2021 Means Never Forgetting 2020, While Stepping Up in The New Year
So, it’s a new year. Thank goodness, right?
I really want to share some thoughts with you, just as the pages of the calendar have turned to 2021. Those that know me best understand that I am a model that likes to speak up, always constructively and positively. So, for those that know me only from pictures in a magazine or, perhaps from an online catalog or the hard copy version from one of your favorite clothing brands, just imagine that the person in the pictures that you have seen actually has a mouth that really does move ‘irl.’ (Or, for readers that aren’t quite familiar with some of the acronyms that permeate cyberspace: ‘in real life!’ )
One tradition that seems to be consistent from region to region across the globe is that people look at the past, the present, and the future and think about making resolutions at the beginning of a new year. A lot of us start off with a solid commitment to following through with our resolutions but then, in a few short weeks or months, we often seem to stray from the resolute path that we were on.
You know what I’m talking about, right? I am sure lots of you can relate to this. And, I do speak from experience, because like so many others with the pressures of daily life, it is not always easy to stick to the resolutions that we make. For me, the rush of school and the pressures of my career as a model and actor sometimes makes it much too easy to push my resolutions off to the side. But, this year feels very different to me and maybe it does to you, too. Can I tell you why, while also sharing my 2021 resolutions with you?
First of all, some background. I think that people everywhere in the world welcomed and celebrated the arrival of 2021 maybe more so than any previous year in recent memory when the calendar switched from 31 December to 01 January. I thought a lot about this because it has also been one of the only times in my admittedly short life when I have felt like the entire world was united about something. Regardless of race, religion, age, income, geography, or political leanings, everyone was touched in one way or another by the awful and horrible scourge of the COVID-19 horror that consumed so much of the 2020 narrative.
This pandemic has thus far avoided striking my family and me and, for that, I am incredibly grateful. But, while I feel blessed that this awful nightmare has spared my family and me so far, I am also deeply aware of the other side of this coin. My good health in 2020 and that of others has come at way too high of a price. Many of our neighbors, classmates, friends, fellow citizens, and their family members both in my own country and in yours wherever you happen to be as you read this, have suffered in deeply painful, unimaginable ways. And so, it is against this backdrop that I have formulated my first resolution for the new year.
What is it? Well, the first part of it is to never forget 2020 and the toll it has taken on so many people and the lessons to be learned from it. Not ever. Admittedly I am pretty young but for my generation, but this might be the very first time in our lives when there has been a major global event that changed or affected the entire world. I think that it is one of those “where were you when” moments that I have heard people from earlier generations talk about from time-to-time when referring to major, often transformational, and noteworthy public events that they will always remember, of which there are generally very few. Well, for my generation worldwide, this pandemic feels like the first one of those “where were you when” moments for us.
But, simply “not forgetting” isn’t enough for a New Year’s resolution. So, in addition to never forgetting the suffering of others caused by what has been up to now an uncontrollable and horrible pandemic, I intend to do my part to spread awareness about issues pertaining to the physical as well as emotional health, safety, and welfare of others, with a special focus on my generation and the one coming up right behind ours. I will speak up and I will step up, and I am committed to using my visibility and high profile to mobilize others whenever possible.
To be honest, I do not have a huge amount of patience for those of us in the public eye that choose not to speak up, speak out, or become involved and engaged with whatever issues are most important to them and to others. But fortunately, there really are many that do, including a number of my good friends that are also models and actors. My resolution in addition to never forgetting the lessons of 2020 and the lives lost or unalterably changed is to stand up and speak out even more, always in constructive and positive ways. I intend to use my role as a high-profile individual and social media influencer to also try and mobilize others. This horrific “where were you when” moment, the first universal one for my generation, has further solidified my resolve to do my part and more, which is the second part of this initial resolution for 2021 — and to be honest, well beyond.
I have made comments publicly at various personal appearances and, on social media to the effect that I will speak my mind about the issues that I care the most about, in addition to the aforementioned focus on health. As I have said before, this is not particularly typical for fashion models, but as those that know me personally understand, I am more than the pictures that people see. Some models have management that tells them to smile and look good but not to utter anything outside of the parameters of their role as a model or actor but for me, it is the exact opposite. In other words, I told or actually, instructed my management to help me speak out and step up.
I do know that I am but one voice and, I am not so arrogant as to think that I can wave some kind of magic wand and make things better. But, what I do have is something akin to a great big megaphone by virtue of what I do for a living, and so I pledge to live up to my commitment to use my visibility to speak out and step up, even more so than I have in the past.
As it turns out, each and every global brand that I have represented as a model or have done a photoshoot with has not only been completely supportive of this notion but in fact, they have encouraged it. I am proud to say that the global brands that I have done photoshoots with have encouraged me to work towards becoming a leader in my generation and to do so in part by speaking up about the issues of the day in a positive and constructive way. And besides, they generally are causes or issues that most everyone can get behind and support anyway. But in some instances, they have tended to lack visibility and support from within my generation.
So, there you have my first resolution for 2021, which is to never forget the pain of 2020 and the suffering of so many and to continue and in fact escalate speaking out and stepping up and hopefully, to raise awareness among those of my generation about key issues of importance.
And now, for my second resolution.
I intend to formally launch my charity in 2021 or, at the latest, get it prepared and ready for launch in the earliest part of 2022. I am really excited about it and I hope that you will be, too. So, stay tuned to these pages or, follow me on social media to learn more or to stay up-to-date about this. I am not going to spoil the surprise by announcing what it is all about just yet but, I am hoping to actually start the countdown to the actual target date of its launch very soon, once the final roll-out date is determined. I cannot wait to see what everyone thinks! It focuses on things that are really important not only to me but hopefully, to a lot of other people, too. And as an important aside and, thanks in part to 2020’s sad legacy, we are adding an element that pertains to one aspect of health in particular.
Very little excites me more than this second resolution. I have learned that launching something of substance in the non-profit, charity realm takes more time than anyone might prefer, but it will be well worth the wait if this goes the way that I think it will. I also feel that as my generation continues to age and begins transitioning from school to the workforce, we should look beyond ourselves and, for ways to make a genuine and real difference in the lives of others along the way. It isn’t always easy but, I think doing so is well worth it.
I do confess to having a third resolution in honor of the new year. But, this one stays private, at least for now! After all, some people say that if you tell everyone what all of your resolutions are, you might be jinxing them a bit. I am not particularly superstitious but, I am going to keep my third resolution to myself for now. I will let everyone know later on in 2021 if it all works out so stay tuned. But for now, a little bit of mystery feels just about right to me!
Thanks to everyone that read my first posting on Medium and then found me through my website or via social media. I really appreciate your private DM’s and PM’s through my ‘socials’ and, I want you to know that even though I can’t always respond to each message that I receive from various sources, I do endeavor to read all of them. It means a lot, and I look forward to staying in touch. In the meantime, every good wish and, may all of your most important wishes and resolutions come true. Stay healthy and safe, and Happy New Year!
Ahmad Kadry is an internationally acclaimed male model that calls Egypt and the UAE home. He is a global social media influencer and continues to represent several of the world’s leading fashion brands in front of the camera. Despite his thriving career, Kadry is also a university student in Egypt who enjoys interacting with his fans and followers in the United States, Europe, Asia, and of course, the Middle East. He spent most of 2020 sheltering-in-place inside his home.