Editor's Picks Pakistan

Cannoli owners themselves ridiculed in Ali Gul Pir video

(L-R) Aspiring stand-up comedian Akbar Chaudhry, British-Pakistani television journalist George Fulton, and rapper Ali Gul Pir, in a parody video released on Saturday, January 23, 2021. — Still from video courtesy Twitter/Ali Gul Pir

The owners of an Islamabad restaurant, Cannoli by Cafe Soul, who have been shamed for ridiculing an employee over his English language skills, have themselves been mocked in a parody video posted by comedian and rapper Ali Gul Pir.

The video has been made in collaboration with British-Pakistani television journalist George Fulton, who is portrayed as the employee at the receiving end of his employers’ disparaging behaviour.

Pir plays the role of one of the owners “Kaisa” Diya, while aspiring stand-up comedian Akbar Chaudhry poses as the other owner, Uzma.

The trio play out the scene from the original video that transpired at the eatery. However this time, the “employee” has flawless English language skills and it is only the owners’ condescending behaviour that falls under the spotlight.

Urdu poetry recital in protest

Meanwhile, amid all the backlash that the video has garnered, an Urdu poetry recital was announced yesterday by two content writers in Islamabad to protest against the owners.

Fittingly, the event was to be held outside the place where the unfortunate incident took place — the restaurant Cannoli by Cafe Soul in Islamabad — today evening.

The incident

What started it all was a video, that went viral on Thursday, showing the owners of the restaurant making fun of the restaurant manager’s English language skills and saying that that he is still paid “a very good salary”. The video was denounced by nearly all who viewed it.

Owners’ response

A statement was released by the owners in response, saying they are “saddened” over the reaction to the video.

“We are saddened and appalled by the reaction of the people, how they have misconstrued our banter with a team member,” read a statement by the owners on Instagram.

The owners characterised their talk in the video as “gup shup” between a team, saying it was never intended to come across as “hurtful”.

They went on to say they are “not required” to prove anything or defend themselves as kind employers.

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