It was only a matter of time until someone did it. In fact, we were considering doing it ourselves.
It seems someone beat us to the punch – the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has officially been brought to the Middle East.
Here is Egypt
s BeFit founder Aly Mazhar drenching himself in ice water on Aug. 21:
We adore the father-son dynamic in all of Sherif’s videos, and you can definitely see the love in this one:
“Before I even knew about the challenge I was watching a documentary about Stephen Hawking a couple of days ago and he has ALS. That’s when I found out about ALS, and my dad was also telling me a story about a friend of his who passed away from it,” Sherif told us.
“Then I found out about this Ice Bucket Challenge and that I’ve been challenged, so I thought, why not raise awareness?” he continued.
The trend started in the U.S. and has swept social media, with celebrities and civilians alike posting videos of themselves getting ice water poured on them, all for the point of donating to charity and raising awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressively worsening muscle weakness and difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing.
The average survival time for patients diagnosed with ALS is three years and three months. Only four percent of ALS patients live longer than 10 years after onset.
Much is still unknown about the disease, which is why the viral campaign aims to raise funds for ALS research.
The Ice Bucket Challenge typically has a time limit of 24 hours; if the person who was challenged fails to perform it before the deadline or if they decide to forfeit, they have to make a donation to an ALS charity.
A whopping $53 million was raised between July. 29 and Aug. 21. In the same period last year, the ALS Association raised only $2.2 million.
Pretty much any major to minor celebrity you know has done the challenge, from TV and movie stars like Oprah and Robert Downey, Jr. to musicians like Justin Bieber and Beyonce to tech giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and even former president George W. Bush.
And, of course, it’s gone international, with footballers like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Leo Messi getting in on the action. We’ve even seen Bollywood stars starting the trend in South Asia.
And now it’s in the Middle East. A video by Fadl from Palestine depicts him tipping a bucket over his head, but no water comes out.
“Whoops,” Fadl says. “In Palestine, we live under occupation. The Israeli occupation is using all the Palestinian water resources. Israeli settlers are using seven times more than Palestinians per day.
In the last month, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are living, and are still living, through a water crisis. Israel targets most of the water resources and lines in Gaza. For that, we are sorry that we can’t take part in this challenge.”
While Aly and Sherif aim to raise awareness about ALS, they also say that the point is to motivate people to take action for a cause.
“I would recommend people to donate to a charity in general, whichever charity they feel is dearest to them. Whether it’s cancer, ALS, Gaza, orphans, etc., but the important thing is to donate,” Sherif said.
“Any charity, all would help,” Aly told us.
After Aly’s first video, we can’t wait to to see where this will go next.
“I challenged my dad (and ended up pranking him and doing it as a surprise), my sister, a friend of mine and the one and only Fifi Abdou,” Sherif told us.
Looks like she said yes! Fifi then went on to challenge all AUCians. Get ready for a flood of Ice Bucket Challenges on your news feeds – who can say no to Fifi Abdou and her 5amsa muahs?!
Lara challenged singer Mohamed Bash, TV host Pierre Rabat and another friend.
The Wellness Log’s Norshek Fawzy also took on the ice bucket on Aug. 21, donating to the ALS Association and challenging her team, brand ambassadors and all Wellness Loggers.
Also on Aug. 21, Haifa Wehbe posted a video of herself doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, nominating Rihanna, Director Tarik Freitekh, celebrity makeup artist Bassam Fattouh, Egyptian radio host Wael Mansour and bisara7a.com Editor-in-Chief Patricia Hachem.
Wael then challenged Egyptian radio host Sally Abdalsalam, Egyptian comedian Khalid Mansour, Jordanian actress Tima Shomali, Egyptian singer Mohammed Shoukry and Saudi singer Aseel Omran (who also nominated sister and actress Lujain Omran).
Tima Shomali encouraged donations for Gaza and nominated Saudi stars Bader Saleh, Omar Huss and Lama Sabri, pushing the trend to the KSA, and singer Maya Nehme.
WE SAID THIS: Fifi Abdou has to be our favorite so far… can you top her video? And don’t forget to donate!