Feras Bugnah puts himself in other people’s shoes



Rima Al-Mukhtar

Published — Wednesday 20 February 2013

Last update 20 February 2013 5:53 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Feras Bugnah started a voluntary group named “Ghairny” (change me). It focuses on changing bad habits in society by using simple means.
His YouTube show called “Youmak Maai” (Your day with me) invites viewers to reconsider people who have a different status in society. The show teaches viewers how to deal with them correctly.
“The ultimate goal of the program was to know that you are not living in society alone. There are others to think about too,” he said.
Bugnah was born and raised in Riyadh. He studies Finance at Prince Sultan University.
Life & Style had a chat with him last week.

So far your YouTube channel FMB4Tube published six episodes of the show. Are there more?
So far, no. I don’t think that I would like to do more episodes for the same show. My idea for the channel is to have new shows with new concepts every now and then. My next show is going to be under a different name and a different concept.

You have stepped into the shoes of many persons for the show. Tell us about your experiences.
The experience I went through for the first episode, “The Cleaner,” was very hard. To me it was the hardest. For the first time in my life I had to sleep with 17 people in a single room. Then I had to work more than eight hours under the sun. I had to bend down several times to pick up the trash other people left behind, to clean the roads. Wearing a uniform was very hard to get used to. I don’t regret the experience, but it was really tough.
When I was a beggar in the second episode, it was the most embarrassing experience I ever had. I had to go up to people and beg them for money. In real life I was not used to ask even my parents for money. The most embarrassing part was when I walked to cars asking for money. Some of the people in the cars knew me, and some rejected me in a shameful way. Even if it wasn’t to me personally, it felt bad.
For the third episode I stepped into the shoes of a kidney patient. We had to get accepted by a hospital to use their facilities. Then we had to convince them that our show would show them in a positive light. And after all, the doctors should act in a way that would make the viewer understand the message behind it. The episode was very emotional for me personally, because it reminded me of my uncle who passed away many years ago. He was really close to my brothers and me.
I loved experiencing what life is like to a blind person in the fourth episode. I often thought what it would be like if I lost my vision. This experience would be a dream come true, and I got to film it? Great! I really felt useless and I was walking like a baby: confused and not knowing if I was facing the right path or not. I was so careful and every step was so slow that the cameramen asked me to go faster. I was terrified when I crossed the road in front of the traffic light. I was afraid that maybe a car would come and hit me.
The episode where I was a handicapped person was one of the best. Not because I enjoyed doing it, but because people were more than great with me! They stopped their cars for me to help me when I waited for a taxi that never came. They pushed my wheelchair when it was hot from the sun, and they didn’t stare a lot at me. The dark side was that there aren’t many facilities for handicapped people.
The sixth and final episode was about why we made this show, and we showed some footage that wasn’t used previously.

How did you choose your characters?
By brainstorming with my friends and choosing the characters that the viewer can relate to and can interact with in daily life. The characters should have an obvious feature that anyone would recognize. I eliminated some characters, such as the orphan.

After the success of your show, are you considering acting as a career?
Acting? If it would be for a good cause, I don’t see why not.

How did people react to Youmak Maai?
It was beyond our expectations! When people came out to greet the workers and cleaners at Eid-al-Fitr and gave them presents, we knew we had done something right. Our audience is willing to do nice things to others if they have the chance to.

What is the future of the show?
Youmak Maai ended by the end of Ramadan 2012 and we will come up with a new show and a different idea. When? I don’t know yet. Not soon.

Why did you choose to publish your show on YouTube instead of via an official TV channel?
We had the chance to air it on a well-known channel but they asked for 30 episodes and we couldn’t deliver. Another reason was that our targeted viewers were young. We thought we could reach them best via our YouTube channel.

[email protected]

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...
RIYADH: Four citizens have been arrested in two murder cases, one of which was a road rage. One of the suspects resisted arrest and even opened fire on the police, but no one was injured.According to the Riyadh police, a clinic informed them that it...
MAKKAH: Thirty percent of male middle school students and 23 percent of female students take some form of drugs, a recent scientific study from the National Center for Youth Research confirmed. The study shows drug consumption rates among students in...
RIYADH: Several government departments participating in a campaign to fight breast cancer in the Eastern Province will offer their recommendations to the Ministry of the Interior to include breast cancer checks for women aged 40 and above as part of...

Stay Connected

Facebook