Abdul Hussein…Made Us Smile and Left

It’s like the Gulf haven’t had its share of bad news, that the person who long made people smile, created happiness for ages, and made unforgettable works passes away.

But what can we say, it is our fate no matter how painful it may be.

Comedy legend Abdul Hussein Abdul Reda passed away leaving behind a heritage in the memory of generations that watched his worls and loved him through his art.

Abdul Hussein Abdul Reda, dubbed Abu Adnan, was not just a comedian. He was a unique artistic phenomenon followed by generations of millions of people.

The level of art varied between good and bad, between those who give valuable art and those who are barely mentioned, and yet, the late solely continued to offer an untarnished message.

His art was not smeared by ideologies or the abhorrent sectarianism. He only angered the extremists and was hated by radicals.

The majority of his audience had him in a special place crafted by his distinguished talent, rare performance, and elegant message that was never tainted since he first stepped on stage in 1961 during his first play “Falcon of Qoreish”.

Some of his unforgettable works include: The Slippery Path, Fates, and his 33 plays which invovled the famous Bye Bye London, and other distinguished performances such as Sword of the Arabs, Knights of Climate and Haman, O Pharaoh.

The legend of late Abdul Hussein Abdul Reda can be easily distinguished through many of his timeless works.

But I believe that the true legendary thing about him was the conviction of Gulf people that Abdul Hussein is an artist who speaks for them all and his nationality is part of theirs. They never regarded him as a Kuwaiti national. People considered his nationality to be “Gulf” just like them and this doesn’t happen to other artists.

With his exclusive sense of humor and unique performance, Abdul Hussein succeeded in taking the throne of Gulf comedy for over half a century. He is part of a great Kuwaiti artistic generation which included some Khalid al-Nafisi, Ghanim al-Salih, Abdul Aziz al-Nimish, and Ali al-Mufidi may they rest in peace, and Saad al-Faraj, may God grant him a prosperous life.

The distinct trait of Abdul Hussein Abdul Reda was that his talent was not limited to acting – whether on the theaters, or TV series, or radio shows. He was a true genuine artist. He also directed series and movies and composed music. He always surprised his audience with something unexpected in his series and plays, something many artists try their hardest to achieve but most fail miserably to, which prompts ridicule from the audience and critics.

Because of his unique artistic traits, Abdul Hussein won the people’s hearts before entering their homes. He became a much-loved popular artist since the early stages of Gulf art.

He delivered critical comedy and somewhat politically troublesome art when tackling certain issues which were considered a sort of a taboo.

Abdul Hussein was able to deliver his message without getting into a lot of social or political troubles, unlike many others who want to reach fame using the shortest way possible without even having quarter of the potentials of the late artist.

Abdul Hussein Abdul Reda’s best tribute remains in the loving words and great sentiments that emerged from the Gulf following the announcement of his death. No one forced people to say what they said.

People’s love can’t be bought, it is earned.

For everything he had done, Abu Adnan deserves such a spontaneous grand homage.

Blessed be who passes away like that.

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Al-dossary

Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

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