Although he is himself a striker, for the Al-Zawraa club, it is Ali’s likeness to Salah which piques Iraqis’ interest.“At the first training session, he introduced himself as ‘Hussein Ali’. I replied, ‘No, no, you are Mohamed Salah,” said Ali’s coach Adnan Mohammad.Like Liverpool’s Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, Hussein Ali plays as a striker for his Iraqi club © AFP / SABAH ARARBack when Salah was playing for AS Roma, Ali was aware of the resemblance but took the comments as “a joke”.But when the Egyptian shot to global fame in the Premier League — becoming “the number one footballer for all Arabs” according to Ali — his Iraqi doppelganger started to seriously work on his image.Since then, he has started wearing the red shirt of Salah’s club Liverpool.“It’s the real shirt, bought from an official supplier,” he said proudly from his small house, where the shutters are closed against the Baghdad heat during the long hours of electricity cuts.– Centre of attention –Ali said he paid $40 for the shirt, which he takes carefully from its hanger, while working every day to support his large family and without a wage from playing football.Lately, the “Mohamed Salah of Iraq” can’t leave his house without being stopped for photographs or approached by football fans who mistake him for the Egyptian star.Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who plays for Liverpool, shot to global fame in the Premier League © AFP/File / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV“The day before yesterday I was in a mall; the security guards, the shop workers and the clients, everyone wanted to take a photo with me… even the girls!” said Ali.He attracts similar attention at football matches. When Ali’s team played against the Lebanese club Al-Ahed, “people were taking photos with me for an hour and a half,” he said.Last month Ali joined a group of supporters in the city centre to watch Salah’s Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final.Hussein Ali has even started wearing the red shirt of Salah’s club Liverpool © AFP / SABAH ARAR“When Mohamed Salah was injured, there were some who came to see me as if it was me who was suffering,” he said.“In my neighbourhood, over a number of days, people who passed me would say ‘Get well soon’,” he remembered, laughing.While such confusion amuses him, Ali’s similarity to Salah has prompted him to rethink his own life.– ‘Imitate and copy’ –Passionate about football since his was little, Ali made it onto the B team of Al-Zawraa, Iraq’s most decorated club.One day he hopes to live the same dream as Salah, who was thrust from his Nile Delta village into the heart of international football.“We play in the same position and I do everything to imitate and copy his movements,” said Ali, smiling widely.The Iraqi player is also keen to follow Salah’s example off the pitch, which in the past has led English fans to adopt an “I’ll be Muslim too” chant praising the footballer.Lately, the “Mohamed Salah of Iraq” can’t leave his house without being stopped for photographs or approached by football fans who mistake him for the Egyptian star © AFP / SABAH ARAR“He reads the Koran and he asks God to help him before his matches. I also read the Koran and pray, like Abu Makka,” said Ali, using a nickname for the Liverpool striker who named his daughter after the Muslim holy city of Mecca.After Salah’s injury fans globally were on tenterhooks to find out if their hero would be going to the World Cup which kicks off on June 14.He has now been included in The Pharaohs squad and Egyptians will be hoping he can continue his record goal-scoring streak in Russia.For Ali, his hopes will rest in one day coming face-to-face with his hero: “My life’s dream is to meet Mohamed Salah… Perhaps he will invite me to the World Cup in Russia?”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Iraqi footballer Hussein Ali plays for the Iraqi Al-Zawraa FC © AFP / SABAH ARARBAGHDAD, Iraq, Jun 7 – With his black beard, curly hair and football shirt, Iraqi striker Hussein Ali is often mistaken for one of the world’s top players: Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, 20-year-old Ali is frequently stopped in his working-class Hurriya neighbourhood by people wanting a photograph with their idol.
LETTERKENNY girl Mollie MacGinty was the special guest at a top movie premiere in New York this week.And the Colaiste Ailigh student, 15, wasn’t just the guest of anyone – she was the guest of top actor Martin Sheen!The Way premiered on Wednesday night at the School of Visual Arts in New York and transition year student Mollie was joined by her mum Edel. The film stars Martin Sheen as Tom, an American doctor who goes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James.Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son’s desire to finish the journey.What Tom doesn’t plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his “California Bubble Life.”Yorick van Wageningen, Deborah Kara Unger and James Nesbitt also have feature roles in the movie.The premiere and after party were well attended. Guests included former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Wyclef Jean, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster, Luis Gonzalez-Bunster, Ivanka Trump, Donna Karan, Deborah Kara Unger, Scott Harrison, Dhani Makalani Jones, Crystal Hunt, Phillip Bloch, Marisa Noel Brown, Angel Sanchez, David Alexanian, Sonja Magdevski, Shari Liu, Alex Grimaldi, Ramon Estevez, Dhani Makalani Jones, Geena Rocero, Marissa Sackler, DJ Jeffrey Tonnesen, John Sloss – and of course Mollie MacGinty! Proceeds from the night went towards the Walkabout Foundation.Mollie’s dad Michael said: “She got invited to spend a few days with Martin Sheen in New York as work experience. Her mother worked in the film business and her grandad is in the US for 8 weeks on this promotional tour for The Way with Martin who is a personal friend.“Martin heard about her school results and recent academic achievements so he asked her Grandad if she would attend the Premiere with him as his guest. Michael Gibbons, principal in Colaiste Ailigh agreed to her making the trip.”Pix: Edel MacGinty with Martin Sheen above. Top: Mollie is all smiles with her mum.DONEGAL GIRL RUBS SHOULDERS WITH HOLLYWOOD STARS AT FILM PREMIERE was last modified: October 7th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Colaiste Ailighletterkennymovie The WayPremiere