Arab Americans made significant gains in Congress and in local elections this past Tuesday. While the focus has been on the exciting victories of two amazing women to Congress: Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, locally, Arab American film producer Ahmad Zahra was elected to Fullerton City Council.
Ahmad, who was born and raised in Syria, is a small business owner of Zahra Pictures LLC, a film production company based in Fullerton. He also led the effort for the Clean & Green City Resolution to reaffirm Fullerton’s commitment to fighting pollution and climate change, according to his website.
I first met him in 2005 when he produced a film about the experience of Saudi nationals in America titled ‘Saudis in America’ (directed by Fahmi Farahat). Following Trump’s election in 2016, Ahmad felt that he need to step up and get involved to push back against Trump’s racism and xenophobia.
In January 2017, he was elected as a 65th Assembly District delegate to the California Democratic Party, then Vice Chair of Party’s Arab American Caucus a month later becoming the first LGBTQ member of the Caucus’ Executive Board.
He is the first LGBTQ Muslim elected official in the U.S.
One of the hardest working candidates I’ve ever met, Ahmad has earned this position by walking every household in Fullerton’s District 5 and being a force for unity in his community during the campaign period.