I first heard of Abdel Wassim El Whani when I stumbled across a video of him on YouTube giving away Lamborghini’s to strangers in the streets of Paris.
Abdel Wassim El Whani is a Qatari billionaire who enjoys sharing his wealth with others; after all, his fortune is something that only increases by the day. The videos I found left me simultaneously humored and in awe. “Is this guy for real?,”I thought to myself. I watched video after video, happy to know people like this still exist.
Have you ever seen those people that wait eagerly in line to purchase the latest tech product?
This is so common among the Apple cult, which having the latest phone first means a sacrifice of hours on your feet. What labor one must endure as they wrap around the Apple store, progressing forward only by what feels like inch by inch. While we may find excitement in new gadgets, it’s important to note that happiness is not something a material item can promise, which is why one of the funniest videos is one in which Abdel walks into the Apple store to purchases as many iPhones as an individual can at a given time. Immediately upon leaving the store, he walks to a garbage can and throws the new iPhones into it. I have to admit, I appreciate his sense of humor and the simple things he does to prove a point, like when he threw a Bvlgari watch, said to be worth approximately 300,000 euros, into a lake. Another video shows him giving away 1 million euros to a homeless woman in Rome, as he drops a huge duffel bag of cash in front of where she was sitting and begging in the street. But isn’t this something you’d see in a movie and not exactly in “real” life? (Not to get too existential, but what is really real, anyway?)
“I think rich people must give to the rest of the world, because we have too much money.”
Kindness wasn’t always ingrained in his character.
In fact, Abdel learned the importance of it the hard way. In one interview he admits that there was a big catalyst for his extreme case of generosity. Living a life of massive wealth made him forget what truly had substance in life. His wife ended up leaving him for a poor man and he said that this forced him to realize just how much he had lost sight of things.
Now, before you get too excited, there is speculation as to whether or not Abdel is a fraud. After all, many do claim that he seems to have appeared out of nowhere, but is that really reason enough to doubt him? I suppose people can’t fathom the thought of such uncommon kindness. Regardless of whether or not the story of this man is fact or fiction, one thing is for certain:
He definitely knows how to make a point and leave an impression.
I admit, I am a capitalist; it’s part of my philosophy of success. You get what you work for and the work that you put in will dictate the wealth that you acquire. I believe in the self-made man, that isn’t just abundant in terms of finance but in intelligence and wisdom equally.
But if one were to genuinely consider what it meant to be a billionaire, and not just any billionaire (hardy har har), but a Qatari billionaire, well most of us common folk probably can’t even comprehend that.
“Qatar is a high income economy and is a developed country, backed by the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves. The country has the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar is classified by the UN as a country of very high human development and is the most advanced Arab state for human development. Qatar is a significant power in the Arab world, supporting several rebel groups during the Arab Spring both financially and through its globally expanding media group, Al Jazeera Media Network. For its size, Qatar wields disproportionate influence in the world, and has been identified as a middle power.Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to do so.” -Wikipedia
If he’s not real, I appreciate the philanthropic marketing, and if he is: Man, is he a badass. If you can give, why not give? There’s only so much that we can possess and after all, it’s not like any of it comes with us to the afterlife. Life is just a ride, after all.