Egyptian Candid Camera Take 2: “You’ve Been Kidnapped”

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Media Pranks, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

Submitted by Mike I: Another Egyptian magic moment… maybe a side effect of the Arab Spring?

“˜You”™ve been kidnapped”™: Egyptian TV show “˜terror pranks”™ celebrities
By Dina Al-Shibeeb
Al Arabiya
29 July 2012

An Egyptian show is taking entertainment to another level by duping celebrities into believing they have been abducted by terrorists.

The show, “Ramz, the desert”™s fox” aired on Al-Hayat TV channel at the start of Ramadan, begins at Cairo”™s Terminal 2 airport where a tourist bus arrives to take the celebrity who is the target of the prank.

The unsuspecting celebrity believes that he or she is being transported on bus to participate in a program to be filmed at the tourist center, the Red Sea city of Ghardaka, to boost the country”™s dwindling tourism sector.

The soon-to-be pranked celebrity is told that the program will be hosted by the famous Egyptian actor, Izzat Abu Auf ─ but that”™s not the case.

Instead, they will be met with Egyptian comedian, Ramz Jalal, who hosted a similar show during Ramadan last year ─ “Ramz, the lion”™s heart” ─ in which a celebrity is stuck in an elevator with a real lion.

In “Ramz, the desert”™s fox,” however, Jalal plays as “terrorist” along with his crew.

Scenes from inside the bus

The bus holds all the players of the prank, including some foreigners to lend it the feel of a tourist bus.

Meanwhile, Jalal and his “terrorist” crew ─ their faces covered with the traditional checkered-head-cloth “shmagh” with only their eyes only showing ─ ride in a minivan, with their weapons all ready for the prank.

They start chasing the bus, banging on the bus”™s windows demanding the bus driver stop, but the actors in the plot, continues driving.

Soon after the bus comes into a complete stop, the “terrorist” crew heads to the bus, grabs the celebrity cum victim and blindfolds him/her.

Fake gunfire sound ensues to make the celebrity believe that he or she is being abducted.

The moment of truth

After the agonizing experience, the blindfold is taken off only for him/her to see cameras and the crew, and find out that he/she is a victim of a prank.
However, not every celebrity was enthused; some reacted with fuming anger, with many attempts to beat Jalal.

Jalal, however, works hard to cool down the furious celebrities, either by hugging or kissing the “victim.”


Fans created many Facebook groups to share pictures and info on the show. In what seems to be the official Facebook page, 58,406 liked the show while 58,272 were talking about it.

Some Twitter fans even asked for the show to feature certain celebrities. “Ramz won”™t bring [the Egyptian action movies actor] Ahmed al-Sa”™a or is it only [Lebanese bombshell singer] Hayfa Wahbi,” asked one.

It is not clear whether Wahbi will be pranked in the show.

Not everyone is a fan. One Twitter user, Fatima Zahra, said that the “program is backward and has no use whatsoever.”

Another wrote” “I feel extremely embarrassed and offended by the program.”

Egyptian actress, Ghada Abdulrazaq tweeted: “There [is no] solution for Ramz,” in reference to Jalal continuing his extreme shows.

Some viewers criticized the show for being “too extreme and humiliating” for participants as their vulnerability is exposed.

One Youtube one commentator said: “This is like U.S. version of Punk.d, this would have been a serious lawsuit in America. That being said I was have freaked out like any one would…”

Some Islamists have voiced their disapproval of the show.

On the fan Facebook page for the presidential hopeful Hazim Abu Ismail posted a message for Jalal, saying “it is prohibited for one Muslim to scare another Muslim.”
Some viewers, dubbed the whole program as fake, saying that the celebrities knew beforehand that all of this was not real.

This is not the first time Jalal”™s show has faced controversy. Last year animal rights activists campaigned against his show on social media platforms.

The activists protested against the ill treatment, and daily dose of anesthetic which was given to the lion.

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