Jay Abdo

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Jay Abdo
Native name جهاد عبدو
Born Jihad Abdo
(1962-10-21) October 21, 1962 (age 55)
Damascus, Syria
Residence Los Angeles, US
Education Higher Institute of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–present
Fadia Afashe (m. 2006)

Jay Abdo (Arabic: جهاد عبدو‎; born Jihad Abdo or Jihad Abdou; October 21, 1962) is a Syrian actor. He has been acting since 1988, and most recently starred in Queen of the Desert and A Hologram for the King.[1]

Early life[edit]

Abdo was born in Damascus. He traveled to Cluj-Napoca, Romania to study civil engineering, and began acting there. After his success on the stage, he returned to Damascus to study acting at the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts. After graduating in 1991, he became well known in the Arab world and has starred in a number of films and television shows.

Move to America[edit]

In 2011, during a trip to Beirut where he spoke to a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, Abdo spoke out against the Assad government and how they were "responsible for killings within their borders". After returning to Syria, Abdo received a number of threats and was generally intimidated, and was criticized for his lack of patriotism. Following this, he moved to the United States in October 2011 to escape persecution.[1] He joined his wife in Minnesota, where she was studying as a Humphrey fellow at the Fulbright Program.[2] The couple later moved to Los Angeles so he could start acting again. After working several odd jobs,[2] including delivering pizzas for Domino's Pizza,[1] he landed several major roles, including Queen of the Desert and A Hologram for the King.



  1. ^ a b c Anthony, Andrew (14 June 2014). "Jay Abdo, Syrian actor: how I changed my name from Jihad to Jay and (eventually) conquered Hollywood". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Miriam Jordan; Erich Schwartzel (May 12, 2014). "Jihad 'Jay' Abdo, a Star Who Fled His Native Syria, Looks for a Hollywood Ending". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 

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