'Stay home, stay safe': touching video features UAE residents of 28 nationalities

The video was created by Sharjah couple Khadijah Alamoradi and Steven Stelljes

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There’s a quote by Nelson Mandela that goes like this: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

It’s the same quote Khadijah Alamoradi, 24, repeats when asked about why she and husband Steven Stelljes decided to undertake an online project to send a positive message to people across the UAE.

Like everyone else, the Sharjah couple had been hearing more about the actions of governments and healthcare professionals around the world to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Living in a country with more than 200 nationalities gave Alamoradi the idea to create a video that would get the entire community together and "make sure people know that they are not alone" – while sending a sweet message.

“There are a lot of people suffering out there right now, and I thought it was important to send a very clear message to people to stay home and stay safe. In this way, we are doing our part to reduce the pressure on the government,” she explains.

She came up with the idea on Thursday, April 9, and started posting messages on various community groups on Facebook, asking UAE residents to share videos of themselves and their families saying the phrase, "Stay home, stay safe, together we can beat Covid-19" in their native languages. In just a few days, she was flooded with over a thousand messages on Facebook from residents who wanted to help.

“The reaction was overwhelming,” she says. “We got responses from so many different nationalities – from Mexicans to Indians to Germans to Jordanians – all wanting to participate.”

Alamoradi also found someone who could convey the message in sign language, which she says is an important part of the video. Approximately 200 people went on to send videos of themselves saying the message, of which Alamoradi and her husband shortlisted 28 clippings and stitched them together.

“It was actually really difficult to pick just 28,” she admits. “They were all amazing. But at the end of the day, the message is the first priority – I didn’t want to include all the clippings only to make the video long and boring. We chose the best ones based on clarity and video quality.”

The result is a sweet two-minute video, some with people speaking alone, some with entire families. It even includes some doctors. She refuses to take credit, saying that it is a joint effort of all the residents who came forward to help. "This virus will spread less, and we can beat it if we all act together. I hope by watching this video, people feel less alone – and know that staying home is the best thing they can do right now," she says.