Liverpool star mo Salah's become a cultural icon in his adopted city and home country of Egypt.
He was initially taken to heart by fans of Liverpool FC because of his astonishing tally of goals.
The chants of “If he scores another few I’ll be muslim too” and “He’s sitting in the mosque that’s where I want to be” went viral on social media channels globally.
But beyond the football pitch Mo Salah has come to represent a positive, friendly, polite, approachable alternative image of muslim masculinity at a time when young bearded muslim men have become subject to much suspicion and hostility.
British Ugandan poet and author Musa Okwonga has previously published books on football and wrote a poem for the FA to celebrate their 150thanniversary.
His ‘Ode To Mo’ celebrates all that Salah has come to represent as he is about to play in the biggest game in European Club football in front of a global audience of billions having just received the coveted Golden Boot Award.
Now Liverpool artists The Rapid Response Unit have created a minute long film with Liverpudlians each delivering a line of the poem across city centre locations.
The film will be played at screenings of the live match at several venues in Liverpool and on the large screen outside Lime Street station.
Liverpool born street artist and LFC fan Guy McKinley has also been commissioned to create a new 6 x 3 metre street painting of Mo alongside lines from the poem on a busy city centre shopping street.
The painting will be completed on Friday 25th May.
Ode to Mo: The Golden Smile of the Nile
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah The Muslim Maestro! - Cairo’s Hero! - The Golden Smile of the Nile! The World’s Swiftest Egyptian (Blink, you’ll miss him). His scoring rate is one a game, So once a match Anfield becomes his prayer mat. Of course he and this city go hand in hand - They love a frontman of an all-action band - Thus this Afro-haired angel is Top of the Docks. He has three superhuman abilities: Speed. Finishing. Humility. The players’ choice, The people’s choice, He brings us together with his grin. Mohamed Salah: in the Scousers’ crown, He is the shining crystal And the only force that can stop him Is the final whistle.
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