You may have seen him as the warrior Abdur Rehman in the powerful Turkish drama, Ertugrul – but last week Turkish actor Celal Al joined us on stage as himself. Salam Charity teamed up with King’s College London’s Arab Society to host An Audience with Celal Al. And then we roped him in to do some volunteering, too!
As well as being an impressive actor, Celal is renowned for his work with charities, especially in Pakistan. Last year he received the Pakistan International Screen Award for Global Influencer, and he has recently returned from another trip in Pakistan, where he visited victims of the summer floods.
Live from King’s College London
On Wednesday evening, our event was hosted by Salam Charity’s Volunteer Lead, Leanne, who led an interactive Q&A style session. Celal inspired our audience of supporters and fans when he spoke about his work and answered questions. The event was live streamed so that our viewers at home could get involved as well.
Celal asked the audience what they’d learned from the event, and everyone was moved when a young boy answered, “It has taught me the importance of salah, and to pray every day”. Delighted to have inspired a young heart, Celal invited the child onto the stage and gave him a hug.
He wasn’t the only audience member who got to take a picture with Celal – after the evening, there was a queue of people for the meet-and-greet! We can’t wait to see all the pictures on social media.
PL84U AL-SUFFA Food bank
The following day, Celal accompanied Team Salam on a working day at PL84U AL-SUFFA in Leytonstone (E11). No more sitting around: this event was all about rolling up our sleeves! We arrived at the Food Bank early to unpack food, set up ‘shop’, and then served around 100 people who came to gather much-needed supplies for themselves and their families. The beneficiaries were mainly homeless people and asylum seekers, and many of them were delighted to be served by a celebrity!
At the close of the day we served hot pizza to everyone, and gave out extras for people to take home.
PL84U AL-SUFFA is a fantastic interfaith initiative run by Saira Mir who, with her team of volunteers, works incredibly hard to serve the vulnerable in East London. We were very proud to work alongside them and support an exceptional cause.
“What a wonderful day we had today [at the PL84U Food Bank] – it was pretty special to see the celebrity and all the other distinguished guests, well done to you, Saira and the team.”
“I went to the Celal Al event today and alhamdulillah it was so good. All the volunteers were so friendly as well.”
“The whole event was definitely an eye opener on how we are so lucky having these advantages in life and how we can help others around the world to have better resources.”
“Celal’s responses really inspired me, as someone who has a busy schedule he also has time to fundraise and go to third world countries to help out.”