"I had the pleasure of seeing ‘The Life & Times of Umar ibn Sayiid', performed by the multi-talented actor, writer, artist, Ahmad Kenya, in Washington, DC. WOW!! What a treat! To never, ever been familiar with the real story of this important man, Kenya's performance brought out the best of Omar, the man, the devoted disciple of Allah (God), the student of Islam and the trying circumstances of his time. What Kenya does with the presentation of authentic costumes, props and language is a true testament to his thorough research on this historical man and his struggles to keep his faith and belief intact. What a wonderful lesson on deep abiding devotion through the trials of life and faith.
I look forward to seeing and being part of the journey of the docu-film that depicts this same true sentiments of Omar ibn Sayyid. Time will attest, it took a small leap of faith for a man like Ahmad Kenya to show his love and respect of history and attempt to educate the world around him. ‘The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid' is a really good testament and journey that keeps the memory of a great man alive in the minds and hearts of those that truly care about Omar ibn Sayyid."
-Frantz T. Excellent
It was amazing to see Ahmad Kenya literally transform into Omar ibn Sayyid. I had never heard about the life of Omar before, but Ahmad made me feel as if Omar was there in the flesh speaking to me. "The Life and Times of Omar ibn Sayyid" is quite an incredible and inspiring story about the struggles, perseverance, and triumph of a Muslim slave in his quest for freedom. People of all ages will enjoy this play and realize that the strength of their ancestors lives in their blood today. With God (or Allah), all things are possible.”
- Michelle Everett-Washington, DC
"They say time travel is not yet possible... somebody forgot to tell Ahmad Kenya. The play of “The Life & Times of Omar Ibn Sayyid” will take you back to the slave coast of Africa to the plantations of South Carolina…as you walk in the footsteps of the life of a historic Muslim scholar and Great African American."
- Toure' Lawrence Muhammad, Washington DC
“Ahmad Kenya's dynamic presentation of “The Life and Times of Omar ibn Sayyid” at the Reeves Center in Washington, D.C. is a must see for all. The audience is captivated by his electrifying performance throughout the one man production. Kenya's rich portrayal of Omar ibn Sayyid's life is revealing, powerful and deeply intense. You will come away altered by Kenya's gut wrenching dramatization of the great African scholar's life.”
Prof. Marian Williams-(Ret.)Howard Univ.-
“The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid”, written by Ahmad Kenya, is a prolific and emotionally gripping experience that takes the audience “full-circle”, back through the annals of history,…across boundaries of time, and space,… and across the Atlantic Ocean that served as a barrier between continents, nations and peoples.
Audiences are emotionally gripped by the riveting portrayal of this “noble human beings” life, and the overwhelming obstacles he faced in his life and quest for freedom.
No translations are needed from the languages of Africa, as Omar ibn Sayyid speaks direct to your heart and soul through the tremendous power of one man against a hideous “way of life” that so many today, would like to forget and assign to the dark abyss of America’s darkest hours.
Your lives, and the lives of your children and grandchildren will be forever touched by this truly excellent presentation.
The wealth of information provided about Omar ibn Sayyid’s life and the cultures of Africa is truly invaluable.
The dramatization will overwhelmingly impact the complete audience. The profound ending of the saga brought forward to current African-American descendants shows the fulfillment of our dreams.
Intensely passionate and overwhelming….no one can escape being touched by the experiences of “The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid.”
Abdul Rahim Muhammad
New Africa Center
Muslim American Museum & Archive
“I was delighted to see “The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid” last night here in Harlem at the hallowed Audubon Ballroom, where in 1965 our dear Malcolm X was felled. What an experience it was to journey with you from the 18th into the 19th century with the learned “Father Omar ibn Sayyid”. It was spiritual and uplifting, speaking truth to power, with hope for us all. I am already making it a point to tell others about this unique life, which arrived in America in chains but, through God's grace, overcame long-term harshness and abuse, and found peace and contentment at last. I wish only the best ,and God speed to you and your theater company, Images of the Motherland-Interactive Theatre. (www.imagesofthemotherland.com )
This is the work that our community sorely needs.
Thank you again so very much for coming to Harlem and enlightening our minds, hearts and souls.”
- Cheryl Harden-NY
“The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid” 18th Century Historical Slave Reenactment is pertinent today’s society. Many of us continue to ride on a modern day slave ship and continue to be bound by invisible chains. Ahmad Kenya’s slave enactment teaches us about the journey of a slave who was captured in Senegal and sold in Baltimore, MD. Despite Omar’s human bondage, he overcame many obstacles and refused to compromise his religious and moral convictions. This thought provoking one man play is a must see!
Gwendolyn “Flame” Cahill,
Poet, Graduate Student and Computer Arts Designer
“ I am a learning support teacher for 5th grade and have been teaching my students about the Civil Rights Movement during Social Studies. I wanted to thank you for allowing us to attend the presentation on Omar ibn Sayyid. My students were very impressed with the performer and how emotional he became. I think it really helped them to understand more about what I am trying to teach them. When we got back, my supervisor came in to see how it went, and the students could not stop talking about it. I was amazed by how much information they took with them and really appreciate it.
Thank you again for this very informative and entertaining reenactment.”
Learning Support Teacher
Belmont Charter School
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Reviews & Commentary
“The Life & Times of Omar ibn Sayyid”
by Ahmad Kenya
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
The Living History Heritage Project