“I do want to remind people reading this that, if you’re Lebanese, you are a special type of breed that can withstand anything. If you’re Lebanese, you have superpowers that you are unaware of, asleep inside each one of us.”
This is how the Lebanese Hollywood actor Ahmed El-Mawas ended his talk with 961 via a Zoom call.
Ahmed is an award-winning Hollywood actor coming all the way from Tripoli, Lebanon. He is most known for his role in NCIS LA, The Misfits (2021), and North of the 10 (2022), and he has currently a variety of upcoming projects, some of which are already in the making.
He is currently the love interest and father in a Netflix original show called Human Resources – alongside huge Hollywood names.
He introduces it as an adult comedy show about what you can think of as emotional monsters that follow people around.
In the Netflix movie, he portrays the role of a Lebanese father named Amir El-Khoury. It is a typical American Lebanese family, with Amir’s mom living with them in the same house, and she happens to be dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. And even though it’s a comedy, it still touches on real-life human elements.
When asked about his opinion of a Lebanese family being scripted in the show, Ahmed commented, “What makes me immensely proud is that Lebanese people are being viewed in a different light these days. We are breaking the stereotypes now. The fact that they chose a typical Lebanese American family living their lives as Americans, just like anybody else, was wonderful of them to portray.”
“With the mother’s unfortunate disease,” he explained, “we would have all these memories of her being back in Beirut, remembering her young days’ love interest- in the name of Safi, which I also portray, in Arabic! So, I get to speak Arabic as the role of Safi, and English as that of Amir.”
The movie made the news in the US recently when the cast organized a table read, featuring Seth Rogen, to support and raise money for HFC, an organization aimed at empowering, advocating, and supporting families impacted by Alzheimer’s.
When asked about it, Ahmed told us: “I’ve always imagined having an anti-bullying campaign one day when I’m ready to start a community service organization, but then when they asked whether we’d be interested in supporting the idea of the table read, it just hit me!”
Ahmed continued to explain that he is someone who is fond of memories and enjoys reminiscing, and to imagine losing all these memories is very conflicting to him and he would d feel like his entire life was robbed from him.
As a Lebanese expat who regularly visits Lebanon and is well acquainted with its current situation, the only advice Ahmed could give to the Lebanese youth who are losing hope in the country is to keep on dreaming.
He himself was nothing but a dreamer when he was in Beirut, he told us, but he found his way out into the world. Interestingly, he considers education of all sorts the key to escaping the reality we consider ourselves stuck in.
For Ahmad, dreaming plays a crucial role in overcoming obstacles and reaching far.
“It is especially important to dream and to be extremely comfortable with the fact that you have dreams that are bigger than reality! And I know it’s hard to say, especially with the current circumstances in the country, but I do feel like the power of dreaming can result in freedom eventually,” he said.
Ahmed also attributes his charisma and what got him to Hollywood all back to his home country and to the struggles he endured like any and all Lebanese growing up in Lebanon:
“I feel like if I grew up in a world where everything was provided and we’re all comfortable, I probably wouldn’t have dreamt this big. I have a deep love for Lebanon and its people because, at the end of the day, any successful Lebanese got there because they have that hustle mentality and charisma that you get growing up anywhere in Lebanon.”
Praising his people in the homeland, he said: “The Lebanese are distinguished by their charisma and ability to win people easily, and a lot of my skills and what makes me unique in Hollywood is because I was raised in Lebanon.”
“I owe a ton to Lebanon, and I do plan to give back. I don’t know how, but one thing that I am trying to do is stories like this; to continue to inspire people to keep dreaming and keep pushing and keep believing that there is an escape.”
Ahmed is also a huge fan of Lebanese shows and actors. He’s currently watching the Lebanese drama series “Till Death 2,” which he admitted to loving.
He is working to improve his Arabic language, which is a little tarnished as he spent most of his life abroad. He assured us that he is down for any upcoming opportunity that allows him to be part of a Lebanese project.
And finally, when asked about the top comment he is likely to get in Hollywood as a Lebanese, Ahmed said, “They say ‘Oh! You speak English so well!’
And, of course, because being Lebanese means also great food, he’s also asked about food recommendations and what would be the best place to have Lebanese food in Los Angeles.