Saturday, March 4, 2017

USA: Ahmadi Muslim medical students cast in a Chris Hemsworth movie filming in New Mexico


“Because of our religious beliefs, members of our community have been persecuted by the Taliban in the Middle East. We did not feel comfortable portraying people who have killed members of our community.”

Humza Ahmed and Haris Ahmed are brothers and met Harris Ahmed at school.
(Photo: The DO)
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The DO | osteopathic.org
By Jessica Salopek | March 2, 2017

From medical school to Hollywood 

When a classmate at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces sent Humza Ahmed, Haris Ahmed and Harris Ahmed a casting call for movie extras, they took it as more of a joke.

Humza Ahmed and Haris Ahmed are brothers and met Harris Ahmed at school.

The students sent an email to the casting director and were almost immediately offered roles. But four months of filming didn’t fit into the demanding schedule of first year medical students. They negotiated their participation down to two weekends filming in Socorro and Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico.

The movie, “Horse Soldiers,” starring Chris Hemsworth, is based on the 2010 book of the same name. It recounts the true story of U.S. Special Forces operatives fighting the Taliban in post 9/11 Afghanistan.

The Ahmeds were originally asked to portray Taliban soldiers, but they refused because of their religious beliefs. The Ahmeds are of Pakistani heritage and were born into the revivalist Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

“Because of our religious beliefs, members of our community have been persecuted by the Taliban in the Middle East,” Humza Ahmed says, “We did not feel comfortable portraying people who have killed members of our community.”

Instead, they took on roles as Afghani villagers and members of the northern alliance who worked with American soldiers to combat the Taliban. The trio said they gained insight into their futures as physicians and an introduction to the healthcare issues facing New Mexico while working on the set of this major Hollywood production.

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