Ahmed Ahmed... Comedian triggers 911 call!
Over the weekend I picked up an airport passenger whose name caught my attention. As I later found out, it seems that in recent days, his name has caught the attention of a much larger audience... all thanks to a 911 call!
Ahmed (pronounced Ahk-med) was born in Egypt but immigrated to California with his family when he was just one month old.
Because of his family heritage he actually has a very lengthy name that was beyond my ability to write and memorize. But he goes by the name Ahmed Ahmed.
As a common Arabic name, Ahmed literally means "highly praised". It is a shortened name of the prophet Mohammad.
Based on his illustrious career, it seems that Ahmed is definitely living up to his name!
Growing up in Riverside, California, Ahmed was always fascinated by television and the movies. After high school he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. There he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In 1996 he had his first big break, landing an acting roll in the blockbuster suspense movie, Executive Decision, starring Kurt Russell and Haley Berry. He went on to appear in a number of other movies including Swingers, Iron Man, and You Don't Mess With the Zohan. He also took rolls in a variety of television sitcoms.
Although Ahmed had developed a successful acting career, he was frustrated that he was often typecast in the roll of a terrorist or villain. He was concerned that he was doing his own culture a dis-service.
With a strong desire to break down relational barriers and encourage cross-cultural dialogue, Ahmed began directing and producing. He also enjoyed communicating through humor and began honing his skills as a stand up comedian.
Through his acting, documentary projects and comedy routines Ahmed has gained a growing audience. After releasing a documentary titled "Just Like Us" he attracted political attention and was invited to dine with President Obama at the White House and also with Hillary Clinton at the State Department.
During his recent comedy tour in the United States Ahmed was invited to give two performances at "Off the Hook Comedy Club" in Naples, Florida. The day following his first act he received an awkward, yet interesting, visit from two Collier County Sheriff's Deputies. It seems that an audience member, who felt uncomfortable with Ahmed's humor, called 911. He was apparently concerned that Ahmed was a potential Middle East terrorist.
(The attendee may have lost sight that he was attending a comedy club.)
This unfounded 911 call has propelled Ahmed's career and has placed him in the worldwide limelight. Many of our Ubernamez readers have probably heard the local and national "buzz" surrounding Ahmed.
With all of the notoriety, Ahmed was invited back to Naples for a follow-up comedy performance on Wednesday, May 22. News reports are indicating that Ahmed entertained a packed house at "Off the Hook Comedy Club" and incorporated the 911 call into his routine. He was well received by a diverse crowd of locals and visitors who were attracted from around the state of Florida.
Ahmed has kept a positive attitude about the entire situation and seems to hold no ill-will. He has even expressed his gratitude to the 911 caller and offered him two free tickets to his show. He jokingly quipped, "You just can't buy this type of fabulous advertising!"
It was my pleasure to meet Ahmed and to chat about his experiences as a non-traditional, Muslim entertainer and comedian who triggered a call to 911...and that's no joke!
Please welcome him to the Ubernamez family!
Ahmed currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Learn more about Ahmed by visiting AhmedAhmed.com