My Conversation with Salma Hayek on Our Shared Humanity

August 5, 2015

Dear Friend --

Last week, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) was invited to attend the L.A. premiere of Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” an animated film produced by actress and humanitarian Salma Hayek-Pinault.  The film also features the voices of Liam Neeson (Taken), John Krasinski (The Office) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie).The Prophet is an animated adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s classic book of poetry and features eight of Gibran’s poems, highlighting the theme of freedom and our shared humanity. The film, which opens in theaters on Aug. 7, has already premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and will soon expand nationwide.

Before the premiere, I had the opportunity to sit down with Salma to discuss the main themes in her film. Watch the full interview here.

First, I asked her about the importance of raising our children with positive values and the ability to think independently around issues facing our society.  Salma’s response was profound. She said that she tries to guide her daughter, but tries to learn from her as well.  Instead of telling her who she wants her to be, Salma prefers her daughter pave her own path, as the character in the movie does.

I then asked how her role and experiences as a humanitarian shaped the way she produced the film. In April, Salma traveled to Lebanon to raise money and draw attention to the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees. She said that in she tried to emphasize the theme of our common humanity and our responsibility to critically challenge our own biases.

I enjoyed my conversation with Salma and greatly appreciated the opportunity to build bridges with those who hold common aspirations. At MPAC, we hope to continue working with such open-minded and influential individuals such as Salma.


Salam Al-Marayati

MPAC President



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