7

Mathaf Museum of Modern Art and artistic Animal Cruelty..

I don’t really get what really excites some of us when it comes to watching animals suffer. I mean technically speaking, I do get it. Mental disease does exist and it’s not easy to admit your own disease when we’re still shaming those who suffer from it yet there’s no shame in being mentally ill UNLESS YOU DENY IT AND REFUSE TO FIX IT. But let’s step back and look at the full picture. Why would you endorse animal cruelty especially when that kind of endorsement suggests that it’s OK to abuse animals whether for entertainment, art or any other name associated with recreation.

We were a bit concerned with that when we saw the live and shocking performance of Ahmed Al Dousary on Arabs’ Got Talent almost a month ago. Till this day, we haven’t received an official apology or statement regarding the obvious act of animal abuse endorsed on the show. I honestly set up my mind on the one fact that whoever runs this establishment has zero ounce of dignity and respect to all forms of life so an apology is my last concern: they need to be treated. Again, mental disease does exist and there are many ways to help for those who seek it (but lack of money is more important than lack of sense displayed in pride of being ethically poor).

Yesterday, I was informed by my good friends that there has been yet another endorsement of animal abuse in the Middle East. This time, it took place in Qatar. Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art is now endorsing animal cruelty and abuse in the name of art by a man named Adel Abdessemed. Googling this man’s name brought up some pretty interesting theories as well. This was not the first time this kind of crap goes public and many voiced out their concerns regarding this kind of horrible abuse. Mr. Abdessemed’s series of video loops of animals being burnt alive and bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer were definitely a hit with art enthusiasts. How freakin’ lovely. He already got his fine exposure in David Zwirner Gallery and is now gracing us poor ignorant Arabs with his divine art.

This is a sample of his work:

I’m sure you find animal abuse very artistic and entertaining.

Because killing animals is very artistic.

Because killing animals is very artistic.

This is not the first time his pieces spark controversy. But reading through that post made me realize that even in art, some douchebag has to come up with a brilliant theory justifying those kinds of shameful practices. I quote:

I understand the conviction and compassion aroused by Abdessemed. The work is exploitive and intense. I hate cruelty to animals. Still, I did come away from the Abdessemed piece knowing more than ever that I don’t believe in certainty, that even though the work wasn’t good, I was snagged by the paradox it raised about what kills what. Still, two of the best comments in the Facebook thread came from artist Matthew Weinstein, who is very certain about his position against cruelty to animals. First he made a good comparison: “I’m having my work made by Indonesian children who work 16 hours a day and get paid $10.00 a month. I’m doing it as an act of controversy to make people think about the unjust nature of the world economy. Thumbs up or down?” Of course, I’d say thumbs down, but just as quickly I thought about how the artist Santiago Sierra paid Mexican workers to do things like get tattoos on their backs or to hold up cement walls. Regardless, another Weinstein comment to someone may say it all: “Go cut the paws off a kitten.”

Mr. Weinstein here claims that exploiting children for money and animal cruelty displayed by Mr. Abdessemed is “an act of controversy to make people think about the unjust nature of the world.” Thumbs up or down? Well, how about a middle finger? WAIT!! How about both? :D

I get it. You want to make a statement. You want people to “wake up”. Sure. Nice. FAHKING BRILLIANT. But how about making a statement that does not include making money out of the misery of other creatures whether human or not? How about asking someone to bash your head with a sledgehammer while pretending to be a horse or a goat or whatever the fuck you want that creature to be? How about getting paid $10.00 a month for a year and documenting your experience? Ever heard of Christine Chubbuck? Let me enlighten you: you might not want to blow your brains out on live TV but goddamn it: have some dignity when you want to state your honest opinion about something instead of subjecting others to the same exact shit you want gone from the face of this planet.

I quote the wonderful Christine Chubbuck’s last message to the goddamn world:

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.”

Mrs. Chubbuck: I hereby dub thee my personal hero. May your wonderful soul be flying in heaven where all those poor and unfortunate souls being exploited in the name of art, entertainment and higher ratings are definitely having a much MUCH better time.

