From El Mokawloon Football Club in Egypt to a Premier League Superstar, Egyptians view Mohamed Salah as national pride.
Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian young-man who challenged all obstacles to achieve his dream of becoming a professional footballer. He has a stunning career in Europe and played a major role in the Egypt national team’s successes in recent years.
What Mohamed Salah did when Congo equalised against Egypt was truly amazing.
The win sent hundreds of thousands of Egyptians celebrating across the country until the early hours of the morning. They waved the country’s white, red and black flag, and yelled “Egypt! Egypt!”
With a few rocky years under our belt, we would think that we have gotten stronger. We’ve suffered but we’ve stuck together, smiling with our signature Egyptian humor.
But some get of our youth get lost, some of us aren’t strong enough to resist drugs and need an encouraging push once in a while.
According to governmental stats, round 10% of the population from 12 to 60 years old are users not addicted while 2.4% of Egypt’s total population are addicts.
To combat the alarming rate of young people getting involved with drugs, the national fund for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction and abuse, also called the Egyptian Anti-Addiction Treatment Fund, has been heading “You are stronger than drugs” campaign for a few years now.
This year’s push against drug use brings national hero Mohamed Salah back into the spotlight, as he continues to work with the fund to fight against drug abuse.
Against Hamaki’s soulful singing, the ad tells the story of a young man, who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. As they watch Mo Salah fail at a goal, they give up and smoke what appears to be hashish, a cannabis-based drug.
The young man, pressured, gets up to leave but turns in time to notice Mohamed Salah fighting and pushing forward until he gets a goal.
The main focus of the ad seems to be that drugs stop you, they make you miss out on life’s precious moments and its potential. You can be distracted by drugs and miss out on the things that make you happy.
This is the 3rd time Mohamed Salah appears on one of the national fund for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction and abuse’s ads to battle against drug abuse. He is heavily featured in two other ads.
Read here for more info on their previous ads.
A National Hero’s reputation
As companies around the world are subjected to the public’s expectations of corporate social responsibility, to use their money and power to rebuild some good in the world, it becomes clear that we must also ask the same thing from our heroes and celebrities.
Mohamed Salah is currently the biggest celebrity we have and has gained enough status and devotion from fans that he has simply become a national hero.
As someone who has influenced a country as deeply as Mo Salah, as deeply as a large organization may affect the economy, it is important to use this reputation and power for good in order to, not only keep his national hero status, but to improve the lives of those devoted to him.
And as a national hero to almost all generations, rather than simply a celebrity, Mohamed Salah’s influence is stronger than before since his goals have led us passed a 28-year Football rut.
His choice of fighting against drug abuse is a noble one, and it seems, one that is close to his heart. The perfect type of ambassador for battling a hard battle ahead.
MOHAMED SALAH MAJOR AWARDS
– SAFP Golden Player – Swiss Golden Player Award for best player in the Swiss Super League: 2013
– Roma Player of the Season: 2015–16
– Globe Soccer Awards Best Arab Player of the Year: 2016
– BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2017
– Premier League Player of the Month: November 2017
– PFA Player of the Month: November 2017, December 2017
– Arab Player of the Year: 2017
– CAF African Footballer of the Year: 2017
Drug abuse in Egypt today
Egypt’s growing drug problem continues to grow, as a 2017 report from the Ministry of Social Solidarity states. The report states that nearly 8% of high school students abused drugs, which has drastically risen since 2007.
Last February, Amr Othman, head of the national fund for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction and abuse stated to Arab News, “The percentage of people in Egypt that are under 35 make up around 40 percent of the population. If such a huge number of them are addicted, this means the future of Egypt is in danger.”
According to Arab News, “According to the [fund’s report], nearly 38 percent take drugs for experimentation, while 25 percent do so for creativity. Peer pressure also plays a part, with 36.6 percent using drugs for social acceptance, while 29 percent doing so because others dare them to.”
Egypt also serves as a transit point for transnational shipments of drugs and narcotics from Africa to Europe, according to the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, which hasn’t made it easier for those fighting against it.
The fund has also created a hotline to help those seeking escape from drug abuse, which in August 2017 received over 37,322 during the first few months of 2017, according to an article by Egypt Today.
This proved that the “You are Stronger than Drugs” campaign, which has been campaigning for many years now, has grown stronger. The hotline’s success has helped strengthen the fund’s resolve to further help people against drug addiction and peer pressure.