Episode 6: Tima - This Is Us

From This Is Us, 12:06 am on 1 March 2020

Series Classification: G (General Programmes)

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Tima Alhaddad

Tima moved to New Zealand from Iraq when she was 10 years old. She lives on Auckland's North Shore with her parents.

Her career started in the corporate world but after realising it was not for her she left and co-founded Paper Bloom Girls - a creative online business specialising in paper flowers.

She can often be found cooking while making a huge mess in the kitchen. Small talk is not her thing but she lives for deep, meaningful conversations.

In her spare time Tima volunteers for the community and is currently helping organise a commemoration event at Aotea Square for 15 March. 

Her idea of a perfect day is spending it at the beach swimming and body boarding.  

Tima brought her love for water with her from Iraq, where she says she would spend the whole day at a country club pool. 

"It was always hot and never rained. I still love the water. I love spending the day swimming at the beach and then getting fish and chips and ice cream on the way home."

"My friends tease me for the amount of sunscreen I apply on my skin and how often I reapply. I look like I have a white mask on."

"The beach relaxes me. I just take my boogie board and jump in. No matter where I go in the world, nothing feels as good as summer in New Zealand."

As a teenager she painted the whole side of her bedroom deep red - the same red as the Iraqi flag. 

"I was obsessed with a country I loved but barely knew." 

When Isis came to Iraq and began dominating global news, she became fascinated with how Islam was portrayed. 

"But it was so vastly misinterpreted that it made me sad. So I began to ask questions. I began to explore who I was and what my values were. In a sense, I began to find my faith in New Zealand, a tiny nation at the end of the world.

"Iraq will always be a huge part of me, but I don't really believe in patriotism any more. It's all man-made borders. I'm a Kiwi Muslim. That's my identity. And that's really cool."

Tima Alhaddad at Milford beach.

Tima Alhaddad at Milford beach. Photo: Photography by Ainsley Duyvestyn-Smith | @ds_documentary

Aliya Alhaddad, Lara Khayyat and Tima Alhaddad eating fish and chips on Milford Beach.

Aliya Alhaddad, Lara Khayyat and Tima Alhaddad eating fish and chips on Milford Beach. Photo: Photography by Ainsley Duyvestyn-Smith | @ds_documentary

Tima Alhaddad, Lara Khayyat and Aliya Alhaddad with the entire crew filming Tima on Milford Beach.

Tima Alhaddad, Lara Khayyat and Aliya Alhaddad with the entire crew filming Tima on Milford Beach. Photo: Photography by Ainsley Duyvestyn-Smith | @ds_documentary

 

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Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Director

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Director Photo: Photography by Sascha Stejko

Series Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar who has recently completed her PhD in Media and Communications. 

She has written and directed award winning short films.  Ghazaleh is currently developing her first feature screenplay and publishing her first book of personal essays.

| Twitter: @baronessghaz | Instagram: @ghazalehgol |

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