THIS IS NOT ART.

art1

THIS IS NOT ART.

art2

THIS IS NOT ART.

art3

And this will DEFINITELY not pass without publicly shaming those in charge. Shame on YOU, Adel. Shame on YOU, Mathaf. And shame on everyone associated with this. And also.. shame on every “art” enthusiast who finds this type of SHIT artistic and acceptable. I may not be an art graduate but art is not about subjecting any creature to any kind of pain or abuse whether mental or physical. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE NO SAY IN WHAT IS BEING SUBJECTED TO THEM OR NO MEANS TO STOP IT.

Please sign this petition and stop those sick practices from infesting our region. WE DO NOT NEED MORE VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF ANYTHING ANYMORE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Related links:

Stop Adel Abdessemed’s Exhibition in Mathaf petition

Facebook page: Stop Adel Abdessemed and Mathaf’s Animal Cruelty

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art on Twitter

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art on Facebook

And hey: you might as well want to send their director Mr. Abdellah Karroum a little email saying hello at abdellah.karroum@gmail.com

Good luck.

Side note: here’s another instance of animal abuse as “art”:

7

Arabs’ Got Talent’s Ahmed Aldousary & his response to Animal Abuse

arabsgottalent1So.. the man finally decides to take initiative and defend himself. Ahmed Aldousary now famous for his controversial audition on Arabs’ Got Talent not only fails to see the problem with what happened last week, but he also went ahead and shoved religion into it. His claims was that he did not eat the scorpion, the snake was “dead” before skinning it and that the show should have issued a warning to the viewers before airing that audition.

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Tweet claiming that he killed the snake before skinning it

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Still insisting that he killed the snake then skinned it so it’s not abuse.

Mr. Ahmed claims that he killed the snake before skinning it which was pretty obvious as most of us saw during that audition. Now we all know that snakes are cold-blooded animals. That means that they depend on external heat sources in order to regulate their body temperature as their internal sources are rarely supply the body with enough heat.

"Infrared images of cold-blooded animals. Notice the difference between these cold-blooded creatures and the warm-blooded humans holding them."

“Infrared images of cold-blooded animals. Notice the difference between these cold-blooded creatures and the warm-blooded humans holding them.” (click for source)

Why the biology lesson? See, Mr. Ahmed here claims that he “killed” the snake before skinning it which is not considered as abuse since it’s dead and can’t feel anything. What he fails to understand is that a cold-blooded animal (e.g.: a snake or perhaps that scorpion) does not just “die” on the spot. Beheading a snake does not simply kill it. If he simply bothered to learn more about those animals he abuses so proudly, he would notice that after beheading a snakes, it doesn’t bleed due to lack of blood circulation which is attributed to its nature as a cold-blooded animal. So what he technically does each and every time he bites off a snake’s head is cause it to die a very slow and agonizing death. Just because you cut the head off does NOT mean that it’s dead. The body is pretty much alive until there is not enough blood for it to function. YOU PRETTY MUCH SKINNED THAT F’ING SNAKE ALIVE. It’s not enough that it’s dying slowly, but also skinned to add to it. And I bet it hurt like hell. (if there’s anyone out there reading this and willing to back me up on it or even correct it, please do) 

Please watch the video below as it is a fine example of how much alive a snake can be even after beheading it.

I will be writing this in Arabic so that I can send this post to Mr. Ahmed in case he does not know English.

الأستاذ أحمد يدعي بأنه قام بسلخ الثعبان بعد قتله. اللي فات الأستاذ أن الثعابيين من ذوات الدم البارد والتي تستمد طاقتها الحرارية من البيئة المحيطة نظراً لكون معدل الأيض منخفض مما يؤثر سلباً على عملية التنظيم الحراري لجسم الكائن لذلك تستمد الحرارة من مصادر خارجية. كون الحيوان من ذوات الدم البارد يتمتع بتنظيم حراري منخفض يعني أن الدورة الدموية تعمل ببطئ. عندما تقوم بقطع رأس الحيوان يلاحظ عدم نزف الحيوان للدماء و هذا دليل على بطء الدورة الدموية. في حين أنك تعتقد بأن قطع الرأس كافي لقتل الحيوان، تظل الحقيقة بأن الحيوان يموت ببطئ شديد نظراً لأن الدم لا يزال ساري في جسده و كون أنك تقوم بسلخ الثعبان بعد قطع الرأس مباشرة يعني بأنك تعرضه لأسوأ أنواع التعذيب بالإضافة الى الموت البطيء. أرجو منك مشاهدة المقطع التالي كدليل على صحة الكلام أعلاه

Let’s shove religion into it!

