June 7, 2017
Robert McKenzie was quoted in a Washington Post article:
There may also be another intended audience for the ads: the West. Robert McKenzie, a Middle East scholar at the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, said that the release of this ad is no coincidence. It comes weeks after President Trump’s first foreign visit in Saudi Arabia, where he commemorated the kingdom’s effort countering extremism with its new center in Riyadh — something noted by the ad's critics on social media.
“I wouldn’t be surprised that one of the audiences of this ad is the United States,” McKenzie said. "[Zain is] trying to show the U.S. government that they are on board.”
Of course, stirring powerful emotions is part of the point, said Ahmed, who considers the ad simply an attempt to give hope to Muslims watching at home. “Because it is Ramadan, it touches a nerve,” he said.
“If nothing else, they are reminding us of our humanity,” he said, “and that is something we must never forget.”