Former Albuquerque resident getting big break in Netflix film ‘Mosul’

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Thanksgiving day, Netflix is releasing its new film “Mosul,” which stars a man with close ties to Albuquerque. The film follows a SWAT team as it tries to free the Iraqi city from ISIS. Resident for Albuquerque of 12 years, Suhail Dabbach, who plays the SWAT team’s Major Jasem.

“It’s great and hard… because it’s a bigger responsibility for me,” Dabbach said. “It wasn’t easy and we worked very hard for this movie.”

The all-Arabic film was shot in Morroco and is Dabbach’s biggest role yet. Some may remember Dabbach for his role as the suicide bomber in The Hurt Locker, the Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 2010.

“It was great. It was great,” Dabbach said.

Dabbach’s journey hasn’t always been easy. Born and raised in Iraq, Dabbach studied acting at the University of Baghdad. In the 90s, he fled Iraq to settle in Jordan. He was in Jordan when he landed his role in The Hurt Locker. Eventually, Dabbach and his family were accepted into the U.S. and were placed in Albuquerque.

“When I arrived in Albuquerque, we tried to find a job. It’s not easy to find a job like an actor because you know, our language, my language is not really good,” Dabbach said.

So, Dabbach worked as a dishwasher and then cook at one of the Brookdale senior living homes. While in Albuquerque, he was able to land some small roles in movies like Whiskey Foxtrot Tango and Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden.

“We have to work very hard for this. Like, to be an actor you have to work very hard for that and we never give up,” Debbach said. Though, he was getting tired of only landing similar roles.

“For the Middle Eastern actor, there’s always like small roles and just one, one scene, and all like terrorist or something like that and I don’t like, like, to do like this,” he said. It’s another reason why the new role in Mosul means so much.

“I hope all Albuquerque, all of New Mexico, they’re going to love the movie,” Dabbach said.

Dabbach said Mosul has been shown at some festivals already and has received great feedback. He said the movie was filmed a couple of years ago but its release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KRQE News 13 also asked Dabbach about Netflix’s recent announcement to expand ABQ Studios and said he would be happy to come back to Albuquerque for a movie. “This is really great [sic] step for all Albuquerque, like the city, for the actors, for all the group working in movies, this is a great thing,” he said.

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