Saudi Arabian actor Nasser Al Qassabi has taken issue with an episode of the popular charity series ‘Qalbi Etmaan’, which featured the elderly Lebanese actor Salah Tizani in a vulnerable state.
In an emotional scene from a new episode, Gaith, the anonymous well-doer and host of the series, provides Tizani with health insurance and a monthly salary.
Tizani, who is 92 years old, is best known for his rich acting career in the 1960s and 70s and was particularly known for depicting Abou Salim.
“Some guys will take you [somewhere] now and get you health insurance,” Gaith tells a bewildered Tizani. “And you’ll also receive a monthly pension for the next two years … This is God’s gift to you.”
Tizani, visibly moved by the gesture, responds that his legs are shaking. “What are you saying? How? Where will it come? How did God send you for me now?”
“People are there for each other, uncle,” Gaith responds.
However, Saudi actor Al Qassabi found the episode to be in poor taste, according to a tweet.
“The Emirati programme ‘Leyatmaan Qalbi’ [sic] has achieved good results in the previous seasons due to its noble humanitarian idea. There is no doubt that the makers of this programme are to be thanked for having provided great assistance to simple people everywhere. But helping famous people, as is the case with the actor Abu Salim ... I see this as offensive and insulting towards him, even if the intention is noble,” wrote Al Qassabi.
Emirati actor, presenter and producer Saoud Al Kaabi disagreed with Al Qassabi and clarified that the episode was shown only with Tizani’s permission.
“I disagree with you, honourable sir! Conditions change and poverty does not separate! Once upon a time we saw people who were millionaires and celebrities who lost everything they owned, but it is rare for them to be mentioned or helped! Here, the programme sends a message to everyone about the importance of giving to everyone in need, whoever it is! Especially the needy! It was broadcasted only after his permission.”