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Mr. Ahmed thinks that it’s not fair to attack him for abusing an animal and that if we do mind, we should go to slaughterhouses and attack them as well.

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So now he’s shoving the military, the butchers and those who “sacrifice” animals to God.

I for one will NOT discuss religion on this platform as I do not believe that everyone shares the same beliefs but let me discuss the fact that shoving religion into this kind of argument not only gives you a bad image; it also gives Islam a worse image. See, when you link animal abuse to an act of worship you do confirm that your religion supports animal abuse. While you claim to be a God fearing and devoted Muslim, you failed to focus on the fact that Islam DEMANDS YOU to treat animals with utter respect and kindness.

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (Radi-Allahu ‘anhu):
The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “A woman entered the
(Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor
setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.”
Bukhari Vol. 4 : No. 535

If you care to know more about your own religion, you would know that it is not Halal to eat ANY meat and that even in that case you should abide to ethical treatment:

“Forbidden to you (for food) are meat of dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah; and the dead through beating; that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety.” (5.3)

While you are allowed to eat meat, you must follow strict instructions and if you care to educate yourself, Google Animal rights in Islam.

Also, according to many Fatwas (a legal pronouncement in Islam, issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue), Islam does not allow you to eat snake meat. So while you are busy gobbling on your fun snacks, you already contradict yourself when it comes to the religion part since you obviously don’t know the very basics.

On a side note, your words imply that eating meat is a default in Islam and that is a huge assumption which means that Islam mandates that we eat meat and anyone who doesn’t support that is somehow deviating from the norm and possibly attacking a “sacred” calling. This is where you -again- fail. Islam allows Muslims to kill animals for food only and you can -in fact- opt out of eating meat under the condition that you do not claim that it is not Halal (unless the animals are abused or killed violently and not according to Islamic practice). Islam does not force you to eat meat. In fact: you CAN be a vegetarian Muslim.

Another debate is that this is common practice in the military. If by any chance soldiers find themselves in a situation where they lack food resources, they can and are trained to eat snakes, insects and pretty much any animal they could lay their hands on. I get it. But tell me something, can you explain the fact that you find showing off that survival skill amusing? You can also drink rancid water or even your own piss if you can’t find water (although it is also technically forbidden in Islam unless it is a matter of survival).. why didn’t you opt for that during your performance? Fact is: it is a disgusting show of skills and even those who practice it during military shows should be ashamed. I’ve seen a man rip a live chicken with his own teeth and believe me: I did not find that amusing and I seriously felt ashamed that this is the kind of people that have the honor of defending our lands and safety. I would probably look the other way if it was a matter of life or death but the fact that it’s just for show is even more disgusting, shameless and unacceptable. It. is. animal abuse. PERIOD.

Switching to Arabic;

للرد على أسئلتك: هل جميع مظلي الصاعقه مرضى نفسيين بنظرك ؟ و الجزارين بالمسالخ ؟ و المتقربين الى الله بالاضاحي ؟

خلينا نبدأ بالمتقربين الى الله بالأضاحي. كونك دخلت الدين في نقاش حول إساءة معاملة الحيوان واللي ظهر للعيان خلال فقرتك في البرنامج أكبر دليل على التباسك في بعض أمور الدين و فتح مجال للبعض للخوض في الدين. الإسلام يحث على حسن معاملة الحيوان و إن التبس عليك الأمر في ما تقوم به فلا داعي للزج بالدين في ذلك. التقرب لله لا يكون من خلال قتل الحيوان فقط دون مراعاة حالة الحيوان و طريقة الذبح السليمة والتي تضمن مراعاة حسن التعامل مع الحيوان. أنت في غنى عن أن اسرد لك أحاديث النبي و مواقف الصحابة من إساءة معاملة الحيوانات ولكن حديث المرأة التي دخلت النار لسوء معاملتها للقطة أكبر شاهد على التزام الدين بحسن التعامل مع الحيوان

