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Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together. 

Jacqueline Woodson

 

 

 

What is MENA?

MENA is an acronym for the Middle Eastern, North African region of countries ranging from Morroco to Afghanistan and the entire region in between. What is MENASA? MENASA includes the regions above and adds Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.  MAAC (MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition) is led by actors for actors, and is assisted by wide reaching, well established organizations nationwide.  

It is the first coalition built to speak out specifically for Middle Eastern, North African performers rights and visibility. An area long overlooked, and increasingly overdramatized.  We, at MAAC, believe as actors, our images and stories are often the first and only portrayals of Middle Eastern North African people being sent into the mainstream.

The hope of MAAC is to engage our unions, studios, networks, producers, and filmmakers to provide them with a wealth of resources from a pool of diverse artists, as well as a national support system from our advisory council to help build a more balanced and positive representations of MENA people.

What We Do

MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC) ahcieved recognized status for Middle Eastern, North African performers in Hollywood in 2017.  MAAC actively educates the Hollywood community on the failure of fair and balanced MENA performers across all TV and Film platforms.  

Founded by Azita Ghanizada, a MENASA actress in the United States. MAAC began when she was informed she was considered caucasian by a major Television network. She realized that in the new world of diversity and inclusion, an entire region of the world was being erased. It became no longer palatable to exist in in Hollywood without a coalition that advocated for MENA Actors and the increasing issues surrounding their images. She began reaching out to fellow MENA performers, Amir Talai, Assaf Cohen and Amin El-Gamal.   Together they successfully began collecting their stories, gathering crucial data and speaking directly to their Unions leadership and organically MAAC was created. MAAC is led by actors for actors, and is assisted by wide-reaching, well established organizations nationwide. MAAC believes as actors, our images and stories are often the first and only portrayals of Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian people being sent into the mainstream. The hope of MAAC is to engage our Unions, Studios, Networks, Producers and FilmMakers to provide them with a wealth of resources from our pool of diverse artists, as well as a national support system from our advisory council to help build a more balanced and positive MENA universe.