Amal Al-Agroobi is a filmmaker who is dedicating her life to making a difference and following her heart in the process. She is an adventurous, creative ex-neuroscientist, who speaks 6 languages, plays music, owns a social e-business, a charity and loves food.
The talented Emirati girl grew up in Belgium as a child and was raised by her parents from two different nationalities, which exposed her to many cultures and helped her in becoming one extraordinary individual with many skills to share with the world. After pursuing her degree in the University of Durham in Biochemical Science, and getting her masters in Neurosciences at University College London, Amal decided to follow her heart and take courses in media, and that is as she says, “where my life in film began.”
Amal’s passion for filmmaking came from her love for acting, “I never really thought of telling stories but I knew three things: I like to help people, I'm creative and I can act.” Combining her talents enabled her to start her journey in film making, and surprisingly she was approached by something that has both the things she’s passionate about; helping others and film making. That’s when she created “The Brain that Sings”, a short film that addresses the issue of autistic children in the UAE and how music therapy plays a role in making a difference in their lives. Her desire to help others and make a difference in her community and the world inspired Amal to start a foundation called “Emirates Cancer Foundation” (ECF), to help spread awareness and support cancer patients in the UAE and any other Arabic speaking region.
Not only did Amal work so hard to develop her talents, she is also passionate about supporting talented Emiratis through www.iloveuae.ae, a social E-business which she created and launched in 2010. The website helps support, promote, and advertise talented Emirati products created by local creatives.
The fact that Amal is half-Emirati, half Syrian brought up a new idea of a film called “Half Emirati” that is personal to her, but also to others that are experiencing the same issue of having a mixed family, tackling the factors of language, physical appearance, and identity. It’s a short film but with a big issue that affects many people in the UAE community.
"Half Emirati" will be screened at the Dubai International Film Festival in December and is also part of the Muhr Emirati award. “I want to be remembered in the Emirati community as the woman who really made a difference with the work that she did," expressed Amal.
Amal has great plans for the UAE and the world; she wants to extend her knowledge because she believes that film is a great tool not just for inspiration but also for education. When asked about her future plans, Amal replied, “I really want to use all my talents to do the best that I can in my time on earth.”
Judging by her achievements so far, we're sure Amal Al-Agroobi will be an influential role model for the youth of the Arab Gulf.
– Nehal KIH
Images courtesy of Amal Al-Agroobi