Sexy people need to care about Pakistan

Published: November 2, 2010
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Do we need big celebrities to draw our attention to our own problems?

I must admit that the number of flood awareness related display pictures, events and links shared on Facebook have significantly decreased even though the problem, itself, has not.

Display pictures have changed from victims submerged in water or looking up at helicopters for food or to be rescued to people joyfully posing at weddings and parties. My events page, once full of requests from charity organisers, is now dominated by clothes exhibitions.

This gradual change left me with slight grief as I realised that we had hit a saturation point – done what we felt we could and now wanted to return to our comfort zone.

Imagine my surprise then, when a video, titled ‘Pakistan needs YOU’, of big celebrities (Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, David Beckham, to name a few) popped up on my Facebook page.

Each celebrity would appear on screen individually, and ominously snap their fingers, followed by the words, “Every moment people die in Pakistan”.

“Wow, everyone must already know about this,” I thought to myself. How is this not splashed all over the papers?

Without a second thought, I eagerly posted the video on my profile, only to be told the next day that it was manipulated. The video was in fact a “Make poverty history” video, (not so) cleverly edited with a picture or two of the flood victims put in for good measure and no information about where to donate. It was a rather “duh” moment for me.

So the question is, since Hollywood celebrities are not about to make a video for Pakistan anytime soon – especially given Angelina Jolie’s “thappar” on our faces saying our leaders are as selfish as can be, and Pakistan’s “thappar” in return saying she is of questionable character (think Talat Hussain’s article) – is it acceptable to manipulate such videos to create awareness for Pakistan?

If we must put our editing abilities to good use, why not let the creative juices flow and make something that appeals to Pakistani sensibilities and is more than just big shot celebrities dressed in white.

Do we need the glamorous, the gorgeous and the good looking, millions of miles away, to convince us to help our own people?

saleha.riaz

Saleha Riaz

An LSE graduate working as a sub-editor on the editorial pages of The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.