My friends, if you were under the impression that you would never have a fighting chance at mastering Arabic, lest it be your Mother tongue, then you may wish to reconsider that thought once you’ve seen this!
Please, brace yourself to meet وُنهـــــــــــــــــو تشونـــــــــــــــغ (Wonho Chung), a never-seen-before Korean comedian.
Yes, “Korean comedian”, you got that right.
But hold on, don’t let that title fool you, for Wonho is no ordinary Korean.
In fact, deep inside, he considers himself to be عَربِـــــــــــيٌ بالكَــــــــــامِل (a full-fledged Arab), and he is proud to say it to everyone!
As you will see, Wonho is a purely funny creature, and currently enjoys the status of a rising Arab TV personality.
Perhaps his family background credentials may shed some light as to how he got there:
- His father is كُــــــــــوري (Korean)
- His mother is فيتنــــــــاميــــــــــة (Vietnamese)
- He was born in السُّعُـــــــــــوديــــــة (Saudi Arabia)
- He was raised in الأردُن (Jordan.)
He jokingly described his ever-traveling family as one of “الأمــــــــم العربيــــــــــة المُتَحرِّكــــــــــة“, a clever توريـــــــــة (pun, or wordplay) on the name of “الأمــــــــم العربيــــــــــة المُتَحِــــــــدة” (“United Arab Nations”), which actually means “Animated Arab Nations“!
Although he speaks very well Arabic, English, Vietnamese, and French, ironically, his Korean happens to be the least fluent of them all… Maybe someone should tell him to subscribe to The Transparent Korean Blog, or check The Transparent Korean Facebook Page?)
Chung got his first shot five years ago, when he joined the crew of the so-called “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour“, initiated by Vince Vaughn‘s pal and Ashton Kutcher‘s buddy in Punk’d, the well-known Arab American stand-up comedian Ahmed Ahmed.
At the time, the comedy tour title aimed to poke fun at the expression used by former President Bush to refer to the countries of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, as being part of what he considered as “الدُّول المـــــــارِقَـــــــــة” (“the Rogue Nations.”)
After that, during the 2008 “مِهرجَــــــــــان دُبــــي السينمَائـــــــي الدولـــــــــي“, or “Dubai International Film Festival” known as “DIFF“, Wonho went to animate interviews with various celebrities, such as the actress Goldie Hawn, the mother of Kate Hudson, and whose long-time boyfriend is none other than actor Kurt Russel, the superhero of the 1996 blockbuster “Executive Decision.” In that “action-packed” Hollywood movie, Russel went on to save the day against what CBS news consultant Jack Shaheen famously coined as “Reel Bad Arabs“, who were memorably portrayed by a handful of actors among whom was the aforementioned comedian Ahmed Ahmed—Yes, yes, I know, يا لــهُ من عالــــمٍ صغِيـــــــر جِدًّا جِدًّا (what a very very small world.)
A year later, Wonho Chung would once again cover البِســــــــــــاط الأحمـــــــر (the red carpet) of huge Cinema events in the Arab region, but this time in قَطَـــــــــر (Qatar), during the inauguration of the “DTFF”, which, rest assured, has absolutely nothing to do with “Jersey Shore”, but rather stands for Qatar’s own version of the “DIFF“, namely ”مهرجـــــــان الدوحــــــة ترايبيكـــــــــا السينمائـــــي“, or the “Doha Tribeca Film Festival“!
Also while staying in Qatar, Wonho joined the team of قنــــــــــاة الدَّوري والكــــــــــــــأس, the Government-owned rival of Aljazeera Sports Channel known as “Al-Kass Sports Channel“, where he would rub elbows with “retired” Football stars of the likes of the Tunisian Sabri Lamouchi and the Algerian Ali Benarbia, or the Dutch midfielder of Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona, Ronald de Boer, who ended his career at Al-Shamal Club, the very lucky Qatari team being currently spoiled with a brand new “deluxe” stadium designed in the shape of a traditional Arabic sailing ship called داو (dhow), ahead for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar!
But don’t think that Wonho Chung‘s rising high profile would go unnoticed by his fatherland: The Government of South Korea officially bestowed upon him the honorific title of “Goodwill Ambassador” for السِّيــــــــــاحـــــــــة (tourism) in the country.
Wonho Chung sings “Live” عبد الحليــــــــم حافظ (Abdel Halim Hafez) and فيــــــــــــروز (Fairuz)!
Finally, himself a singer of merit, Wonho became a judge on سَمــــــــــــا دُبــــــــــي (Sama Dubai) TV reality show “الفُرصــــــــــــة” (“Al Fursa“, meaning “The Chance“), which welcomed various voice talents from all over the Arab world.