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MIDDLE EAST’S MASTER ILLUSIONIST AHMED EL BAYED
“SON OF THE ARABIAN DESERT”

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MIDDLE EAST’S MASTER ILLUSIONIST AHMED EL BAYED
“SON OF THE ARABIAN DESERT”

 

As the star of TV’s #1 Magic Show in 22 countries, Middle East Master Illusionist Ahmed El Bayed is known for taking on dare-devil stunts, never before attempted, that are so unique and terrifying, that he is fast becoming a worldwide sensation. He’s been called the “King of Hearts” for his natural good looks and romantic, screen -idol image but this Son of the Arabian Desert is far more than that. Thriving on a desire to conquer world leading urban legends using only his physicality and strong mental discipline, Ahmed takes his television audiences to beautiful remote locations for each stunt, revealing the unique aspects of each culture, earning him the name, “the Anthony Bourdain of Magic.”

Ahmed El Bayed was born in Saudi Arabia, a country that has changed its outlook on magic performances due to his influence. When he was just nine years old, he traveled to the UK and the USA for his high-school and university studies and became immersed in the western style of living. It was then that he also began performing magic professionally doing close-up magic shows at private events and commercial venues. In 2003, he returned to Saudi Arabia where he opened a magic theater in a resort in Jeddah, bringing audiences in the Middle East magic and illusionist shows for the very first time. By pursuing his love for the art of magic, he also set the stage for others to follow, creating opportunities for performances of illusion throughout the Arab nation.

Now convinced that Ahmed had “the magic ingredient” to draw in TV audiences, MBC1 offered him his own TV show, broadcast throughout the Middle East in 22 countries as well as around the world via Arabic satellite. In each episode, Ahmed proved that he could succeed on even the most difficult legendary challenges, taking risks that no human had ever survived.

Stunts

Driving Blind-Folded Through Skull Valley

Back in 2008, Ahmed decided to challenge common sense by driving blind-folded up and down a mountain road overlooking “Skull Valley” Lebanon which boasts one of the highest fatality rates in the world. Here, sheer cliffs drop 1,400 feet to the valley below along a narrow snaking mountain without safety side barrier to protect cars and stop them from falling off the valley. By establishing a mental connection with a guide, who sat beside him during this feat, placing his hand on his shoulder, Ahmed was able to navigate each curve in this treacherous course, making him the first person to ever succeed in a blindfolded drive at this location. In 2015, he repeated this stunt again for millions of TV viewers on his TV program while blindfolded.

 

Being Submerged in Frozen Waters in the Arctic Circle

Camping outside in the Arctic is difficult enough but when you live in a desert climate like Saudi Arabia, it’s almost impossible. To prepare for his plunge into the frozen waters of the North Pole, Ahmed spent eight days conditioning himself: sleeping in an outdoor hut on a reindeer skin and eating the same foods the Inuits eat. In doing so, he prepared his body for the extreme temperatures, both of the air and of the sub-zero water into which he was submerged in a perforated wooden box, bound with ropes. After being lowered into the water, not only did he have to struggle with the possibility of hypothermia but he also had to hold his breath for three – four minutes as he freed himself from restraints. When he finally burst through to the surface he proved once again, it is mind over matter. You have to be in a state of mind where you are completely focused, in an almost meditative state,” says Ahmed, “you can’t overthink or get nervous so your brain doesn’t use too much oxygen when you are underwater. As my hands started to become numb and I felt my eyes freezing, I remained focused on accomplishing this goal and never let myself think about the possibility of death because I knew in my heart I will make it.”

 

Challenging the Legend of Being Drawn and Quartered

In Medieval Times, a popular way of torturing someone was to tie their limbs to horses and then draw and quarter them. Ahmed decided to challenge this legend in a remote location 70 miles from the Arctic Circle. This location was so remote, in fact, that Ahmed and his crew had to flying to Lulea, Sweden, then travel by snowmobile for another hour to the filming site as there were no roads to reach it. Once there, Ahmed had his legs secured by ropes to two opposing trees and his arms tied to two horses mounted with riders. When the whip was cracked, the horses began walking in opposite directions putting tremendous pressure on his joints and ligaments. However, Ahmed had trained his body to endure the shock and he knew how to deflect the pressure. When the ropes finally snapped and he freed himself from his restraints, the doctor that examined him found only a dislocated shoulder and a few pulled muscles. Ahmed had not only survived this feat but he was able to walk away on his own two feet proving that it’s not only about physical but also mental ability.

 

Suspended Upside-Down 40′ Above the Ground

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and this was the case in 2015 at a location near the great pyramids in Egypt where Ahmed was suspended upside down in a straitjacket, 40′ above the desert floor as his security ropes were set on fire. Having previously practiced this stunt, Ahmed was certain that he could escape. But on the day of the stunt, an improperly tied knot by a technician put him in great danger. With the knot on his security rope tied too loose, he was unable to get the traction he needed to right himself as he rapidly untied the other knots. As he worked to sit up, he fell from the safety rope plunging head first, 40 feet to the ground. In addition to breaking his pelvis in four places and shoulder, Ahmed sustained internal bleeding in his lungs and head injuries that caused memory loss for six weeks. While his doctors cautioned him to rest and let his body heal, he worked feverishly at recovering, despite the odds that he would not be able to stand for two months – or walk for six months. With his strong determination to overcome his injuries, Ahmed pushed through an often painful rehabilitation process. Four months later, with assistance in standing up and walking, Ahmed performed this stunt successfully, this time in Lebanon. The film of his miraculous turn-around was broadcast, not once, but many times on different TV stations earning him off-the-charts ratings on TV as well as on YouTube.

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