Fighting coronavirus: Dubai resident uses magic, mimicry to raise Covid-19 awareness
Siraj, a government employee, used to do magic shows to utilise his free time.
Dubai resident TV Siraj's skills of magic and mimicry have come in handy to raise awareness about the need to stay alert against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Siraj, a government employee, used to do magic shows to utilise his free time. However during lockdown when all social activities were halted, he started creating videos to motivate and encourage people to follow norms of the new normal and help the UAE combat the coronavirus.
"I realised people were tense because of the situation caused by lockdown. Back then the cases were also rising. I started creating videos on magic tricks to ease nerves, allay fears of the people and at the same time, raise awareness. My main tools were face mask, gloves and sanitiser. I got a good response as many people shared those videos on WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms," said the 40-year-old from the Indian state of Kerala.
With videos grabbing interest, Naduvannur Siraj, as he is popularly called, was asked to do awareness sessions for children through Zoom. Siraj would write Covid-19 messages on the mask, fold it up and then pull out clothes of different vibrant colours.
"I want to tell people that by wearing masks, colourful days are not far away. Children appreciate it."
Another trick is how a cloth with 'virus' written on it transfers it from one person to another after they shake hands.
"People are stunned when I put cloth in one person's dress and take it out from another's after they shake hands. But it helps to attract attention and the message is driven home," he pointed out.
Siraj has produced videos mimicking Malayalam actors to spread the word about the need for people to continue following anti-Covid measures to avert a second wave of the pandemic.
Siraj has been residing in Dubai since 2005. He has been doing magic shows for the past 10 years, including inside dhow cruise.
"I learnt magic purely out of my interest in this art. In the past, I have done shows on different subjects like health, hygiene, relationships, etc. Luckily, I could put it to best use now amid this pandemic," Siraj added.
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