On acting, peace, being American, and much more.
I love a good story because it gives us the opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes and connect with that person, no matter how different they may be from us, in a way that cannot be done as effectively by any other means. Storytelling has been a part of the human experience for as long as we’ve been able to communicate with each other, from pictographs to oral storytelling to literature and film. We even tell our story when we respond to someone’s query “How was your day?”
That’s what I loved about this interview between Melissa Rebronja and her guest Kamal Moummad. Through Melissa’s succinct and apt questions, she guides Kamal to tell the story of his journey from Paris, France to Los Angeles, California and how he came to be an actor, peace ambassador and humanitarian.
It was Kamal’s athletic skill that brought him to the United States where he played NCAA Division 1 College Basketball (and Professional Basketball overseas), which in turn led him to a successful modeling career, expanded into the world of acting, and provided the right opportunity for the humanitarian work he now does.
He shares his experience working with remarkable actors and directors in many exotic places, a touching encounter with a U.S. Customs Agent, how traveling is such a great teacher, and why he always signs his name “One Love ~ Kamal.” When discussing what it means to be an American, they inevitably touched upon what it means to be a Muslim man and the challenges of being Muslim in America, particularly right now.
Kamal became a Peace Ambassador for the Kingdom of Morocco and then the Regional Director for the greater Middle East with the mission to increase the level of peace, prosperity and love in the world. I’m fortunate to know Kamal and I can tell you that, without doubt, this is an example of “you get what you give” because he’s one of those people who just exudes peace, prosperity and love to all those who come into contact with him, no matter who they are.
It takes a special kind of person to conduct an interview successfully because I find that most people (even professional talk show hosts) tend to interrupt their guests a lot and/or talk about themselves. Listening is not just a passive activity; genuinely listening to another person is an active skill that takes self-awareness and the ability to get out of your own way.
Melissa’s skill and humility as an interviewer allow her to step back and give her guest the full spotlight, and she shows respect by truly listening to what Kamal is saying. Her questions are, therefore, thoughtful and intelligent and intriguing, which allows the viewer to see the world through Kamal’s eyes and connect with him in a unique way.
By the way, Melissa’s from the former Yugoslavia (now Serbia) but was raised Canada, so as a Canadian myself, I have to give a shout out to a fellow Canuck! :-)
Watch the full interview of Kamal Moummad by Melissa Rebronja here.
You can also find more of her interviews on her YouTube channel.