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Middle Eastern and North African celebrities and children celebrate child rights

© UNICEF video
Egyptian film star and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil lent his voice to a public service announcement commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

AMMAN, Jordan, 25 November 2009 – It started as a wild idea: to bring stars from across the Middle East and North Africa to deliver one message on child rights – a resoundingly positive call from this region, so often in the news for the wrong reasons.

VIDEO: Watch now

“We wanted to bring not only stars, but also children from the region who would speak out for themselves,” said UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication Abdel-Rahman Ghandour. “Only with this mix would we feel we had achieved something really different.” 

Recording positive messages

And so the journey that began in early September slowly gained momentum. Recordings would have to be made in Amman, Beirut and Cairo in time for last week's 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

However, coordinating the schedules of busy celebrities proved difficult.

© UNICEF video
Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram, who recently became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is one of several stars from the Middle East who are featured in a public service announcement celebrating child rights.

“I must say, when I started this, I did not anticipate it would be that challenging,” said UNICEF Media Specialist Charbel Raji. “But it was all worth it once I saw the final product of Lebanese director Joe Bou Eid.”

Nine stars participated in the video. Among them were Iraqi and Tunisian singers Kazem al-Saher and Saber al-Rubai, Lebanese singer and Goodwill Ambassador Nancy Ajram, and Egyptian actor and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mahmoud Kabil.

Children, the real stars

“I am absolutely delighted to be part of this adventure, said Mr. Kabil. “I, for one, have always been ready to join any enterprise UNICEF asked, but this was special. I had tears in my eyes when the three-minute clip was first aired to us a couple of weeks back.”

Other celebrities featured in the public service announcement include Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga, Algerian fusion singer Djamel Laroussi, up-and-coming Syrian actress Karis Bashar, Saudi actor Fayez al-Maliki, and Iranian actress and UNICEF Iran Ambassador Mehtab Keramati.

The children, however, were the real stars, with participants from all over the region – including Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan – giving a rallying message to the world on behalf of fundamental rights for every child.




Watch the video public service announcement on child rights featuring Middle Eastern and North African children and celebrities (in Arabic with subtitles). 
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