Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

'These are not our values': Manchester City cries foul at Ramadan TV bad guy

Turns out the Premier League champions have been tuning in to the popular drama

Egyptian actor Mohamed Diab wears the Manchester City jersey in the Ramadan drama El Prince. YouTube
Egyptian actor Mohamed Diab wears the Manchester City jersey in the Ramadan drama El Prince. YouTube

El Prince continues to score goals online.

The hit Ramadan drama, broadcast daily throughout Ramadan on MBC 1, has been a regular trending topic on Arabic Twitter thanks to strong performances from its leads Mohamed Ramadan and future star, the seven-year-old Farida Hossam. But the beauty of it also lies in the sheer malevolence of its villains.

Make no mistake, El Prince’s cast of bad guys are the meanest to hit the screen this Ramadan.

The latest to playfully show their concern over the villains’ actions is Manchester City.

The reigning English Premier League champions posted a late-night tweet on Sunday, May 17, to their Arabic Twitter account, of a still featuring the unhinged character, Kat Kat, wearing the football club’s jersey as he is about to dispense some street justice.

The accompanying caption addresses the Egyptian actor, Mohamed Diab, who plays the bad guy: “These are not our values Diab,” it reads, followed by a cold sweating emoji.

It didn't take long for Diab to hop online and reply "[they are] only Kat Kat's values,” with his own flurry of laughing emojis.

'El Prince' is on everyone's minds

Manchester City’s tweet is the latest in a round of high-profile commentary on a show gripping the region.

Ahmed Zaher's chilling portrayal of chief baddie Fathy has been a constant source of spirited debate online, with fans shocked at his character's cruel streak.

Fathy's actions got blood boiling after a particularly harrowing scene from a May 12 episode. After kidnapping his niece, Maryam, Fathy gets spooked by the anguished look on the child's face in the back seat. To get rid of the bad vibes, he stops the car and dumps her in the middle of a Cairo street.

By the end of the episode, the hashtags #Fathy and #Prince were trending on Egyptian Twitter and Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees went online to share her dismay at Fathy’s actions.

“Was #ElPrince episode OK for you today? I had a breakdown. Are there people like that in life?” she tweeted.

Zaher also reportedly received a phone call from an inconsolable couple demanding an apology for his character’s actions on that episode.

Zaher is taking all that hate in his stride, however. In a recent interview with Dubai TV’s The Insider, Zaher said he was glad that his role was resonating with viewers, even if some of the responses are aggressive.

"They all want to kill me," Zaher said. "They want to know where I live and there are lots of threats.” He did, however, say all this with a chuckle, suggesting he's not too worried about the situation.

El Prince is on MBC 1 at 9.15pm daily until the end of Ramadan

Updated: May 18, 2020 06:15 PM

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