“In many of my films I fight against discrimination and raise awareness about poverty and social problems – issues that need to be addressed but which are often not discussed easily. I asked myself how I could add more to the discussion, and with UNHCR I have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to humanity, to reach out and help people who are desperate and in need.”
Adel Imam, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
Egyptian Actor Adel Imam is a megastar in the Arab World, who started his professional career as an actor in 1966. Since then, he has starred in over 100 movies, 10 plays and numerous TV series that are highly appreciated by the Arab public. Among his most famous movies are “Terrorism and the Kebab” and “the Terrorist”. His plays “Al Zaim” and Madraset Al Moshaghbeen” are considered classics, whose reruns are still aired on television years after they debuted. In general, his career is known to side with the poor and marginalised and denounce fanaticism and extremism.
In January 2000, Imam was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador (GWA) to raise awareness about refugees in Arabic-speaking countries. Following his appointment, he has helped UNHCR increase public awareness and mobilize private sector resources to support refugees. He contributed immensely to the successful celebration of several UNHCR landmark events such as such as UNHCR’s 50th anniversary.
Imam commenced his GWA duties by undertaking a field visit to Yemen and meeting with refugees and UNHCR field workers in Yemen in April, 2000. In the years that followed, he travelled to Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq, Oman, Syria, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, where he seized all opportunities to raise awareness about refugees and to brief the media on UNHCR activities. In his own words, Imam expressed his solidarity with refugees, speaking to a wide public in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf region.
More recently, Imam was a keynote speaker at the 2017 World Refugee Day Celebration held by UNHCR at the Zamalek Cinema in Egypt. Addressing the audience, Imam said, “we should not stand still and watch the tragedies escalate, we should all extend our hands to the refugees everywhere.”