VIDEO: Meet Saudi actor al-Qasabi fighting ISIS his own way
In 2015, his anti-ISIS Ramadan comedy series Selfie topped ratings region-wide via the Pan-Arab MBC network
Saudi satirist and TV star Nasser al-Qasabi was honored as one of America Abroad Media’s 2016 Media Leaders at its annual “Power of Film” Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.
Qasabi is one of the Arab world's best-loved TV satirists. In 2015, his anti-ISIS Ramadan comedy series Selfie topped ratings region-wide via the Pan-Arab MBC network — and won praise from Arab thought leaders for eroding support for ISIS by mocking it.
The Arab star, with the backing of the wider society and even the media and entertainment world, has stuck to his guns.
“God is my protector. I'm an artist, and the artist's essential role is to reveal society's challenges even if he pays a price,” he said in an interview with aired on Al Arabiya News Channel.
“Warning the people about ISIS is the true jihad, because we're fighting them with art not war.”
The show had its second season during Ramadan this year titled ‘Selfie 2’, and in its typical tongue in cheek manner shows life under ISIS, in addition to mocking social traditions regarding marriage, gender and similar societal topics.
Passion for acting
Qasabi had a childhood passion for acting and launched into his career back in 1984. His varied roles in the series ‘No Big Deal’ led to his popularity.
Another of his popular TV series was ‘Tash ma Tash,’ that earned him praise as well as brickbats for targeting social norms.
In 2012, he became one of the three judges on the television series, ‘Arabs Got Talent’.