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A soul-searching filmmaker sets out to make a documentary about the United Arab Emirates' Islamic hotline center, where scholars answer questions and guide people towards the right path according to the Quran. As a friendship blossoms with one of the scholars, the filmmaker's relationship with a Muslim boyfriend makes her question her beliefs and the integrity of her film. This self-reflexive documentary follows one woman's journey to understand Islam and to love, regardless of differences in faith.
Official Selection at Short and Sweet Film Festival 2019
Official Selection at Big Muddy Film Festival 2019
Official Selection at Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival 2019
Official Selection at IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival 2019
Official Selection at Queens World Film Festival 2019
Finding Nasseebi is a film that I never thought I would make, but at the same time, it is the film that I have to make. Nasseebi means something that is meant to be in Arabic. In the film, I strive to find what the right spiritual path for me is, while simultaneously trying to get closer to my Nasseebi, the one who is meant for me, by learning about his religion. Moreover, Finding Nasseebi also signifies that I am sharing with the audience my process of finding the best way to tell this story.
When I first set out to make this film about the female muftis working at Abu Dhabi’s Fatwa Center, I was drawn to the subject because of a strong desire to learn more about the culture and religion of the United Arab Emirates, a country that I have called home for the past few years. Not being brought up with any specific religion makes me especially curious to understand what drives the muftis to dedicate both their private and working life to Islam.
However, half way through the process, I found that the familiarity I developed with the Center did not bring about an emotional bond between the muftis and me. As I became frustrated with not having the type of relationship that enabled me to raise sensitive questions, I stopped and asked myself, if I am afraid to open up about my own story, how can I expect others to be willing to reciprocate with the same honesty?
The making of this self-reflexive documentary reminded me of the reason why I became a filmmaker: to find new perspectives and get closer to the truth. I am Finding Nasseebi, and making this film is part of my attempt to create a complete self.