The completely two different ways the two stars Mohamed Mamdouh and Mai Ezz El Din handled the criticism they received on their work in their respective Ramadan series taught us a bigger lesson than their shows did, and we are here to share it with you.

Because Ramadan is the season for TV series, commercials and shows, it is also the season to see creative performances by Egypt’s entertainment industry’s leading artists.

Therefore, it is only natural for Ramadan to also be the season for giving and receiving criticism to said creative performances. It is a part of the process and the public’s right as the receiving party in this equation.

Criticism VS Bullying

Before we showcase the two cases at hand, we must first point out the difference between criticism and bullying so to clear out any confusions.

Obviously, it is never okay to attack people for personal reasons or grudges, because that is considered bullying, and could harm them a great deal.

However bullying and criticism are two completely different things.

Constructively criticizing an artist’s performance or art which they put out in public for people to see is an unavoidable part of the creative process.

Regardless of the art you are presenting, people’s opinions, whether praise or criticism are valid and should be accepted, whether agreed upon or not.

It is as simple as this; just like people get to decide if your work succeeds, they get to decide if it fails too.

And just like that criticism can go both ways, positive or negative, the artists’s acceptance to said criticism can also go both ways, depending on the artist.

Case in point:

Mohamed Mamdouh

As most of you already know, the talented actor Mohamed Mamdouh (also known as Taison) has been receiving quite a lot of criticism about his performance in the two series he appears in this Ramadan, Weld El Ghalaba & Kabeel.

The common thing that most people pointed out was the depth of his voice and shortness of breath which affected the audibility of his speech to the listeners.

And even though, most people can’t disagree on Mamdouh’s pure and undeniable acting talent, and despite the fact that this precise point is not due to lack of talent or incompetent performance, the public did not hold back on their concerns and -what some could even call- complains.

But thankfully, Mamdouh’s grace in handling the situation was at the same level of his talent. 

Mohamed Mamdouh’s Reaction to Criticism

After being faced with all of that criticism, Mohamed Mamdouh did not stay silent or bury his head in the sand.

When asked about it in an interview with Al-Arabeya TV, Taison took the direct road and simply said “I am sorry” all while keeping his gracious smile.

Even though he had NOTHING to apologize for.

That’s not all. Soon after, news about Mamdouh starting treatment to fix the medical problem he is having with his voice started to spread on several media outlets.

That was after his friend and colleague Khaled Kamal posted on Facebook addressing people’s comments and criticism to Mamdouh and his voice and breath issues.

In the post, Khaled talked about how Mamdouh or Taison is aware of his own problem and was never stubborn or ignorant when it came to his work.

He also announced that Mamdouh has already started treatment. However, it will take time seeing how his health issues are not simple or easy to cure. So he asked Taison’s fans to indulge him and give him time.

And just like that with a pure heart and impeccable manners, Mohamed Mamdouh put all of his haters and critics to shame and made all of his fans (which are a lot) love him and support him even more.

Proving once and for all that he is deserving of all the love he gets on and off the screen. 

But that’s not the way every artist dealt with criticism this year…

Mai Ezz El Din

You may have also known that during this year’s Ramadan entertainment race, Mai Ezz El Din’s series “El Princesa Beesa” received quite the backlash. Specifically, the performance of Mai herself which was commonly described as forced, unnatural and incompetent.

People -even the star’s fans- were raining down on the show on all social media platforms, with memes and comics even made about the actress’s performance. Especially her facial expressions which she consistently carried out all though the show as part of her act as the “street girl”, in the purpose of -we presume- being “funny”.

A lot were even offended by her demonstration or rather misrepresentation of the underprivileged or uneducated girl who is portrayed by the star as always vulgar, impolite, unethical and quite annoying.

Some would think that after such harsh and direct criticism the star would step out of her shell and address the gigantic elephant in the room, but that’s not exactly what happened. 

Mai’s Response to criticism, or lack of one

Even though we are almost halfway through Ramadan, Mai has been radio silent all through the month about the reaction of the public and people’s concerns about her performance.

But that’s not the worst part!

About a week ago, Mai gave a statement to Newspaper Masry El Youm about her new TV series, specifically, about people’s reactions to it.

I know what you are thinking, ‘so she replied to all that criticism and explained her performance or at least addressed people’s concerns like Taison did?’

Unfortunately, that is not what happened.

Because according to El Masry El Youm, Mai is thrilled with the reaction she is getting from the people about her show on social media. And even said that “people’s admiration and praise of her work is pushing her to make ‘more’ successful shows like this one’, referring to “El Princesa Beesa”.

And that’s not all.

In another prolonged interview with El Youm El Sabe3, Mai went on and on about how people love her performance as a ‘street girl’ and how glad and happy she is with all the praise she is receiving on her show also from social media.

While it could be true that SOME did praise the star on her show or her performance, the fact remains that ALL social media platforms are still flooded with criticism to her and the show. So it is quite hard to go by unnoticed.

So the fact that she neither addressed it or even acknowledged it, but even addressed the opposite shows that she either does’t care what people think, or worse that she is in deep rooted denial about the reality of things.

Either ways, it does NOT reflect well on the star’s image. Seeing how she is generally considered one of Egypt’s great young actresses and does have a huge fan base waiting for her to respond to their concerns or at least acknowledge their existence.

So now the problem is not in the star’s performance anymore, because everyone is allowed to make a mistake in their career. It is in how she handled it, or rather ignored it. Which sadly, could affect her career in worse ways than one unsuccessful show can.

What does this teach us?

The lesson learned from both examples is simple and quite basic; it is okay not to be perfect, it is okay to make a mistake, and it is okay to be criticized for said mistake.

As long as you own up to it, admit it, learn from it, apologize, and move on. But ignoring the problem will never make it go away.

That’s the case for any adult ever.

But for a person in the public eye who creates content for the public to see, criticism is a basic part of the job description, just as praise is. You can’t have one without the other.

Which is fine as long as you know how to handle it professionally and graciously…