Oscars are hailed as the most prestigious Academy Awards which are held yearly to honor the artistic endeavors of the creative intelligentsia worldwide. The 91st Academy Awards have just finished while leaving us mesmerized with the grand night. While many are honored yearly, we have made a list of some of those who come from Muslim families and have either bagged a nomination or an Award at the Oscars over the years.

1.Ismail Merchant: (Nominee)

Ismail Noor Muhammad Abdul Rahman aka Ismail Merchant was born in Bombay in 1936. In 1961, he made a short film called “The Creation of Woman” which was shown at Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award as well. Merchant’s films A Room With A View, JFK, Howard’s End and Remains of Day were nominated for Best Picture.

2.Tariq Anwar (Nominee)

Raised in Lahore and Delhi in India, Tariq Anwar was nominated for an Academy Award for Film Editing for American Beauty in 1999 and for The King’s Speech in 2011.

3.Hanif Kureishi: (Nominee)

Born in South London to a Pakistani father and an English mother, Hanif Kureishi received an Academy Award nomination for the Best Screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette in 1986.

4.A.R. Rahman: (Oscar Winner)

Bollywood music director and musical genius, A. R. Rahman won for his original song Jai Ho with musical artist M.I.A. for Slumdog Millionaire at the 2009 Oscars. AR Rahman is a practicing Muslim.

5.Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Oscar Winner)

Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscar for Documentary Short for Saving Face and A Girl In The River in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

6.Mehboob Khan (Nominee)

Mehboob Khan was born in Baroda in 1907. He was a pioneer of Indian cinema and directed the social epic, Mother India. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

7.Omar Sharif (Nominee)

Omar Sharif, arguably Hollywood’s highest-profile Muslim actor of all-time, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Lawrence of Arabia.”

8.Mahershala Ali (Oscar Winner)

Mahershala Ali has won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as Don Shirley in Green Book in the 91st Academy Awards. This is Ali’s second Oscar win, after he took the award in the same category in 2017 for Moonlight. Mahershala Ali is an Ahmadi Muslim and some people have argued whether or not he is a Muslim.

9. Mir Zafar Ali (Oscar Winner)

Mir Zafar Ali is a Pakistani movie visual effects artist. He was a member of the team that won the Academy Award for best visual effects for the 2007 film The Golden Compass. In 2012, he was a member of the team that won the Academy Award for best visual effects for The Life of Pi and in 2014 he was a member of the team that won the Academy Award for the film Frozen. He is the first Pakistani to have been connected with an Academy Award-winner for Best Visual Effects!


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