أما بالنسبة للمسالخ، فموقفنا من أدائك المثير للجدل لربما يكون سبب من أسباب لفت النظر الى تلك الممارسات والتي تندرج عند البعض تحت مسمى الواجبات الدينية. تحليل أكل اللحوم له شروط عديدة أبسطها يضمن الرأفة بالحيوان عند الذبح. أود أن  أقتبس هذه الآية للتوضيح

” حرمت عليكم الميته و الدم ولحم الخنزير و ما أهل لغير الله به و المنخنقه و الموقوذه و المترديه و النطيحه و ما أكل السبع الإ ما زكيتم و ما ذبح على النصب و أن تستقيموا يا لأزلام ذلكم فسق ” المائده آية 3

بالإضافة الى ذلك، أرجو منك الإطلاع على فتاوى أكل الثعابين والعقارب قبل الدخول في نقاشات عن الدين، المسالخ و ما الى ذلك. زجك بالدين في نقاشنا و عدم إلمامك بأبسط قواعد الدين من حيث تحريم أكل الثعابين هو أكبر دليل على تناقض حججك

أود أن أضيف أن الله قد أحل لنا أكل اللحوم ولكنه لم يفرضه علينا ولم يحرم على البعض عدم تناولها و كونك لا تدرك ذلك جعلك تفترض أننا بموقفنا من أدائك نسيء الى الدين أو نسعى الى ذلك. أرجو منك العلم بأن البعض لديه مطلق الحرية في عدم تناول اللحوم بشرط عدم تحريم تناولها و بأن هناك بالفعل نباتيين مسلمين، عادي جداً

ننتقل الى موضوع الجيش: أنا على علم بأن هذه الممارسات تدرب للمجندين كطريقة من طرق البقاء على قيد الحياة في حال عدم توفر أي موارد عند اللزوم ولكن في بعض  الأحيان، يدرب الجنود على شرب المياه الفاسدة أو حتى البول في حال عدم توافر الماء فلما لا تشجع ذلك أيضاً ولما لم تتضمن هذه المهارات في فقرتك؟ و لما لا تقوم الإستعراضات العسكرية بإستعراض هذه المهارة أيضاُ؟ في الواقع نظرتي الشخصية لمثل تلك الممارسات والتي شهدت أحدها متمثلة في مجند يقوم بتقطيع دجاجة حية بأسنانه هي أنه استعراض مقزز ولا يجعلني أفتخر بكون هؤلاء المجندين -حماة أوطاننا و المسؤولين عن سلامتنا- يستعرضون بقتل حيوان بهذه الطريقة الوحشية والتي قد أتغاضى عنها في حال كانت مسألة حياة أو موت وليس إستعراض للمهارات و القدرات. الواقع هو أن تلك الممارسات المشينة لا تشرفني كونها تعد إيذاء غير مبرر بتاتاً للحيوانات

Explaining that he didn't eat the scorpion and claiming that the producers should have  advised viewer discretion

Explaining that he didn’t eat the scorpion and claiming that the producers should have advised viewer discretion

Since you know your segment could be shocking to some viewers, what makes you still defend your conduct since you don’t see anything wrong with it? MBC group should also answer that question since they chose to air it without the regular “viewer discretion” announcement.

بما أنك على علم بأن الفقرة ستكون صادمة لبعض المشاهدين، لما لازلت تدافع عن أفعالك خلال الفقرة بما أنك على قناعة بعدم وجود أي إساءة؟ أما بالنسبة للتنبيه والذي كان يجب على القناة أن تذيعه قبل الفقرة، أترك الرد عن سبب عدم عرض ذلك التنبيه لهم

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He claims that he has stopped eating snakes and scorpions 7 years ago and that he was ASKED to do it although he is against it

This is my question to you now: WHO ASKED YOU TO DO IT? Was it the producers? The answer to this question will clear out a lot of things here so kindly do provide us with an answer,

If by any chance you confirm that the producers did ask you to eat those animals, it will only prove my previous assumptions that they knew about what will take place in that audition and that somehow they thought the viewers wouldn’t mind something you have personally stopped doing and all for extra ratings. If that is so, we’re at a new level of human and ethical degradation.

