Hayman Homer: From Kurdistan to the World

A visionary American actor of Kurdish descent, Homer Hayman has embarked on a journey that spans continents and cultures. Hayman's trajectory is characterized by versatility and

Hayman Homer: From Kurdistan to the World
February 26, 2024

A visionary American actor of Kurdish descent, Homer Hayman has embarked on a journey that spans continents and cultures. Hayman's trajectory is characterized by versatility and an unwavering pursuit of creative excellence. 

From the picturesque landscapes of Kurdistan to the global stages of the United States and the Middle East, his life serves as a testament to the transformative power of art, identity, and education. This article explores Hayman Homer’s career, delving into his theatrical prowess, cinematic accomplishments, and unique skill set that distinguishes him in the realm of performing arts.

Growing up in the heart of Kurdistan

Hayman’s roots trace back to the heart of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the ancient city of Erbil, steeped in urban history and rich Kurdish culture. His formative years were shaped by the tales of his homeland, fostering a profound connection to his family’s roots. His father, Homer Eli, a courageous member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces, sacrificed his life in defense of the Kurdish people when Hayman was just 10 years old. 

Hayman’s mother, Bediah Azeez, emerged as a beacon of resilience, single-handedly raising Hayman and his seven siblings. Despite adversities imposed by the former Iraqi regime, she not only nurtured her eight children but also established a business to sustain the family. Her unshakeable spirit and resourcefulness illuminated the path forward for her children.

Hayman graduated from Salahaddin University in Erbil with a degree in political science and international relations, an academic foundation that provided him with insight into global affairs and catalyzed his nuanced perspective. Speaking multiple languages and driven to enhance his skills, he has pursued professional training at the Nashville Acting Studio and the 4th Wall Acting Studio.

A global citizen

As the pages of his life turned, Hayman embarked on a journey from the KRI that allowed him to discover the world. Living in England, France, Italy, and Greece for three years, he immersed himself in the cultural tapestry of new lands, absorbing cultural nuances and adding another layer to his evolving identity.

Eventually the United States became his new homeland. Initially settling in Nashville, Tennessee – known as “Little Kurdistan” due to its significant Kurdish population – he later relocated to Los Angeles, California, marking his global breakthrough. The melting pot of cultures and diversity of artistic expression in the United States served as a vessel for his burgeoning passion for storytelling and creative exploration.

“As an artist, I am driven by the endless possibilities that America offers in the world of filmmaking,” Hayman shares, underscoring the profound impact of his time in the United States on his artistic pursuits. 

As an actor, Hayman actively seeks opportunities to translate his vision into compelling narratives. Each role he undertakes becomes a canvas upon which he paints the hues of his life, the experiences that set him apart, and the cultural amalgamation that the United States represents.

Hayman’s journey

In the initial stages of his journey in the United States, Hayman encountered formidable obstacles, compelled to undertake work that did not align with his aspirations. Struggling to make headway without a support system, he faced the daunting task of carving a path through his own efforts. 

His distinctive appearance, innate talent, and unwavering dedication facilitated his foothold in the film industry. From featuring in national and global commercials to landing roles in films, Hayman’s acting journey attests to his unwavering commitment to his art.

His venture into film is marked by supporting and leading roles that reflect his range as an actor. From portraying a journalist in the impactful war drama short film Aman to embodying Jesus Christ in the upcoming epic film The Messiah, Hayman expresses his exhilaration as the first Kurd to portray such a historic and profound character. 

“To portray such an iconic figure is not just a role; it’s a journey into the very essence of humanity’s cultural and spiritual heritage,” emphasizes Hayman. “I am incredibly humbled and excited to bring this powerful character to life, contributing my interpretation to the universal narrative of hope and compassion, especially during these times.”

A vision for the future

The inspiration for Hayman’s cinematic journey was ignited by films such as Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, starring Johnny Depp, a poignant exploration of struggles within a family. 

One of the films that most impacted his life was Yol (The Road), a 1981 political thriller written and directed by Kurdish filmmaker Yilmaz Gunay. The film’s potent depiction of political and social issues fueled Hayman’s commitment to using acting as a powerful tool for storytelling and social commentary. 

The profound impact of such narratives made him realize the immense power of cinema to shed light on the stories of the forgotten and the overlooked. Hayman’s goal is to convey these narratives on an international level, providing a voice to those whose stories may never have been known if not for the canvas of the big screen.

From the KRI to Los Angeles, Hayman Homer’s journey is that of a storyteller with the capacity to breathe life into an extensive range of characters, leaving an indelible mark as a dynamic and immersive force on the cinematic landscape.

Rahim Rashidi, a Washington DC-based Kurdish journalist, is widely recognized as "Mr. Kurd." He is focused on Kurdish affairs in Kurdistan and abroad. 

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