PHOTOS: Moroccan mimics Charlie Chaplin to mask hardships | Hindustan Times
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PHOTOS: Moroccan mimics Charlie Chaplin to mask hardships

Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST
  • Moroccan national Belhussein Abdelsalam was arrested and lost his job three decades ago, he saw Charlie Chaplin on television and in that moment decided upon a new career: impersonating the British actor and silent movie maker remembered for his Little Tramp character. Abdelsalam has been performing on the streets of Morocco’s capital nearly every day since then. Making people laugh in Rabat provides a meager living: He earns under $150 a month from tips. But he is proud to be the street side celebrity known to residents simply as Charlo. The former sports photographer sees parallels between himself and the screen legend, whose humor and painted face hid a deep well of painful childhood memories. In the same way, imitating Chaplin gave Abdelsalam a comedic mask to hide his own sadness and hardships.
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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator applies makeup as he prepares to start a new day of work, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. When 58-year-old Moroccan Belhussein Abdelsalam was arrested and lost his job three decades ago, he saw Charlie Chaplin on television and in that moment decided upon a new career: impersonating the British actor and silent movie maker remembered for his Little Tramp character. the television and decided in that moment upon a new career: Impersonating the American Silent Movie star. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator applies makeup as he prepares to start a new day of work, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. When 58-year-old Moroccan Belhussein Abdelsalam was arrested and lost his job three decades ago, he saw Charlie Chaplin on television and in that moment decided upon a new career: impersonating the British actor and silent movie maker remembered for his Little Tramp character. the television and decided in that moment upon a new career: Impersonating the American Silent Movie star. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator performs on a main avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator performs on a main avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, displays images of his younger self as a sports photographer in the 1980s, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, displays images of his younger self as a sports photographer in the 1980s, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, 58, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator feeds pigeons as he waits for customers in one of the main avenues in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, 58, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator feeds pigeons as he waits for customers in one of the main avenues in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts while performing for some children, in an avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. When 58-year-old Moroccan Belhussein Abdelsalam was arrested and lost his job three decades ago, he saw Charlie Chaplin on television and in that moment decided upon a new career: impersonating the British actor and silent movie maker remembered for his Little Tramp character. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)(AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts while performing for some children, in an avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. When 58-year-old Moroccan Belhussein Abdelsalam was arrested and lost his job three decades ago, he saw Charlie Chaplin on television and in that moment decided upon a new career: impersonating the British actor and silent movie maker remembered for his Little Tramp character. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)(AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator carries balloons to sell on a main avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator carries balloons to sell on a main avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts, while speaking of his past life, in his home in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts, while speaking of his past life, in his home in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator puts on a clown outfit in a flower shop as he prepares to start a new day of work, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator puts on a clown outfit in a flower shop as he prepares to start a new day of work, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator puts on a clown outfit in a flower shop before performing, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator puts on a clown outfit in a flower shop before performing, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator speaks with his mother in their home after a day of working, in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator speaks with his mother in their home after a day of working, in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP)

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Belhussein Abdelsalam, 58, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts while performing for some children, in an avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020(AP) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Apr 02, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Belhussein Abdelsalam, 58, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator reacts while performing for some children, in an avenue in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020(AP)

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