بناءاً على ما قمت بكتابته، أود أن أعلم من أجبرك على فعل ذلك مع العلم أنك بناءاَ على ما قلت توقفت منذ 7 سنوات و معارض لتلك الأفعال؟ هل قام منتجي البرنامج على  إجبارك؟ أرجو الإجابة لأن تلك الإجابة ستوضح العديد من الأمور

إذا تم تأكيد أن منتجي البرنامج طلبوا منك القيام بذلك، ستثبت صحة إدعائي بأنهم كانوا على علم بكل ما سيجرى خلال الفقرة و بأنهم افترضوا بأن الجمهور لن يعارض تلك الممارسات التي أنت شخصياً توقفت عن فعلها و الدافع هو زيادة نسبة المشاهدة فقط. تأكيد ذلك يعد مستوى آخر من الإنحدار الأخلاقي والإنساني

NOTE: This is not a religious debate so refrain from providing us with your religious opinions

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Attention Animal Rights groups and activists in Egypt!

If you’re an animal rights activist/group or know one anywhere around Egypt or the Middle East, please take a minute and share this post. We are already grateful for all the efforts and we have faith in you and your generous support.
My dear friend Nuhad is asking for your help!
She’s planning on sending the Arab’s Got Talent audition story to Fremantle media and we need as much exposure and support to gather signatures for this petition (if you still haven’t signed it, please give us a moment of your time to do).
If you’re an animals rights activist/group and willing to help, kindly drop an email to nuhad_s@hotmail.com so that she can include you in her correspondence.
Thank you for supporting animal rights and God bless you all.
WE CAN DO THIS!

WE CAN DO THIS!

Related posts:
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Arabs’ Got Talent: Ali Jaber’s response to Animal Abuse

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Ali Jaber

One of the judges I didn’t mention in my previous posts was Mr. Ali Jaber. Mr. Jaber was not present during the controversial performance which took place last week. I somehow had faith that Mr. Jaber would have never accepted such a participant; let alone allow such acts to be performed in his presence.

I did voice out my concerns to him right after the episode:

AliJaber

I never received a reply till this moment.

A few minutes ago, I received an update from fellow blogger Gino. According to Gino who is a good friend of Mr. Jaber’s son, this was Mr. Jaber’s response:

Of course I am against animal cruelty and have always voted out all acts of violence, self-mutilation and animal abuse. I also believe AGT is not the platform to showcase these acts, however, these acts are present in our society and televisions’ role is to expose them and explain how wrong they are. We have already edited out the act from our online catch up service and won’t allow the contestant to repeat any animal act in the semi finals.

Here are my 2 cents on this response and I’m hoping that Mr. Jaber allows me to express my opinion freely as I still believe he would understand:

Dear Mr. Jaber,

Thank you for taking a stand against animal cruelty. I do know that a man of your caliber would have such standards. However, allow me to point out the following:

  • The fact that these acts are present in our society is shameful and highlighting these bad acts is an honorable thing. But You have said it: neither is AGT the platform to showcase such acts nor  is it the platform to take stands against them. It was unfortunate that this man was allowed to perform to begin with. I do believe that this audition was not a surprise. Your esteemed colleagues didn’t seem to be the least bothered by it. The only message we clearly received is that it’s “yucky” because of the snake and the scorpion eating; and not the animal abuse. There is a huge difference between disgusting and morally unacceptable. The fact that Ms. Najwa was the only one to deny this contestant entry is the difference here. The other 2 judges didn’t seem to mind nor hide their obvious excitement over the whole situation. Unacceptable.
  • Editing the Shahid.net episode was probably a good call but what has been seen cannot be unseen. And I’m still not discussing the disgust; I’m discussing the ethical values displayed by the judges. I do not think I will be capable of believing that any of those judges would be serious about any other cause if this particular cause was not naturally on their priority list. We humans are superior beings and the fact that some fail to acknowledge that we have the upper hand here and are morally obliged to stand up against any injustice is a huge test to their humanity. They failed miserably.

