1.14.2015

Ben Youcef, Leaving Us Breathless

When I watched the trailer for From the Rough back in the day, I'll be honest...as a big fan of Harry Potter alumnus Tom Felton, I was eager to his performance.  But now that I've actually gotten to watch it on Netflix, Algerian actor Ben Youcef officially owns my heart.

In addition to his tall, slender build and serenely beautiful face, I just found out he has the voice of an angel.  As a Muslim actor in Los Angeles, Youcef's actually gained a certain measure of fame by calling others to prayer.
It is said, in Los Angeles, that Abdulwahab Benyoucef's call to prayer is so lovely and so clarion that Muslims come to the mosque just to hear him. About three times a week, the Algerian actor — who has shortened his name to Ben Youcef — comes here in his traditional tunic to stand before the men kneeling toward Mecca. He closes his eyes, holds one hand over his ear, leans into a microphone and sings out the Arabic words in extended phrases.

"It's a way to call people to come to worship God," Ben Youcef says. "That's the purpose of the adhan [the Arabic name for call to prayer]. I bear witness that there's no God except God. I bear witness that Muhammad is a messenger of God. Come to what's good, come to prayer."
(Source)
Bin Youcef began his acting career after the September 11 attacks, participating in a number of commercials before joining the American Artists talent agency.

At that time, bin Youcef’s appearance made him appealing to a number of American directors, especially for roles related to Islam, religious extremism and other topics related to the September 11 attacks.


The head of the Artists Group, Robert Malcolm was the first to notice bin Youcef’s unique features, which suddenly became sought after in American cinema.

The actor received a call to test with a Los Angeles company. He performed a five minute scene from the play ''A Hatfull of Rain” in front of a committee. His success in that test became a real start for bin Youcef.

About the events of September 11, bin Youcef says, "The future was uncertain to me, and I wondered why people think badly about my belief. My thoughts were confused about what is going on around the world. They were attacking my beliefs and my religion."

He added that these questions led him to "do in-depth research on many of the issues related to Islam. I stopped praying for a period of time, until I turned 20, and began praying again. Ever since, I started reciting the adhan and I feel I have found my beliefs by my own and with conviction."
(Source)
Check him out in From the Rough (in case y'all weren't paying attention the first time around):





Check out the trailer for The Algerian:


Bonus Goodies




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