At last the very popular Amr Khaled does something, in my eyes, truly great, wide scale, and not exclusive to Islam or Muslims. A drug campaign supposedly covering the Middle East, called 'Hemaya', which literally translates to 'Protection' was launched only last week by the young and controversial evangelist. The campaign aims to get 5,000 addicts to begin treatment. I even heard Amr Khaled say on TV that their campaign is sponsored by several rehab centers and hospitals that treat addiction who all vowed to give a 50% discount to any addict starting treatment through the Hemaya campaign. Out of 10 Million addicts in the Middle East, 4 Million of them are in Egypt. That makes a little more than 5% of Egyptians addicts... and that's if these statistics accurately cover all addicts - and all Egyptians. Hemaya is doing a lot of publicity (and apparently spending a lot of money) to spread awareness about drugs. They even got Shaaban Abdel Rehim (out of all people) to make a 6 minute song warning the youth about using drugs... A song in which the great Shaabolla names Tamol, Tramadol, SR (Trama), Ultradol, Rohypnol, Tramondine, and a few other opiate based medicines that are sold illegally in pharmacies to be abused by addicts (nice list - shows how most of the above are really made by Egyptian companies, this one also provided by Al Malak Pharmacy) I wonder how the medicine companies may react to this though.
Since the campaign started and I've been seeing Amr Khaled on TV a lot speaking about the campaign. However, as an addict in recovery, I find myself at least compelled to comment and say my opinion about such a huge effort. Apparently a lot of youth are involved in this project, and they shall succeed in spreading the message of how drugs are 'bad' to people who already agree with them. But if they want to reach 5,000 addicts - who are still using - I doubt a veiled girl from the AUC Help Club can ever even catch the attention of a current drug user when the closest knowledge she has of drugs comes from books and Wikipedia. I really want this campaign to work and for more people to know about the disease and as a society fight against it. I don't know about other addicts, but these overtly virtuous goody two shoe'ed people freak me out and if I was still using I'd be scared to ask them directly for help out of fear of being judged and ridiculed actually - this is simply because I'd feel that, even though they're making gigantic efforts to openly speak about this specific ill of society, the volunteer youth are obviously devoted Amr Khaled fans who I bet you anything have never missed an episode of Al Janna Fi Beyoutena (Heaven in our Homes) and 3ala Khouta Al Habib (On The Path of the Beloved - a show where Amr Khaled emotionally tells the story of Prophet Mohamed) - and all that means that they are extremely religious - generally that would be okay, but when you're trying to target drug users and addicts and convince them of starting a treatment program, these volunteers seem like they have no experience at all dealing with or understanding drug users and their mentalities - and that may be the main problem in reaching their aim. Anyways - maybe if Hemaya was a bit more secular it would make a more successful attempt at actually reaching the twisted and disoriented minds of users, abusers, and addicts. I really believe that with just a few adjustments to the campaign themes and motifs of publicity and marketing this project can truly hit the nail on its head. I really may actually think of volunteering... but I'd be scared of all the stigma, cuz in the middle of all the veiled chicks - I will totally stand out as the ex druggie...
In any case, best of luck to Hemaya, really I hope their goals get reached and their plans achieved... HELL I'LL EVEN LINK TO THEM! YA RAB!
(check this link sent to me by my friend the Sudanese Thinker - who I thank - even though its late but I really just saw it today - WHAT TO DO TO HELP AN ADDICT/ALCOHOLIC)
البيسة و حكاية البيسة - ده خراب و فقر و تدبيسه
بكرة العيال هاتموت من الجوع - صَدق اللي قال عليها خبيسه