film screening on september 11th at rochester museum and science center

As the annual observance of Ramadan comes to a close, the Rochester Museum & Science Center invites the community to explore Muslim traditions at a special presentation of the documentary film “The Muslims I Know” on Friday, September 11 at 5:30pm at the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. Director, producer, writer and editor Mara Ahmed will present her film and lead a follow-up discussion. Full press release.

rochester’s 175 most empowered women

The Rochester Genesee Valley Club of National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc recognized women from all ethnic backgrounds to celebrate the city’s 175th anniversary. Women who helped improve living standards in the city in the areas of health, education, community service, business, religion, politics or government anytime from 1834 to 2009 were nominated. The club honored 175 nominees at an International White Glove Tea Party from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Carey Lake Historical Party House and Rose Garden, 959 Penfield Road. I was one of the award recipients.

tea party and award ceremony

screening of “awaiting for men” on june 18th

RCTV organizes a free film festival every year. this year, it includes an interesting film about muslim women in mauritania – a very different take on muslim countries and cultures. the film is called “awaiting for men” and it will be screened thursday, june 18 at 7.30pm, at the RCTV studios, 21 gorham street, rochester (off of st paul st). i will be leading a discussion after the screening. more information.

“the muslims i know” on PBS (rochester)

my film on PBS, may 12th, 8 pm! u can also buy the dvd at:

Take a journey into the much talked about but little known American community in Mara Ahmed’s personal documentary that focuses on the Pakistani American community in Rochester.

The Muslims I Know airs Tuesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011).
Immediately following the broadcast, Ahmed will participate in an online chat about the production at

The Muslims I Know aims to become a dialogue between Americans who might not otherwise interact by exploring the similarities between Islam and other Abrahamic Faiths. The documentary also celebrates the cultural richness and diversity brought into the American mix by Muslim communities. By asking Pakistani Americans questions non-Muslim Americans have framed through vox pop interviews, Ahmed aims to break the stereotypes that have become well-entrenched since 9/11.

Filmmaker Ahmed, who also narrates the documentary, has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Hartford, Connecticut, and another Master’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan. In spite of her training in finance and economics, Mara was always interested in writing, art, and film.

Ahmed’s film training began in 2006 at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. She started shooting her first film, The Muslims I Know, in 2006. With the assistance Professor Cat Ashworth of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Mara went from 30-40 hours of uncut video to an hour long film during an 11-week period.

Ahmed’s production company is Neelum Films. She is a member of Rochester Women in Film and Television and of Rochester Film Lab since 2007. The Muslims I Know premiered at the Dryden Theatre in June 2008, and will broadcast on WXXI-TV as part of the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival.

The Muslims I Know

“the muslims i know” on PBS, may 12th, 8:00 pm

“the muslims i know” will kick off the rochester high falls intl film festival by being broadcast on PBS (rochester) on may 12th, 2009 at 8pm! there will be a live chat with me, the director, after the broadcast.

check out wxxi’s program guide.

check out the rochester high falls intl film festival – lynn redgrave, cch pounder, and lesley stahl to attend the festival, may 13-18.

lynn redgrave