By: Hana Kotb & Nour Sakr

 We’re in love with the show Al Sadma, or The Shock, where they took the concept of a hidden camera to a whole new level. Instead of the usual humor-approach, they took a deeper, more touching approach. In case you haven’t watched it, the show’s purpose is to show the more humane side of people when they witness a “shocking” scenario. Here’s how it works.

Two actors act out a scene, in which one actor cruelly treats the other. Some people merely standby with disapproving looks, while others stand up to the victims. There scenes are heartbreaking and the responses of the people are truly inspiring. It makes you wonder what your reaction would be if put in the same situation—would you standby or take action?
This episode’s main idea was ingratitude and cruelty to parents. We see this a lot in our society it might appear less severe than this, but still exists and people are not conscious about that matter, we think its okay to treat our parents in this ungrateful manner. The scene started when a guy and his father (Both are actors) entered a pharmacy and the guy kept yelling to his father in a very cruel way, and the father who was supposed to be mentally ill in some way, could not reply back to his mean son. All of this was to provoke the audience and extract a humanitarian action from the crowd.

This episode featured women verbally and physically harassing their servants. In one instance in Egypt, the woman’s rudeness rallied up the entire grocery store against her to the point where one man started screaming at her. He concluded the conversation by offering the servant a job in his restaurant. Once told that this is a hidden camera show, the man had tears in his eyes and spoke about how serious he was. This episode touched everyone—in the grocery store and at home watching the show. It opened up our eyes to a side we haven’t seen before. Do people really treat their servants that way? If not in public, then behind closed doors? If that’s the case, this is not okay. We must put an end to this ugly behavior at once.

This episode tackled another worthy cause we should discuss. Some people get impatient with humans with intellectual disabilities, those with Down Syndrome in specific. The Egyptian scene took place in Metro Market, with a man with Down Syndrome (an actor) working as the cashier. A customer (another actor) asks him to check out his groceries while he runs a 30-min errand, and when he got back, the cashier hadn’t started. The customer loses his temper and yells at the cashier to hurry up. He throws in some rude remarks, and that gets the other customers furious. They start a heated argument with him, while the victimized cashier stays silent. Sometimes ignorance is the cause of many vulgar situations. For instance, if the actor-customer was educated about intellectual disabilities, he’d understand that one of the main symptoms of Down Syndrome is a short attention span. Other symptoms include impulsive behavior, poor judgment and slow learning capabilities. Thus, the customer must have patience when interacting with him. The people’s reaction was touching. One man repeatedly pointed out that the cashier is mentally handicap and so you must be politely patient. We believe he shouldn’t speak this way in front of the man with Down Syndrome; he should be more sensitive about the manner, but we know his heart was in the right place and was merely trying to stand up for him.