While the episode has been edited, millions have probably watched the segment and again: some things cannot be unseen.

Allowing this particular contestant to continue on the show even if he was not to go near any animal is not enough.

In my humble opinion: this man should be banned from performing again and forbidden from auditioning again. That would be a great statement expected from a huge establishment such as MBC group and a very successful program like AGT. As for your esteemed colleagues.. I personally don’t think I will ever “entertain” myself with their work. They simply should not have the privilege of my valuable time as a viewer or a music lover. Period.

I know a man of your status and accomplishments would surely agree that if this audition took place on any other version of the show, the controversy itself wouldn’t have reached to this level due to one fact: this whole audition -shocking as it was- would have never been allowed and this man wouldn’t have been famous. The funny thing is that although I am contributing to this man’s fame; I am deeply ashamed that the world got to see us Arabs as barbaric human beings with total disregard to such values. Animal cruelty on a TV show dedicated to entertainment is not my idea of a perfect example we want to set to anyone. And surely, the lack of proper action towards the whole audition is just the cherry on the top.

Thank you for giving us your feedback and I will still wait to hear a statement from the group regarding this man.

I still have hope.

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Arabs’ Got Talent’s Ahmed Helmy finally breaks the silence!

If you still haven’t heard or read about the jaw dropping audition which took place a few days ago, here’s your chance to read about it -> CLICK ME

A couple of good friends helped send the previous post across the marvelous realm of the Interwebz and BOY.. did it go viral. I thought a simple rant about how barbaric and unfair that audition was wouldn’t get more than a hundred views at the most. But the lack of professionalism and concern towards the lives of both the audience and animals involved in the episode and that specific audition effected many animal lovers out there and I was blessed to see that voicing out your concerns CAN prove worthy.

That post was the most viewed and shared so far, it even reached The Daily Mail!

I have to thank many of the wonderful readers who helped spread  the word about this horrible abuse.

Given all the above, you would expect a decent statement from any of the individuals associated with Arab’s Got Talent. This morning, Egyptian actor and “comedian” Ahmed Helmy broke the silence. And I wish he never did.

A fellow animal rights activist was pretty upset about the fact that 5 days after airing that shameful episode, no response whatsoever was evident. Her demand was not met with what she expected. When the “super star” -very known in the Middle East for being one of the most entertaining and inspiring comedians- decided to retweet one of her not-very-amusing tweets. She was genuinely upset about the whole situation and the lack of ownership. Now, you may or may not agree with some of her tweets but eventually: the lack of respect towards animal rights and a segment of viewers who are keen on this type of obvious abuse might justify her harsh words towards him.

To those of you who do not know Mr. Ahmed Helmy, here’s a link to help you understand the gravity of the situation.

I woke up and saw a couple of tweets from the young lady telling us that he finally responded and that his response was a retweet of one of her MANY tweets taken out of context! Not only did he pick a tweet that portrays him as a victim and her as a “nasty and spiteful woman”, he ignores the rest of the tweets by MANY others AND his devoted fans launched an attack on the young lady calling her crazy, stupid, an animal and all sorts of profanities.

He kept on retweeting and not even answering our valid question:

How can YOU, as a role model to children and a COMEDIAN find it entertaining to joke around with a man who CLEARLY abused an animal in your presence AND give him a green light in a clear endorsement of such horrible abuse?

