Riz Ahmed shares he has lost two relatives to COVID-19

02:24 PM | 28 Apr, 2020
Riz Ahmed shares he has lost two relatives to COVID-19

LONDON - British actor Riz Ahmed opens up about his loss this year due to deadly Coronavirus outbreak. In an interview, Rapper Riz Ahmed revealed that two of his family members died after contracting COVID-19. He also said that the global pandemic is reflecting and revealing the fault-lines in our society.

The actor made an impassioned plea to remember the people from BAME backgrounds who are keeping the country running. Riz hopes the virus can bring humanity together to tackle greater problems rather than focusing on what divides people. “Coronavirus is on some level an alien invasion, isn’t it? It’s bringing humanity together against the common enemy,” he continued.

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Heartbroken to say that my uncle Shakeel passed away this weekend due to Covid-19. He was a legend in his community who will be missed by so many. A charismatic storyteller, he could strike up a conversation with anyone and soon have them in tears of one kind or another - either laughing from his unique turn of phrase, or meditating on his spiritual insights. His journey was the journey of my people - born in India, then moved to Pakistan, then England. He was an immigrant, then a teddy-boy in silk shirts and medallions, then a banker, and finally a devoted spiritual guide who went out of his way for others. He fought on til the end, outliving multiple terminal diagnoses for years, and finally passing away while prostrating (in sajda) for dawn (fajr) prayers in the hospital prayer room. It was a fittingly poetic end for a man who had lyrics for days, and whose faith gave him and so many others such strength. Here he is on his 60th birthday with his twin brother Javed. ⁣ ⁣ When this is over, we must ensure that our losses have not been in vain. We must help to build a more just and caring society. As he said - “may all your dreams come true. And when they do, hope you don’t mind sharing.” Please keep your elders safe, and please donate to help build that fairer future now. Links in Story. ⁣

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So there is this potential for this momentous, unique-in-the-history-of-our-species moment, of us all, going through this crazy challenge together and only being able to get through this together.” The star also expressed concern for how Muslims are being treated by India’s nationalist government.

He further talked about how the disease is hitting communities of colour in the UK and US., particularly very hard. Earlier, Musician Riz Ahmed joined British artists, politicians and essential workers to film a message for Muslims amidst Ramadan 2020. He asked in his video to continue following social distancing rules to combat against the deadly disease.

The 60-clip features a host of public figures, including Riz Ahmed, Konnie Huq, Naughty Boy, Asad Ahmed and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. However, they asked the British Muslims to “pray from home”.

“This Ramadan I’m staying at home, to protect our doctors, nurses, to protect our NHS, to protect our superheroes,” the video said.

Stay home, stay safe.