Syrian-Iraqi actor Ayman Reda, 58, last week reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently recuperating at home in Dubai.
Judging by his social media post at the weekend, Reda is facing his bout of isolation with humour.
On Friday, a relaxed Reda jumped on TikTok with his oud and performed a reworked version of Waji' Chocolata wa Tam’ina.
Translated to “pass the chocolate among us to relish", the song was first sung by his character Abu Leila in the 1992 hit Syrian sit-com Abu Janti. On the video-sharing platform, Reda sang the chorus online and replaced the word “chocolate”, with “corona”.
While the lyrics may not be in the best taste for some, it was well received across social media.
Who is Ayman Reda?
Born to an Iraqi father and Syrian mother, Reda was raised in the Syrian capital Damascus, where he studied acting in the renowned Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts.
It was his rich baritone that helped him achieve his first bout of success as part of the cast dubbing Arabic versions of various cartoon series, including Tiger Mask (1982) and Robin Hood (1990).
Soon after, he scored some live acting roles, blending his comedic chops with dramatic heft. He went on to star in a range of topical and quirky comedy-dramas exploring various nuances of Syrian society.
In addition to Abu Janti, a series following the lives of a Syrian taxi driver and small businessmen, Reda also took on strong and stately roles, such as in the 2019 psychological drama Endama Tashekh El-Zea'ab and this year's Ramadan series Kandosh.
He has been known to drop by schools in Damascus and sing a range of songs, including Waji' Chocolata wa Tam’ina and those from Tiger Mask.
Reda’s Covid-19 news comes on the back of the recent recovery of Laila Taher. The veteran Egyptian actress confirmed to the Egyptian press earlier in July that she tested positive for the virus and was treated in Cairo’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital.
Since the pandemic began, the Arab world has lost a number of revered film and TV stars to the coronavirus, including Egyptian actress Sawsan Rabie, who died aged 59, compatriot Youssef Shaaban, 89, and Syrian actor Toni Mousa, aged 66.