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Thousands of Muslims get the Attention of Netflix

Thousands of Muslims get the Attention of Netflix

Author Mona Khalef by

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Peace House Team

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I can see it now. You’re laying in bed with a bowl of popcorn by your side, you’re flipping through the same old shows on Netflix like you do every hour, and there he is: a Muslim. But this time (dun dun dun!) the Muslim is the hero of the story. I know, it’s revolutionary. Who would have thought?

I know exactly who you can thank: Ahmad Hussam, Nick Armero, Omar Kazzoun, Taylor Valentine, Taha Faituri, Mahmoud Ali, and Fadi Kayali. Based in Tampa, Florida, these brilliant young men created Peace House, a production studio that excited the world with their viral “Muslims Read Hate Comments” video.

Bless them. We all needed a little humor.

It started when Hussam attended a few acting classes. Unfortunately, he was bluntly told that he fits the “terrorist” typecast. Ridiculous. After much thought and a cool episode of “Vikings” on The History Channel, the idea came about. Yes people, our prayers have been answered. Say Alhamdulillah.

Think back to the last time you saw a Muslim on a TV show-- maybe a Law & Order episode. He was the criminal/murderer/bad guy, right? Well, now the Muslim guy has a new narrative. Two years ago, Salahadin came to life (his life story, that is). The life of Salahadin was and is absolutely extraordinary. It’s time for the world to know the trials and struggles of Salahadin Ibn Ayyub.

“It’s time to tell a story,” Hussam says. It’s creative, innovative, and brilliant.

These men have worked extremely hard to get to where they are. Two years ago, I met Hussam and the Salahadin team at ISNA’s 50th annual convention in Washington D.C. where they completely blew me away with their amazing trailer. Now two years later, their dreams are bigger, brighter, and closer than ever. The social media project they’ve launched called #NETFLIXListen has received over 150,000 tweets with the hashtag.

Finally, the Netflix board has responded to the demand.

Impressive, I know. A large amount of Netflix original actors have tweeted Peace House with praise and Buzzfeed published an article about Hussam, calling him a Muslim hero. The excitement is growing!

The Salahadin team met with MBC, an Arab broadcasting company, and are now reaching out to Netflix. The plan is to rocket launch this story into the world, create a multi-season show revolving around the life of Salahadin Ibn Ayyub, and break barriers.

Just days ago, I met Hussam again and asked, “Why do you want this so badly?” His response was simple. “I want to show parallels from now and then. We all want to bring new ideas to the table and we want to break stereotypes.”

Beautifully said. Did I cry? Perhaps.

Still, they need your help. Though we’re 99.99% certain this show will make history, the campaign needs to be everywhere. Tweet it, post it, blog it, write it in sharpie on your forehead and walk around campus - it doesn’t matter. Get the word out! You need this. I need this. We all need this.

If you haven’t seen their hit trailer (possibly because you live under a rock), you need to. This show will be 10x better than any episode of Parks & Rec. Hold me to it.

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