Muharrem is not used to being able to communicate with everyone around him because he’s deaf, and not everyone around him knows sign language.
One morning he ventured out into the city streets with his sister Özlem and got a lovely surprise of everyone he encountered being able to speak sign language and communicate with him. It was all put together as part of an ad to promote the Samsung call centers for the hearing impaired and to give Muharrem “one day, with no barriers.”
In the video above, people learn sign language and video cameras are placed around the city, in the month leading up to the big day. On Dec. 28, 2014, Muharrem ventures out with his sister and cameras followed him to record the stunt. A shop employee tells him about the store’s bagels. Another man offers him an apple. A woman who accidentally bumps into him, apologizes. All of them communicate through sign language.
After the first few people interacted with him in sign language, he became confused.
“What’s going on?” he asked his sister. The two continued walking.
When his taxi driver spoke to him in his own language, he looked overwhelmed. Finally the siblings arrived at a city square, where Muharrem was greeted by name by a virtual representative of Samsung. She explained that the surprise has been set up just for him.
Muharrem wiped away his tears, hugged his sister and thanked his neighbors for their help.
Samsung Turkey posted it on YouTube calling it “The Most Emotional Surprise of the Year.” The ad, titled “Hearing Hands,” has gone viral, with an unofficial version getting 3 million views.
While the video may be an ad, the company representative signs a profound message that many would agree with, “A world without barriers is our dream as well.”