Here are my tweets to Mr. Helmy (bottom to top)

Here are my tweets to Mr. Helmy (bottom to top)

Mr. Helmy was deeply offended by the fact that the activist wished his kid the same treatment. I get you, buddy. You have my heart. But please do give me a response to the following questions:

  • Given the fact that you were once considered a role model to children as your very beginning was in a program involved with children, what kind of values do you promote to those children (including your lovely daughter) when you are involved in an audition that involves killing animals live on air and blessing the participant with your approval for him to move to the next stage?
  • Do you find killing animals for fun amusing or is it just the shock of the whole situation? I’m guessing it’s the former since you jumped on stage and fooled around with the other unfortunate snakes. Hell, you asked the man to salt the goddamn scorpion just before he gobbled it!
  • Would you enjoy it if one day your own child chose to grab any animal and stab it for fun?
  • In case your answer to the previous question was “NO”; what would your response be if your kid told you “but daddy, you let the big man kill that scorpion and snake and played with him! NOT FAIR!”
  • Do you think that it is responsible of you and your colleagues to allow such acts given the fact that:
    1. The man possessed a possibly deadly scorpion and that poses a hazard on him, yourself, your colleagues and the audience.
    2. According to ANY human being, killing animals for fun is a BIG no-no. Especially when your message is being delivered to millions (and that might include a large percentage of children, teens and possible sick individuals) who might perceive your approval as a general approval and encouragement to such practices.
    3. The man is clearly neither in military nor does he seem to be qualified to perform such a show (without the animals included!)
  • Do you as a man chosen as ambassador of the project “Food for Education” by the UN approve of such practices? What is your stand on animal abuse in slaughterhouses and farm animal cruelty?
  • Do you think that reptiles and arthropods are less susceptible to pain and such since they’re neither fluffy nor widely available around us? Is it acceptable to treat those differently than sheep, cattle, goats, poultry and/or any other domesticated animals?
  • Would you have reacted the same way if the contestant in question chose to skin a cat or a rabbit live on stage?
  • Do you eat rabbits? (you can skip this question, I know the answer “الملوخية بالأنارب متتعوضش!”)

I know Mr. Helmy will not answer my questions, MBC group might not bother to even issue a statement regarding this controversial episode, nor will any of the other judges even bother since they’re clearly more concerned with “how good they looked like on the show” or “how amused everyone was with that episode or any episode”.

Mr. Helmy: you as an ambassador of the project “Food for Education” launched by the UN World Food Programme should not allow such abuse on a live show. Your wikipedia page states that you “plan to do everything he (you) can to help children.”

Your approval and your display of humor towards the situation does not help children. A child that is brought up to believe that animals are dispensable and can be killed for fun will definitely see no harm in treating humans equally one day. A child that witnesses such horrible abuse will never have compassion towards anyone else’s misfortunes just because “it doesn’t seem to be a big issue after all”. A child that watches fully grown men and women bless such horrific acts of violence and abuse will never relate to a cause. You got offended because one lady wished harm upon your child although she doesn’t really want that kind of harm to be inflicted upon any creature to begin with, let alone an innocent child. You, however helped someone inflict that same harm she did not wish to happen and even blessed it.

Mistakes are mistakes if they happen unwillingly. We were waiting for a sincere statement; a simple apology acknowledging that we do not live in the jungle and that you as a human being and an adult are as responsible as your fame and status should dictate on you. You have the power of fame and influence and you misused your power. Not only by blessing animal abuse, but by refusing to take responsibility of your actions and own up to your mistakes. You have launched a personal attack on someone who did not attack you for personal reasons; but VALUES. Common sense and DECENT values.

You have lost ALL my respect.

And I pray for your wife and child not to slip into this swamp of disgusting degradation of human values you call fame and entertainment.

I would like to thank the people behind BETA – Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for spreading the word about this abuse. My friends and hundreds of others for reading, sharing and voicing out their opinion regarding this shameless and disturbing trend in the Middle East.

Please sign this petition so that we can end this ridiculousness for once and for all.

May God have mercy on those poor souls and on humanity which seems to have gone haywire these days.. especially in the Middle East.

And Mr. Helmy, PS:

ahmed helmy

9/10/2013 – UPDATE: another response from Mr. Ali Jaber: here.

