Celebrities, joined by MTV Lebanon, were a big part of the first Night to Shine in 2019. Having participated in several events for special needs earlier, this was the first time that I cooperated with SKILD Center. In my long career as educator, television presenter, and actor, I had the privilege of being invited to several events that focused on the rights and exquisite character of our children with special needs. This has pushed me to be involved in initiatives to raise awareness about pressing issues many years ago.
When I think back through all these different activities and Night to Shine specifically, there is no doubt – not for a second – that this is an exotic experience for us celebrities and for our Kings and Queens whom we helped to live a dream prom night. Over three years, I was fortunate to be among celebrities walking the Kings and Queens on the red carpet to be crowned, or presenting them to their audience, or taking photos by the wall of fame and cheering for them as they performed on stage revealing their talents like this year. I cannot forget the expression on their faces, and the faces of their caretakers, while they were having a hairdo or having polish on their nails, or having their shoes shined by volunteers. This is not to forget the joy at the sight of one of the actors whom they see on television.
I always believed, and now more than before, that these individuals who spend their life often marginalized even in their own families or communities, are a major source of inspiration. There is nothing more beautiful and more inspiring than to see all these pure hearts and their innocent faces glowing for things we take for granted. We call their different traits and challenges special needs; when the truth is that these traits are what makes them so lovable.
Night to Shine is a privilege for us who do not have debilitating physical or mental challenges to mingle with young men and women often not able to be functional in mainstream settings. I cherish this opportunity of being with them and to feel their happiness so close to me especially in those few surprising moments when one of them comes forward to tell me that he or she loves me and sees me on television. There is nothing more special than to be able to make a fellow human happy.
I have also to confess, being a father myself, this year when I was with the Queens and Kings in the hall, I was seeing them react closely to all what was around them, I realized that we need to salute the amazing caretakers who are having to endure so many hardships without giving in to many moments of despairs, without ever forgetting to be selfless and committed to the well-being of their children.
I was fortunate to be among celebrities walking the Kings and Queens on the red carpet to be crowned
Night to Shine is nothing short of a meeting to share and spread love. I lived this special experience three times in my life, and I am always ready to answer the invitation for an evening or an afternoon with fellow special needs sisters and brothers. This is a gathering that spreads joy and peace amidst the strenuous life our country is going through. Everything about this night encourages me to never hesitate to be with them whenever the opportunity arises and to share a moment of happiness.