The Heroine’s Journey of Abir Alsayed

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

My work has been my passion since an early age.  I have always wanted to be a part of the arts and the entertainment industry.  Being a child, I wanted to become a painter and then an actor, until I watched a fascinating Syrian drama when I was 14, and decided to be a director and worked on making this a reality ever since!  

After graduation,  I have worked on many genres in TV, but in 2005, I decided to specialize in documentaries and non-scripted TV format, because I loved living and experiencing things with real people.  Real life stories are the best written-stories; destiny is the best writer!

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is being content and satisfied and being in harmony with everything in your life; your inner self is in harmony with your outer self and with your activities.  Your circle of family and friends are in tune with your vibes and are appreciative of what you project to the whole world.

What is my greatest fear?

Fear is not in my vocabulary, but if I must choose, I would fear natural disasters and wars.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

I admire John Pilger, Vanessa Beely, Eva Karene Bartlett, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Godfrey Reggio, Najdat Anzur and Ron Fricke.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I invest in experiences and education of all sorts!

On what occasion would I lie?

lying is for people who fear.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I dislike sometimes the endless long nights and crazy working hours but after I see the result, I forget all the exhaustion and get so excited again!

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

All my work experiences were great!  The first time I directed a TV program, the first documentary series I produced and directed or the first time I was a judge in the International Emmy Awards; each achievement had its own glory.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I don’t believe that it should be thought of as a “change” but rather a continuous development to reach out greatest potential.  I would keep developing my skills, work on my self development and learn more languages.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

My greatest achievement was my determination from the beginning; when I announced what field I would like to study, a high school teacher was trying to tell me that it will be difficult for a woman to enter this field.  Later in life, I had to make the very difficult choice between family and career, although it shouldn’t be the case if society gives the same importance to women’s careers as they give to men’s; women should not be put in the situation of choosing between their family or their careers; they should be given that right, just like men, without having to “pay a price” for it!   My determination to keep going after my dream is my greatest achievement, and I am very blessed to have reached where I have reached and my next goal is to win the Emmy Award for my TV show.

Where would I most like to live?

I live in a beautiful city called Dubai in the UAE.  It is the perfect place to work in the media and to be exposed to media trends in the Middle East and internationally.

What is my most treasured possession?

My greatest blessing is my family; my treasured possession is my laptop haha 🙂

What is my most marked characteristic?

Hard working and kind; both are not only a philosophy for me, but rather work ethics.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

The beach!

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Any restaurant with a great view and vegan options but namely life n one café and restaurant where it is serene and the crowd is amazing, and al barari community where greenery is the main scene and Omnia gourmet where the interior, food and scenery are just amazing!

What books influenced my life and how?

The alchemist by Paulo Coelho had influenced me a lot on story-telling, and on spirituality.  Also Chicken Soup for the Soul: Random Acts of Kindness: 101 Stories of Compassion and Paying It ForwardI by Amy Newmark is a book that made me feel the world is a better place.

Who are my favorite writers?

I love Coelho’s work but also the work of Maya Angelou, Amy Newmark, Gibran Khalil Gibran, Ralph Nader, John Pilger, Nizar Qabbani and Kathy Kelly.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

A mother’s lullaby to her child.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

I love smart characters like Robert Langdon of Dan Brown and I love espionage characters like Hunt in Mission Impossible and Bond in 007.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

People who make a difference in their communities, kind people, and people who stand for a just cause like Kathy Kelly, Brian Terrell and Norman Finkelstein.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Love Actually, Before sunrise, Bilal a new breed of hero and Café de Flore.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is in my blood! It is my favorite form of expression after love and compassion.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My dad, he has always been my backbone; from the moment where he supported me in making my portfolio to be accepted in university in the field that I chose, to the time where he used to carry TV and filming equipment with me in the bus and walking in the snow to reach the studio. He has flown 13 hours to come and see my graduation film and he is the first I consult in major steps I take in my life and career. God bless all parents!

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

International producers who would like to make innovative ideas especially about the Middle East, women, healthy living, vegan/ vegetarian lifestyle, kindness and people who make a difference in the world. Also I am very much interested in investigative journalism and TV shows.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019?

Tom Cruise, and Morgan Freeman.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

An investigative series examining unique topics to be explored in the Middle East and a film for National geographic.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

MBC Network and National Geographic.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

It is my motto: when you love what you do, you cannot cease doing it!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Jihad Mnasria, Amani Moussa.

How can you contact me?

Link to my work

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