Ammar may not be able to hear, but he makes his living as a dancer, theatre practitioner and filmmaker. If anyone claims that deaf individuals cannot work with sound or music, Ammar would say that it’s a misconception.
Among his long list of achievements was him directing last year’s ‘Signing Hands’ music video for The Purple Parade. He said the experience – his biggest film set so far – was "perfect". "…to have me, a deaf director, direct a film with other artists with disabilities. I felt that we owned it, we owned our disability," he said.
Ammar credits his father for his foray into the arts. His dad continually exposed him to music and films since young. At 17, Ammar started taking dance seriously. He then picked up photography and videography. Through this journey into various forms of creative expression, Ammar learnt how persuasive body and facial expressions can be – it made him feel that sign language is also a “sensational and powerful tool”. Ammar’s pursuit of art lets him grow creatively, constantly playing and developing. To him, work does not feel like work; work is a playground where he can "create anything".
His father is a key pillar of support for him chasing his dreams. Ammar’s dad would drive him to classes and activities, and provide money for Ammar’s passions – even if he didn’t know whether he had enough for food the next day. "We couldn't afford comfort or luxury, but pa didn't let me stop chasing my passion," is how Ammar remembers his dad.
Ammar said one life-changing moment was when his dance crew ‘Redeafination’ was invited to perform at a Deaf festival in Norway. That exceeded anything he had ever dreamt of. Ammar learnt to never limit himself again and to dream big! Now, Ammar doesn’t feel handicapped by his disability. Him being deaf is a benefit, it makes him more adaptable and resourceful.
Next on his to-do list? Ammar would "love to work with Pangdemonium". Is Adrian Pang reading this, by any chance? Ammar really wants to perform in a musical!
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