Dua Lipa has chosen Whipps Cross cleaner, Hassan Akkad as her 2020 hero for GQ magazine. In this month’s ‘Heroes’ special edition, they celebrate ‘both our cultural heroes as well as those lifesaving frontline workers’.
A video was posted to British GQ magazine’s Twitter page and Instagram page that shows Dua talking about her reasons for choosing Hassan. You can read the full article where she is joined by Emily Ratajkowski and Dina Asher-Smith, all choosing their own heroes to celebrate.
Dua said in the video: “It’s hard to pick just one hero at a time like this, especially with the trauma that’s risen from the Covid-19 pandemic. There are so many examples of people from all walks of life rising to meet this challenge with bravery and kindness.
“If I had to pick just one hero, my hero is Hassan Akkad, who cleans the Covid-19 wards of Whipps Cross Hospital in London. He was originally a teacher in Damascas. Hassan was forced to flee Syria after he was jailed and tortured for taking part in peaceful protests. When he embarked on a treacherous journey from Turkey to the UK, he put himself in even greater danger by recording the whole thing on a secret camera phone. Now he’s once again putting himself on the frontline to help patients and NHS staff on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19.
“He describes his cleaning job as the most important job he’s ever done and wears his NHS badge as a badge of honour. He’s my hero because his generosity teaches us so much about empathy and about looking out for each another, wherever you come from and whoever you are. Thank you so much to Hassan and to all the frontline NHS workers.”
Hassan responded to the tweet saying “Dua Lipa you made my day. Genuinely didn’t expect to see this when I went on my lunch break today. On behalf of my colleagues at Whipps Cross Hospital and Barts Health, thank you for using your platform to send this beautiful message to NHS workers. I still can’t believe this.”