Ahmad was the first out gay Arab American elected official in the country!
Ahmad Zahra spent much of his early education and professional life studying and practicing medicine between England and Syria, where he was born and raised. He obtained his M.D. at the early age of 23 and chose Pathology as a specialty. After coming to the United States in the late 90’s, Ahmad realized the opportunities this country offered and decided to pursue his passion for film. He started all over again working his way through Hollywood. In 2001, upon obtaining enough education and experience in film, Ahmad decided he was ready to start his own film business. That year, Ahmad moved to the City of Fullerton after falling in love with its history and small-town feel. It was in Fullerton that Ahmad opened his business, made his first film and where he became a United States citizen.
Now a small business owner, Ahmad owns and operates Zahra Pictures LLC, a film production company rooted in Fullerton. Despite all the ups and downs of a small business, Ahmad succeeded in producing many documentaries and independent films, focusing on community building and spotlighting many of the social struggles of our times. Some of his most notable films are On Common Grounds (Hallmark Channel,) American East (MGM) and the award winning film Three Veils, which was filmed in Fullerton, hiring local talent both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, including many students and graduates from Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton film and theatre programs.
Ahmad has always strived to help young emerging talent find their voice as a way to give back to the country that made him realize his dreams and often offer his talents and services to the community, whether through videos services for local non-profit organizations or in other capacities supporting public education and the arts. He is particularly proud of having assisted aspiring filmmakers in Cal State Fullerton’s internship program and raising $30,000 for an ambitious thesis film project utilizing 16mm film for the first time at CSUF.
Beyond his charitable interests, Ahmad has advocated for conservationism and fiscally prudent environmental policy at the local level. He led the effort for a Clean & Green City Resolution to reaffirm the City of Fullerton’s commitment to fighting pollution and climate change, recognizing the need for the City to make a bold commitment for a future that embraces, not only a clean environment, but the job and economic opportunities and consumer savings that new sustainable energy could provide our local community.
Ahmad was married right here in Fullerton to his spouse of 15 years, Miguel. Together they’ve lived in the same neighborhood in Fullerton for the past 16 years and have seen life through the good times and the bad, but have always looked at life with a positive outlook, with giving back and community building being the main focus. Ahmad is encouraged to run for City Council to continue his path of service and help the working families he calls his neighbors and the city he is proud to call home.