‘The fact that these events are true beggars belief ... We need someone in the world to be our yardstick, a benchmark by which we may assess our own gaffes and shortcomings. Osamah is our man’
Andrew Knight Award - winning screenwriter and creator of Sea Change
Michael Mohammed Ahmad (The Tribe) in conversation with Osamah Sami about life since his book Good Muslim Boy.
Meet Osamah Sami: a schemer, a dreamer and a madcap antihero of spectacular proportions whose terrible life choices keep leading to cataclysmic consequences … despite his best laid plans to be a Good Muslim Boy.
By the age of thirteen, Osamah had survived the Iran–Iraq war, peddled fireworks and chewing gum on the Iranian black market, proposed 'temporary marriage' not once but three times, and received countless floggings from the Piety Police for trying to hold hands with girls in dark cinemas.
And the trouble didn’t stop when Osamah immigrated to Australia. As much as he tried to be a Good Muslim Boy – his father was the lead cleric in Melbourne, after all – life was short and there were beaches with girls in bikinis to skip school for, a medical degree to fake because the son of a cleric should become a doctor, and an arranged marriage to run away from because his heart belonged to someone else.
Good Muslim Boy is a hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of loss, love and family. It's about what we'll do to live up to expectations – and what we must do to live with ourselves.
Osamah Sami was born in war torn Iran to Iraqi parents and escaped to call Australia home. His experiences left him confused. His choice to forge a career as an artist (actor/writer/comedian) has caused his loved-ones terrible anxiety. His mother would love nothing more than for him to get real employment, at the local IGA (if it was good enough for Anh Do, it’s good enough for her son).
As a writer, he has completed two feature films: Ali’s Wedding – a Muslim romantic comedy based on this life, and Be Less Beautiful. He has also written a vague number of plays; co-created and developed eight-episode sitcom Baghdad to the Burbs; co?created the web series 2 Refugees & A Blonde and keeps an unpopular blog Halal Aussie Daily. Good Muslim Boy was highly commended in the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and is the winner of the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award – Best Multi Cultural book.
On stage he has performed for Belvoir St. Theatre Company, Big West, La Mamma, Melbourne Theatre Company, Theatre@Risk, and over two dozen other independent shows. Osamah also played the title role in Saddam the Musical, which got him deported from the U.S., having been mistaken for a terrorist. In fairness, he does barrack for AFL team, the Bombers. On screen, he played lead roles in films Saved (dir: Tony Ayres) opposite Claudia Karvan and in Dee McLachlan’s award winning 10 Terrorists!. Contrary to popular belief, he has played a terrorist only twice.
Osamah is listed as a ‘notable Australian Muslim’ by the Commonwealth of Australia. He is currently investigating how this could have occurred. He is also working on being a better father to his two beautiful daughters.
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