of causes such as the Basma Association, which supports childhood cancer sufferers.

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