One of Egypt’s quirkiest and most rebellious artists is Ahmed Fishawy. With body art, inappropriate jokes and transparent statements, Fishawy has been a media troublemaker throughout the past couple of months. Being in the limelight comes hand in hand with accountability and responsibility; however, being in the Arab limelight is a different form of responsibility that could come in handy with a fatal liability. Our society has always prioritized the preservation of one’s image, pushing someone like Fishawy off the edge of normality.
“Does he have nothing to lose or has he completely lost it?”
We can’t call Fishawy Egypt’s ‘bad boy’ anymore; he has traveled beyond that segment. He is all grown up now, awake and aware of what he says and how he says it. The question here is, does he have nothing to lose or has he completely lost it? Is transparency a key to building an intimate relationship with your audience or is it toxic for the relationship?
He came out on “Ana w Ana” show with Samar Yousri last Wednesday, and disclosed a lot about his personal life, something that everyone has been talking about ever since. What we find contradictory is the fact that lies and performances are perfectly believable and tolerable for people and yet the truth is always perceived as shocking and unacceptable.
“Some of us drink and some of us don’t but that isn’t an indicator of the kind of person you are”
All through the interview, Fishawy was being himself; funny, chatty, and sometimes even loud. He was relatively honest about all the questions that were directed to him, maybe even too honest to the point that it triggered some anger in the audience. When Samar shared a photo of Ahmed drinking and asked him whether he doesn’t care what society thinks, he had an articulate and straightforward response: “This photo was taken among the society, this is the Egyptian society, why are we trying to lie to one another? Some of us drink and some of us don’t but that isn’t an indicator of the kind of person you are,” Fishawy said. When asked why Actress Sherine Reda refused to marry him, Fishawy’s answer was quite simple; “she doesn’t love me,” he said with a big smile on his face. Deeper into the conversation, this 36-year-old actor was forthright about his ego and didn’t try to pull a modest face.
“On that particular day I was broke, I had no money but I told them I wouldn’t shoot and I left”
Furthermore, Fishawy mentioned that he was asked on set of Eish El-Leila program to remove his earring, something that he found insulting and an invasion of his freedom. “On that particular day I was broke, I had no money but I told them I wouldn’t shoot and I left,” he stated.
What is worth mentioning is that this isn’t the first time this quirky artist has had to deal with people’s question marks about his controversial style. A few months back Fishawy was on Mona ElShazly’s show and was interrupted right in the middle of his talk about his latest movie only to be asked by the host if he was in fact wearing an earring. Something as irrelevant and off topic as that is likely to anger anyone but yet he calmly shared his own personal belief about how one should do whatever he pleases as long as he isn’t hurting anyone.
While some might consider Fishawy’s frankness as blunt or indelicate, all through the interview, he seemed comfortable with all of his choices and even the ones he described as mistakes. This is a state of mind that not many of us can maintain.
What makes Fishawy a trend today is the fact that he said what most of us find harsh and can’t come to peace with despite their truth. We are not perfect, we are not ideal, and pretending to be all those things doesn’t change the facts. What some public figures choose to be for a 2-hour interview isn’t who they are when all the cameras are switched off, for that we should at least appreciate his genuineness and in the meantime, everyone who can’t manage to do that is free to switch the channel and watch something else.