WHO: MIRAL NIAZI
WHAT: ACTRESS| FILMMAKER
‚ÄúYes, I am like any other Arab woman in this part of the world.
‚ÄúI come from a divorced family and a very strict society. It was a difficult time to grow up. It was a time when children were forced to follow the dreams set by their parents and to focus on jobs that pay the bills. My father asked me when I was 13 years old, ‚ÄúWhat do you want to be when you grow up‚ÄĚ? I said immediately with no hesitation, ‚ÄúI want to direct movies.‚ÄĚ His reaction was ‚ÄėOh Lord, my daughter is in danger!‚Äô I don‚Äôt blame him because that was misconception that society had of the film industry at that time. It was especially true if you were a woman. There just didn‚Äôt seem to be a future for you in film, except if you were in Hollywood.
‚ÄúI was a rebel ever since then, never accepting what society dictated. I remember always thinking, ‚ÄėWhy did God not create me as a boy so I could do whatever I want and go where ever I want?‚Äô I never stopped dreaming.
‚ÄúI inherited my artistic side from my mother – she is an artist. I began painting on every surface I saw: drawing characters from cartoons and movies. I wrote stories and comic books and I was told by my music teacher that I had singing ability.
FINDING MYSELF IN FILM
‚ÄúI did jobs that I never loved just to please my family. But I also felt lost for many years. I worked in marketing and business development, but I was not happy. I wanted to be proud of myself instead of pleasing others and I never gave up despite all the rejections I encountered. Then one day I got my first chance to work in a film production as a crew member. This led to several successive projects that helped build my experience in production. God had heard my prayers. I got a gig in theatre and got approached for film work and TV commercials
‚ÄúGetting into acting as an Arab woman is not easy. I strongly believe I can reach my goal internationally, while still holding on to my principles and my traditions. My slogan in life is ‚Äėdream, believe and act‚Äô.
‚ÄúI have just started a VLOG with a fellow actor. I strongly believe it will be a hit and that it will give us international exposure. My dream is to make it in Hollywood. And dreaming is the first step to reality.‚ÄĚ