By Nawara Fattahova
“You can’t sit near the emergency exit because you are over 50 years old”. This remark motivated 54-year-old Khalid Al-Rayes to shoot an entertainment show encouraging those who are above 50 years of age to enjoy their life. “Age is just a number. Reaching 50 doesn’t mean that life is over. It’s just the beginning. Those who retire at this or an older age can still enjoy life by taking care of themselves and participating in many entertainment activities,” Rayes, producer of the ‘After 50’ show, told Kuwait Times.
Over 670,000 people in Kuwait (16.5 percent of the population) are above 50 years of age. The Kuwaiti government is not focusing much on this category, as most of the attention is given to youth and children. Also in Kuwait many citizens prefer to retire in their early 50s, and they think that practicing sports and other activities are not suitable for them anymore.
Rayes aims to make a positive impact on society through entertainment. “Through the ‘After 50’ show, I highlight entertaining and challenging activities and adventures that I can do at my age. People don’t necessarily have to travel to these places to live the same experience, but they can do many other physical activities to improve their health and have fun,” he explained.
‘After 50′ or (Ba’ad alkhamseen) is being shown on Qatar TV and is also available on Rayes’ channel on YouTube. “I shot 13 episodes of this show in five countries: Turkey, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. It took me five weeks of shooting in these countries. This is season one, and I’m planning to shoot more episodes in the future. I would like to cover all continents and have one season on each continent,” Rayes pointed out.
“After shooting the pilot episode, 300 people saw it and praised it. This encouraged me to continue and shoot the 13 episodes. The idea of After 50 started in the beginning of 2019 after I left work and decided to do something I really like. I had worked in around 15 different jobs including being self-employed, but I didn’t really love any of them. As I had studied film direction in the US and never worked in this field, I thought this is the best opportunity to do so, especially with the popularity of social media,” stressed Rayes.
“I first presented my idea of the show to various producers, who all agreed it’s a new and good idea. But they all said I have to produce a pilot episode to present it to sponsors. Unfortunately, the pandemic broke out after I shot the pilot episode and it was difficult to travel. I was posting photos and teasers on my Instagram account, and people were commenting on the posts, asking what do I mean by ‘Life starts after 50’,” he told Kuwait Times.
“In May 2020, a friend in Qatar asked to see the pilot episode, and he loved it. He then presented it to Qatar TV, where it was approved and they accepted to produce it. We then shot the 13 episodes that are now showing,” Rayes added.
The show even attracted a younger audience. “People I know told me after watching the show that it encouraged them to practice sports and take care of their physical health.
They told me that they feel more positive after watching the show. I was targeting older people, but I was surprised that many of my viewers are children. The idea of my show is to entertain people in the first place and then motivate them to change their life for the better,” he noted.
“People will enjoy watching the episodes that were shot in different countries and unique locations. In one of the episodes, I achieved one of my dreams of flying, as I tried the hang glider, which was very exciting. I experienced the feeling of a falcon while flying. In the first episode, I jump into the Blue Eye lake in Albania, which I spent a long time reaching,” said Rayes.
“My mission is to make a positive impact on society through entertainment. During the lockdowns and curfews, people are looking for entertaining programs as they spend most of the time at home. I hope they will enjoy watching After 50,” he concluded.