12/10/2013 – UPDATE: Mr. Helmy  issued a statement through his Twitter account acknowledging the mistake and apologizing to those who were effected by the episode. Thank you, Mr. Helmy.

ahelmy

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Arabs’ Got Talent and animal abuse

A talent show that hosts a bunch of people to prove that they probably have something to achieve in life is not my cup of tea. Whether you sing, dance or juggle a few balls is totally up to you but what I find deeply disturbing is the fact that a TV show with millions of viewers went an extra notch this week. I’m not sure whether Arabs’ Got Talent is lacking views or talents but this week, they chose to bring a mentally deranged man to “entertain” everyone.
32 year old Ahmed Al Dousary from Riyadh claimed that he would perform a “military show” -according to him-.

The VERY talented Mr. Ahmed.

The VERY talented Mr. Ahmed.

I watched the clearly suspicious man proceed with chewing glass and lit charcoal and nothing was wrong with that other than the fact that someone would willingly do that. The judges were between shocked and disturbed but still managed to watch the man waiting; for his next step. The man moves on to another container and there was a scorpion in it. I wasn’t really expecting him to do much with that scorpion as one of the judges jokingly told him to salt it. The man then proceeds to eat the scorpion! The female judge was clearly disturbed even more and opted to look away. The third judge just kept making facial gestures and the man went on. Watching that was a bit shocking since I’ve watched many people mess around with scorpions but NOT eat one.

The peak moment was when the lunatic grabbed a small snake, bit its head off and spit it then skinned it with his teeth! In the video above, you’ll miss the “biting the head off” part but not the skinning.

No comment. Really.

No comment. Really.

The female judge buzzed him out while the other judges found it a bit amusing and so they went on with playing around on stage daring each other to “touch” the other snakes or even eat one. Not only that, but they BOTH gave him their blessings and considered this horrible audition a talent!

I am not sure who the hell is responsible of running this show but I’m quite sure of the following:

  1. In order for this sick, mentally deranged individual to perform his audition, he must have practiced on other living creatures. So, I can safely assume that he gobbled a few more scorpions and snakes during the week prior to his “awesome” audition.
  2. In order for this sick, mentally deranged individual to perform his audition, the producers and judges must have had an idea about the kind of sick shit he’s about to perform especially that one of those creatures is deadly and could have possibly run loose around the studio putting the lives of people in danger. I’m also safely assuming that there was some kind of preparation as THEY PROBABLY SHOULD BE PREPARED TO THIS.
  3. THIS.. is ANIMAL ABUSE.

When a TV show with millions of viewers ALLOWS such a sick audition to be aired AND allow the contestant to move on to the next stage while denying someone with a shitty voice to do so just because “this is entertainment”, I wouldn’t be surprised if more kids started practicing on stray cats and dogs to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Get your 15 minutes of fame, y'all! Set a kitty on fire!

Get your 15 minutes of fame, y’all! Set a kitty on fire!

It is totally irresponsible of the show producers and the TV channel to air such an episode and not consider the consequences. The man is clearly mentally disturbed and this is a green light. Allowing a man to kill animals on the stage for entertainment is not fun nor is it a way to spark controversy. Congratulations, Arabs’ Got Talent: You have managed to create a social media buzz and higher ratings but morally speaking: you have lost ALL my respect and the respect of others who found that episode extremely disturbing. Not only did you allow animal abuse on your stage KNOWING it will occur, but you also: aired the episode, none of your judges bothered to address this clear violation and they also gave him their blessings.

If we can allow this man to abuse animals, I think everyone should be allowed to abuse humans equally. This season we chew on scorpions and snakes, the next season we chew on human hearts and kidneys after gutting a human being on stage for entertainment and high ratings.

Shame on Arabs’ Got Talent, shame on MBC Group, shame on Nasser Algassabi, shame on Ahmed Helmy, shame on Najwa Karam and shame on whoever finds this horrible instance of major animal abuse entertaining.

God gave us a voice to speak out against injustice. I’m utilizing mine to stand up for animals no matter how small or insignificant they may be to a whole lot. If you care enough to make this world a better place, start by defending those who don’t have a voice.

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9/10/2103 – UPDATE: we received a response from one of the marvelous judges: please read here.

9/10/2103 – UPDATE: another response from Mr. Ali Jaber: here.

12/10/2013 – UPDATE: Contestant at question speaks out through Twitter here.