KUWAIT CITY, May 28, (AFP): A video advertisement that depicts a would-be suicide bomber confronted by the faithful has gone viral two days into the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. “Worship your God with love, not terror” is the main message of the three-minute advert posted Friday online by Kuwaiti telecommunications giant Zain, which operates across the Middle East.
“I will tell God everything,” says the voiceover of a child at the beginning of the ad as a man is seen preparing a bomb. “That you’ve filled the cemeteries with our children and emptied our school desks …” The video featuring Emirati pop star Hussain al-Jassmi has registered nearly two million views on Zain’s YouTube page and more than 4,000 shares on Facebook. It features images from bombings across the region claimed by Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group. But it ends on a positive note with footage of a happy wedding and cheerful children dressed in white.
“We will encounter their hatred with songs of love,” concludes a caption superimposed on a black background. Gulf countries are part of the US-led coalition bombing IS extremists in Syria and Iraq. Some of them have also been targeted by attacks.
The month of Ramadan began on Saturday. During that time, believers abstain from eating, drinking — even of water — smoking and sexual relations between sunrise and sunset.
The fast is conceived as a spiritual struggle against the seduction of earthly pleasures. Zain is a leading mobile telecommunications provider in the Middle East and North Africa. Zain operates in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan; and in Lebanon as touch (under a management contract). Listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, there are no restrictions on Zain shares as the company’s capital is 100% free float and publicly traded. The largest shareholder is the Kuwait Investment Authority with a 24.6% stake as of March 31, 2016.