Zarqa Nawaz

Zarqa Nawaz

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Zarqa Nawaz

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Zarqa Nawaz (Born 1968 in Liverpool, England) is a British-Canadian freelance writer, journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker of Pakistani origin.


A Muslim woman of Pakistani origin, she was raised in the Toronto area and attended Chinguacousy Secondary School. Initially, Nawaz planned to go to medical school. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Toronto. She completed a second degree in journalism at Ryerson University in 1992. She worked with CBC Radio, CBC Newsworld, CBC Television's The National, and CTV's Canada AM, and was an associate producer of several CBC Radio programs including Morningside. Her 1992 radio documentary The Changing Rituals of Death won multiple awards at the Ontario Telefest Awards. Stating that she became "bored of journalism", she took a summer film workshop at the Ontario College of Art & Design and began working as a filmmaker, using comedy to explore the relationships between Muslims and their neighbours in contemporary North America. She has described the goal of her production company, FUNdamentalist Films, as "putting the 'fun' back into fundamentalism".

In an interview with Prairie Dog Magazine, Nawaz said her screenplay Real Terrorists Don't Bellydance was "inspired by movies like True Lies and Executive Decision". She describes it as a "new genre of film", a cross between a terrorist flick and a comedy: "I call it a 'terrordy.'"...
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