Baba Ali

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Baba Ali
Birth nameAli Ardekani
Born (1974-10-11) October 11, 1974 (age 45)
Tehran, Iran
MediumVideo blog, Stand-up
NationalityAmerican
Years active2006–present
GenresObservational comedy,
Social satire, Naseeha
Subject(s)Islamic humour, Culture, Marriage,
Islam in the United States,
Human interaction
Websitewww.alistandup.com

Ali Ardekani (Persian: علی اردکانی‎; born October 11, 1974), best known by his stage name Baba Ali (Persian: بابا علی‎), is an Iranian-born American comedian, games developer, businessman and actor.

Early life[edit]

Although born into a Persian family, Ardekani was raised in a secular irreligious household in Los Angeles, California.[1] From the age of 18,[2] he studied many religions, including Wicca. At the age of 20, Ardekani converted to Islam after attending an Islamic camp. He belonged to a wealthy family who did not accept it when he converted and subsequently disinherited him.[3]

Career[edit]

A worker in the IT field by profession in California, Ardekani (along with Mahdi Ahmad) co-founded Ummah Films, a Muslim film company which attempts to provide Halal (Islamically permissible) entertainment to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.[4] In 2006 ,[5] Ardekani rose to prominence within the online Muslim community with Ummah Films, which discusses various Islamic topics using humor. The company has produced several web series, including The Reminder Series and Ask Baba Ali.[6]

Ardekani has appeared on the Islam Channel and he has become a frequent guest at various Muslim conferences and events including the ICNA-MAS convention, Evening of Inspiration, the Global Peace and Unity Event[7] and MuslimFest.[8]

Ardekani has also designed two board games. In 2005, he designed Mecca to Medina, a board game about trading and negotiating with an Islamic-theme that can be played by all religions. Seven people invested $18,000 and made a 24% profit.[9] In 2010, he designed Kalimaat, a word game in the same genre as Taboo, about common knowledge and memory.[8]

In 2011, Ardekani founded Muslim matrimonial website, Half Our Deen.[10][11][12]

Ardekani has traveled the world doing stand-up to a wide range of Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. He has done over 400 events and has performed all over the world including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada for audiences as large as 40,000. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times as well as featuring in seven episodes of DirecTV's The Fizz News.[13]

In 2015, he starred alongside Omar Regan in the comedy film American Sharia.[14][15][16]

Comedy style[edit]

Ardekani avoids grandstanding and politicizing issues by simply telling it like it is. However, instead of mocking Islam, he uses a comical approach, without using any offensive material.[13]

His sharp-witted style takes a realistic look at the everyday issues Muslims are confronted with, including being a Muslim teen in America, attending Muslim weddings, and dealing with cultural issues that have impacted Muslims.[13]

Videography[edit]

Year Title Season Episodes
2006 The Reminder Series Season 1 "Funny Things at Jummah", "Finding Your Future Spouse Online", "$25,000 Muslim Weddings", "Muslim While Flying", "Muslim Characters at Work", "Distractions During Salat", "Seasonal Muslims", "Culture Vs Islam", "Who Hijacked My Religion", "How I Converted To Islam"
2006–2007 Season 2 "That's Not Hijab", "Ramadan Reruns", "Arrogant People", "Fisibilillah Discount", "The Parent Negotiations", "Pursuit of Cleanliness", "The Haram Police", "Why Islam"
2008 Season 3 – Ask Baba Ali "My Brother's Girlfriend", "Worrying & Ageing Sister", "Little Backbiter!", "Randomly Checked", "Escaping the Holiday Party", "Racism and Pride", "We're Just Friends", "The Art of Complaining"
2011 Hurray For Baba Ali Season 1 "How To Put on Your Shoes", "Use Your Time Wisely: Play Sports", "Kindness to Animals", "Sharing", "What to Wear on Jummah", "Duah before Eating", "Eating with Right Hand", "Use Your Time Wisely: Read a Book", "Being Kind to Your Parents", "Always Tell the Truth", "Kindness to Plants", "Brushing Your Teeth", "Are You Ready for Bed?"

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, Ardekani got married.[9] He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children. His studio is the second bedroom of the apartment.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b MacFarquhar, Neil (May 8, 2008). "Young Video Makers Try to Alter Islam's Face". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  2. ^ "Why Baba Ali accepted ISLAM?". The Deen Show. June 11, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "Indonesian – How did you convert to Islam (sesion 1 finale)". ufsubtitles. July 26, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "Bab Ali". The Deen Show. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "Baba Ali in the New York Times". Thought of a Hijabi. May 8, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Kaitlin (September 30, 2008). "Videoblogger Ali Ardekani, a.k.a. Baba Ali". Inside Islam. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "Performers". Global Peace & Unity Event. October 2008. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2011. Baba Ali
  8. ^ a b "Interview: Ali Ardekani (Baba Ali)". Productive Muslim. March 25, 2010. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Interview with Productive Muslim: Baba Ali". Productive Muslim. December 5, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Zahra (October 28, 2011). "Interviewing Half Our Deen Founder Baba Ali, Why A Muslim Marriage Site?". Muslimness. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  11. ^ Ali, Baba (January 19, 2011). "Why “HalfOurDeen.com†by Baba Ali". MuslimMatters.org. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Who's Behind Online Dating, and Why Does it Matter?". Patheos. November 30, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Baba Ali". The Muslim Funnymentalists. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  14. ^ Hijazi, Samer (July 3, 2014). "'Halalywood' comes to metro Detroit with film production of "American Sharia"". The Arab American News. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  15. ^ ""AMERICAN SHARIA" by Omar Regan – Kickstarter". Kick Starter. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  16. ^ Hadzic, Aldin (January 11, 2014). "American Sharia & Halalywood (Trailer)". Taqwa Magazine. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.

External links[edit]