Salam alaikum people,
I'm working on a documentary for Channel 4. It's part of Channel 4's Islam season, alongside The Seven Wonders of Islam and The Qur'an documentaries.
Our project is meant to be more fun and less serious than those two documentaries and I would really appreciate it if the brothers and sisters on the forum could give me a helping hand.
Basically, our project is to cover a trip looking for 500 Osamas around the Muslim world. The programme is web-based as the trip is happening, and when our team returns we'll make it into a 1-hour documentary. You can check out the trip as it's happening (http://osamaloves.channel4.com/
), and feel free to post comments, whether supportive or critical.
The idea of the project is to introduce people to challenge people's stereotypes about Muslims and Islam, and the way we're doing this is by taking the most [in]famous Muslim name and showing that most Osamas are just normal people that aren't interested in bombing anybody.
My job has been to find as many of the main Usamas as possible. I've tried to have a bit of a mix between more serious Usamas and less serious ones. In the UK, for example, we got Usama Hasan, son of Shaykh Suhaib Hasan. In Nigeria we found an actor in Hausa films who originally graduated from a Qur'an school and now plays a father figure in most of his films, and who's very religious and has a secondary job selling Qur'an tapes and cds. In Egypt I found a football player who's famous because he's religious and even released a Qur'an tape with his recitation to raise money for charity. In Indonesia we found a dentist who makes his children memorise at least one ayah of Qur'an every day. In the US we found the son of Yusuf Talal de Lorenzo (translator of al-Adab al-Mufrad amongst other things).
We've also got less serious Osamas, which you can find on our website. Anyway, basically I'm now looking for as many Usamas as possible, particularly in Toronto and the UK, and I would really appreciate any help you could give me.
If you have any concerns about the project, don't hesitate to contact me, either by PM or on the forum or writing to me at my work email email@example.com
(don't worry about my official name, I'm definitely Muslim and references can be provided). I'll try and be as open and honest as possible.