Ramy Youssef shares security struggles of leaving LAX airport with Golden Globe 

Ramy Youssef received a Golden Globe award this week for his performances in the 10-episode hit Hulu comedy series ‘Ramy.’ (AFP)
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Updated 08 January 2020

Ramy Youssef shares security struggles of leaving LAX airport with Golden Globe 

  • Ramy Youssef took to Instagram to share his experience making his way through the security line at Los Angeles International Airport
  • The 28-year-old actor filmed the trophy box being X-rayed by a TSA agent

DUBAI: It seems like taking a Golden Globe home is not as easy as it sounds. 

Egyptian-American Ramy Youssef, who received a Golden Globe award this week for his performances in the 10-episode hit Hulu comedy series “Ramy,” took to Instagram to share his experience making his way through the security line at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday. 

The 28-year-old actor filmed the trophy box being X-rayed by a TSA agent. The following snaps showed Youssef jokingly telling the agent: “Is that part of the test or what.”

He then wrote on his Instagram stories: “The ‘random’ checks you have to deal with when you have a Muslim name.” 

Youssef is quite open about his religion and faith. In “Ramy,” Youssef portrayed a first-generation Arab Muslim American who deals with the many stereotypes he has to face in America.

With episodes set in New Jersey and Cairo, where he visits relatives, the show hilariously portrays the humor and reality of being an Arab and Muslim in America. Much of the show’s focus is more on being Muslim and less on being Arab, a trend that reflects the reality of Arab American life in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Allah-uh-Akhbar … This is thanks to God and Hulu,” Youssef said in accepting the award. “Most of you haven’t seen my show … This means a lot. Thank you,” Youssef said during his brief acceptance speech at the event.


UK-based Arab film festival to go digital due to COVID-19 pandemic

Updated 13 August 2020

UK-based Arab film festival to go digital due to COVID-19 pandemic

  • ‘SAFAR From Home’ to feature films from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia

LONDON: The SAFAR Film Festival, the only dedicated biennial pan-Arab film festival in the UK, is to take place digitally in September, the Arab British Centre has announced.

The changes come in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has forced multiple cultural events in the UK and elsewhere to be cancelled or postponed.

Scheduled to take place from Sept. 13-20, this year’s edition, titled “SAFAR From Home,” will be the fifth edition of the festival and will offer five free screenings, available to UK viewers, and five live events, available worldwide, featuring leading figures from the filmmaking industry across the Arab world.

The move to take the festival digital was funded in part by the Council of Arab Ambassadors and the British Film Institute’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, the festival will explore Arab cinema through the theme of journeys (‘Safar’ is the word for journey in Arabic).

It will feature films from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia, with additional panel discussions on topics such as migration and life in the Arab diaspora.

On Sept. 20, the Arab British Centre will also host a panel of festival guests to discuss the growth of SAFAR since 2012 and the evolution of Arab cinema over the past eight years. 

El-Khoury said: “In a year when travel became impossible, we wanted to offer viewers the chance to travel to the Arab world and beyond through their screens at home. And while this program is an invitation to imaginary journeys, the truth around the protagonists of these films is far from being a fictitious one.

“They defy their harsh realities. They question bewildering surroundings. They face unconceivable challenges. They lead quite impossible journeys. Yet through courage, resilience, but also a lot of inspiration, they give a sense of meaning to their journeys,” he added.

Amani Hassan, the program director and also the acting executive director of the Arab British Centre, said: “We are very happy to announce the ‘SAFAR From Home’ initiative today. Following the difficult decision to postpone the in-person festival until 2021, we’re marking what would have been the landmark fifth edition with this alternative, virtual edition as a way to bring our audiences together and support the industry during this unprecedented time. 

“Since quickly pivoting our programs online in March, we’ve seen the thirst of people to connect with their culture, and with culture in general, and we hope that despite the physical distance, this program will offer SAFAR’s usual, unique space to appreciate, reflect upon, and celebrate the cinema and filmmakers of the Arab world.” 

The film and events program will be announced shortly alongside the festival’s new website. Information about the program can be found by emailing the organizers at www.safarfilmfestival.co.uk.