Meet this week’s Friend Feature Friday Ayah Masfaka from Michigan!
“Taking the train in Switzerland was surreal. Subhanallah, the most beautiful country I’ve traveled to.”
This was at the second flashmob my friends and I organized in Detroit, Michigan to spread awareness about the Syrian Revolution in 2012.
“I have to take pictures of my food before I eat…!”
“Living in the Gulf, you get used to wearing the Abaya and even keeping up with the latest styles and trends.”
“One of the best events I’ve ever attended- Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2014. The most successful and important people in the Arab Media field attended.”
I have known Ayah since I was in 5th grade! Funny thing is that her dad was my Arabic and Quran teacher at Crescent Academy International. Even though she is younger than me this smarty pants was in my Arabic class level and we always had fun times! The thing I love about Ayah – even from a young age – how confident and sure of herself she is. I admire how she never follows the status quo and pursues her own dreams and ambitions. Mashallah she is an excellent role model for all young Muslim girls – including her four beautiful younger sisters – and aspiring film makers. Ayah has a passion for film and I can’t wait to witness all of her accomplishments unfold.
Keep reading and get to know Ayah!
Keep reading and get to know Ayah!
1) Educational Background?
AS degree in Computer Information Systems, Oakland Community College, Michigan
BS degree with a Film major and a Speech minor, Wayne State University, Michigan
I wanted to study film from day one but my father insisted I get a different degree and then study film. That was his way of making sure I had a “real” degree in case the media world didn’t work out for me. However, I only did an AS degree in Computer Information Systems then moved on to what I really wanted: a BS degree with a Film major and a Speech minor. My next educational goal is to work towards an MBA.
2) Current Job Title?
Story Manager at Qubba (a production house in Jeddah). Basically what that means is I manage all the stories (ads, series, or films) the company writes.
3) Zodiac Sign? Age?
4) Ethnic Background?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer because I feel like I’m from so many places all at once. My parents are originally Turkish/Syrian. I was born in Amman, Jordan but lived 20 years of my life in Michigan, USA. Then, I moved to Bahrain for 2 years and 6 months ago moved again to Jeddah, KSA. I guess Arab American works as an answer to “what’s your ethic background?” though it’s a bit complicated!
5) Why did you choose or why do you love your profession/field of study?
I decided I wanted to study film to make movies that portray a positive image of Muslims and Islam in the mainstream media. I still hope to do this one day, but for now I’m working in KSA and most of my work is for Saudi/Gulf audiences. I’m currently gaining experience to prepare me to create films for a worldwide audience in the next few years.
6) What is the most rewarding thing about your profession/field of study?
The most rewarding thing about my work is brainstorming ideas, characters, and events and seeing it all come together to make one beautiful story which eventually becomes a series or a film.
7) What is your 5-year goal?
My 5 year goal is to finish writing and producing a series in the Middle East, then move on to short films and eventually feature films for a worldwide audience.
8) What are your hobbies or interests outside of your profession/work?
My hobby is traveling and visiting different cities and countries. Learning about new cultures and different traditions is a very interesting and mind opening experience. Also, I enjoy photography and scrap booking.
9) Favorite Website?
YouTubeis my favorite website because anything I miss I can later catch up on by finding it on YouTube and watching it. As well as Pinterest, it helped me a lot with my engagement, wedding and setting up my new home.
10) Favorite TV Show?
Breaking Bad was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen! Currently my writing team and I are using it as an example for the series we’re writing because it has a brilliant story structure.
11) Next travel destination?
I recently came back from Qatar and Bahrain, and London so I need to rest and get back to work. My husband and I would love to travel to Bali, Japan, and South Africa.
12) Who is your style icon?
Ralph Lauren is my style icon because I feel like most of his pieces work for Muslim women who wear the headscarf.
13) What are 3 wardrobe staples you can’t live without?
1) Tunics/shirt dresses- They’re perfect for quickly matching hijabs with them. Add jeans and you’re ready to go. 2) Black Pumps- they match most of my wardrobe and can turn an outfit from casual to elegant. 3) Coats/Trench Coats- they’re perfect in the winter and fall.
14) Three words that describe your style or personality?
Optimistic, Adventurous and Appreciative.
15) What would you tell your 18 year old self?
For some reason it doesn’t feel like it was 7 years ago… I would tell myself to stay committed to film, work on more projects and use the resources I had at the time. Also, I would tell myself to trust in God and not worry too much about planning every detail of my life. Allah is the best of planners and things will turn out better than I could’ve ever planned out; Alhamdullah.
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” – Rumi