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Egyptian ad sparks ethics debate on charitable donations

An Egyptian foundation ended up taking its Ramadan commercial off the air when it was accused of insulting the poor, then undermining government policy.

A TV commercial that aimed to show how Egyptian people’s donations were used to make a difference in the lives of people in need was accused of humiliating the poor. It has also rekindled a debate on whether commercials that showed the poor and needy were the best or the most ethical way to ask for donations.

The commercial showed dirty water bottles carried by a woman called Afaf, who lives in Beni Suef in Upper Egypt, explaining to actress Dalal Abdel Aziz the difficulties of bringing water to her family. The commercial then invited the public to donate money to Beit al-Zakat (House of Alms) so that families like Afaf’s can have access to water.

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