US-Muslim actor Mahershala Ali nabs another Oscar as ‘Green Book’ wins top prize

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Mahershala Ali also won the Best Suppporting Actor Oscar in 2017. (File/AFP)
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Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali won the two acting prizes at the Oscars. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 February 2019

US-Muslim actor Mahershala Ali nabs another Oscar as ‘Green Book’ wins top prize

  • The film from Universal Pictures stars Mahershala Ali as an African-American concert pianist in the 1960s
  • The 44-year-old won also Best Supporting Actor in 2017 for “Moonlight”

DUBAI: Mahershala Ali won his second Best Supporting Actor award at the Oscars on Sunday night, for his performace in “Green Book,” the 91st Academy Award's Best Picture.

The film from Universal Pictures stars Mahershala Ali as an African-American concert pianist in the 1960s and Viggo Mortensen as his driver. It won three Oscars on Sunday, including best supporting actor for Ali and best original screenplay.

Ali dedicated his award to his grandmother, whom he said told him “that I could do anything I put my mind to” and pushed him “to think positively.”

“I know I would not be here without her,” he said on stage.

 

 

The 44-year-old won Best Supporting Actor in 2017 for “Moonlight” when he again made history as the first Muslim to triumph in the category.

Ali, born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore to a Christian mother in Oakland, California in 1974, converted to Islam in 1999.

“It just felt like a life sign. I’d come from sports, so I appreciated the discipline that the religion requires. For me, it was a way of living more deliberately,” said Ali.

He added, in an interview with British magazine the Radio Times: “I felt I was connecting to something that was making my physical experience more peaceful.”

Watch the trailer of the film:


British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

Updated 15 min 43 sec ago

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

  • “Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually,” Idrissi said
  • “I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi commented

LONDON: Born in North West London to Moroccan and Pakistani parents, model Mariah Idrissi has made quite a name for herself – starring in campaigns for major high street retailers, hosting TED Talks and sharing snaps of her travels with her 88,000 Instagram followers.
The hijab-wearing model has been vocal about her preference for modest fashion and spoke to Arab News about her style, faith and achievements.
“I wear hijab to represent my faith, my culture, and because I genuinely love the idea of modest dress,” she said. “I think it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear and also not lose a sense of your personality, hence why there is so much diversity in modest styles.”


Her breakthrough came when she was scouted in a shopping center. She did not think it would lead to anything; however, she was casted for an H&M ad. “The campaign went viral. From that moment I realized how little the media represented Muslims, and if they did it was often negative. That motivated me to continue to pursue a career in fashion and change the narrative around how hijab is viewed in the West,” she explained.
She also gave her first significant public speech in 2016, a TEDxTeen live-streamed to millions, about how modest clothing has now become a trend. Idrissi believes the fashion industry is catering more to women who want modest wear than it did a decade ago.
“I feel it is definitely improving,” she said. “Summertime can still be a little bit of a struggle in comparison to autumn and winter which is cooler, so there is still room for improvement.”


After her breakthrough with H&M, Idrissi went on to participate in projects with leading brands, including MAC Cosmetics and M&S in the Middle East. She also looks forward to working on projects in Saudi Arabia when an opportunity arises.
“Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually. I feel there is so much potential and opportunity. I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi said.
She is now working on a few film projects, both features and documentaries, to continue challenging negative stereotypes around Muslims.


Moreover, she aims to inspire other potential modest models and advises them to always ask why before embarking on this path. Asking why has helped her on this career journey because even through difficult times, she was able to push forward.
As her upbringing has taught her, Idrissi is demonstrating that modernity and progression are not in conflict with tradition and customs: They are two sides of the same coin.