Emdad Rahman interviews Abrar Hussain
One Day in the Haram is the extraordinary story of the Haram in Makkah. It reflects on life around the Ka’bah in Makkah – the building at the epicentre of Islam’s most sacred location. For the first time in history, viewers witness the inner workings of the Haram, as seen through the eyes of the workers, over a full day period.
This is a truly captivating documentary, which details the Islamic rituals and rich history of the Haram. Every year, millions of pilgrims from all across the world flock to this holy site as part of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
Director Abrar Hussain spent over a year researching different aspects of the Haram, to bring about the most complete and compelling vision of the Haram ever produced. Packed with knowledge and never before seen footage, this is a film that anyone with even a passing interest in Islam must see.
Abrar has lot of plans in the pipeline. The film was actually shot for cinema exhibition to provide a unique and inclusive experience. He said, “I wanted to create a togetherness while viewing, so the cinema tours are very important. Next up is Australia and then Canada, and we are looking at France and mainland Europe.”
At the end of Ramadan an Indonesian TV provider broadcast One Day In the Haram on the day of Eid to ten million people. Naturally Abrar is delighted. “The film was made for every Muslim and non Muslim and we are simply delighted to get it out to everyone,” he said.
“I’m grateful as a film maker to have made one film like this and I feel totally blessed. Even if I never get to make another film in the future I’m still very happy knowing I made One Day In The Haram.
“The UK charity Islamic Help – its marketing manager Toyris Miah, along with broadcaster and presenter Rahim Jung – were the first two people outside of my team to view the film. They said ‘we love it and want to take it to the community via cinema.’ And so we made it happen.”
Abrar has always been fascinated by film and cinematography, “I remember recording birthdays and family functions as a ten year old. As I grew older I started to pick up bigger and more advanced cameras – if you have a passion for something then you should chase it. I did.”
Abrar admits he has “too many influences,” when it comes to directors who have shaped his work. “There’s Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick – in fact if anyone analyses One Day In The Haram it will be evident that a lot of the film I modelled on the beautiful shots Stanley Kubrick introduced 30 years ago with symmetrical shootings. Symmetry was a big part of the cinematography of the film and the time lapses played a huge part too.
“I’m very grateful we got to make the film and the feedback we have received is that it’s beautiful, it’s amazing, it’s opened peoples eyes and made them aware of what exactly the Haram is.”
Following on from the huge success of One Day In The Haram an exclusive UK-wide city tour is planned and UK charity Penny Appeal will be hosting viewings of this fantastically insightful documentary from 7th until 29th September for a bargain price of just £5! All proceeds from the tour will go towards life-changing charity appeals, such as Education First and Thirst Relief.