Fans of the Egyptian superstar Amr Diab were excited this Ramadan when a new advertisement for their favourite singer was broadcast.
The short film produced by an ad agency for Egypt Post tells the story of how hard work, perseverance and talent have made Diab very popular and successful with best-selling records across the Arab world.
At first glance, it featured what looked like a new creative sequence for the national postal service with Diab singing one of his songs, Al waqt da waqtik’, Arabic for "It’s your time".
The lyrics reflect on his legendary career and daunting challenges along his odyssey to glory. The pop star is shown in what is portrayed as his home. As the doorbell rings, he opens to a complete surprise: a personalised collage canvas of Diab.
The only trouble is that it all looks very familiar – the whole idea appears to be a copy and paste from an original ad in 2019 by another one of Egypt’s significant assets, Mohamed Salah.
The Egypt international and Liverpool forward looks puzzled in the commercial for the parcel and mail express service DHL as he eagerly waits at his home for presents from his fans in Egypt, who were competing for the best way to surprise him.
As he received one parcel after another, he especially admired one present that took his breath away. Surprise, surprise: a personalised collage canvas of Salah.
This is not the first time an ad by Diab has sparked controversy in Egypt. In December, French carmaker Citroen withdrew a commercial featuring the pop star that social media users accused of normalising sexual harassment.
In the short commercial, Diab uses his car's camera to photograph a woman crossing the road, apparently without her consent.