Yasmine Sabri

On June 18th, Egyptian actress Yasmine Sabri made a – now deleted – “joke” on her Instagram. The said joke, however, did not gain the laughs Sabri was expecting.

Sabri posted a photo on her Instagram account showcasing her ‘Yoga’ skills, as she usually does. While the majority of the feedback was from people impressed by her poses, someone made a fun comment saying that he used to do that move when he was six.

Funny, right? Well, her reply definitely wasn’t!

The actress replied “Yes, I bet you did. That’s why you now have  Down Syndrome“.

Yasmine Sabri

With that said, some are saying that the person she made the comment to is, in fact, her brother. Others are saying he’s her friend.

But does it really matter what he is to her? Absolutely not!

When we first saw this; we thought it was 100% fake, out of shock. It’s 2019, and while we have a long way to reach the ideal level of political correctness in our society, comments like hers are by no means acceptable.

It was a shame that a public figure like Sabri, who prides herself on being well educated, can throw a comment like that.

Down Syndrome is never a joke, nor an insult as Sabri frames it to be. This is not just derogatory to those who suffer from it, but to their families as well. Whether you’re saying it to your brother, your friend, or even making fun of yourself!

The stigma around mental disabilities should be cancelled, and those who take the cause backward should be cancelled as well!

Why should they be cancelled? Because there are so many people who take these “jokes” lightly, and unless dire action is taken, it will never stop!

And because our dialogue and slang have a million alternative words; things slip like they aren’t a big deal. Joking about Down Syndrome in Egypt is actually not new.

Because we say phrases like the ones above as well as “Enta Mo3ak?“, “Eh El-Takhalof Dah?” to each other, all the time. Thinking it’s a joke!

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Only recently people began to understand what it really means and how horrible it is to use such words. But still, not everyone, unfortunately. And Sabri is a BIG example!

However, as we said, it’s not just her. Because apparently, if you look at her comments section, some people are praising her ‘magnificent’ yoga moves and are totally turning a blind eye to the awful comment she made!

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That’s in addition to those who are, well – not sticking up for her in any way – but they think that because the person is close to her on a certain level, then it’s okay to make such a joke.

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Yasmine Sabri

And again, that doesn’t make sense. Also, it’s not even about him or her. It’s about how harmful this comment is to those who actually have Down Syndrome or are associated with the illness in any way.

Also, what’s up with the whole thing only going viral because of the photo itself? Yeah, we understand. She does yoga, great! But how is she making headlines because of such a shallow and insignificant thing rather than what she turned out to be? Additionally, some took the chance of her trending to praise her ‘looks’. What the hell?

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We really need to raise awareness; and the whole making fun of and insulting people who have Down Syndrome or any kind of illness – whether they were born with it or not  – needs to stop and be erased from our daily narrative, once and for all.

Because no, it’s not just a joke, and it’s not funny. That’s bullying and people actually get hurt. Yes, she faced backlash and thankfully we encountered comments from people who were actually aware and knew where the problem is.

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Nevertheless, still there were others who have no idea why it’s unacceptable. And that’s where the real problem is! This needs to stop, once and for all.