Birth name: Ali Ardekani
Date of Birth: October 11, 1974 (age 44)
Birth Place: Tehran, Iran
Record label: Ways And Means
Movies: American Sharia
Albums: Nomad EP
Medium: Video blog, Stand-up
Years active: 2006–present
Youtube Channel: ummahfilms
Genres: Observational, comedy, Social satire, Naseeha
Subject(s): Islamic humour, Culture, Marriage, Islam in the United States, Human interaction
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ali Ardekani (Persian: علی اردکانی; born October 11, 1974), best known by his stage name Baba Ali (Persian: بابا علی), is an Iranian-born American comedian, games developer, businessman and actor.
Although born into a Persian family, Ardekani was raised in a secular irreligious household in Los Angeles, California. From the age of 18, he studied many religions, including Wicca. At the age of 20, Ardekani converted to Islam after attending an Islamic camp. He belonged to a wealthy family who did not accept it when he converted and subsequently disinherited him.
A worker in the IT field by profession in California, Ardekani (along with Mahdi Ahmad) co-founded Ummah Films, a Muslim film company which attempts to provide Halal (Islamically permissible) entertainment to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In 2006, Ardekani rose to prominence within the online Muslim community with Ummah Films, which discusses various Islamic topics using humor. The company has produced several web series, including The Reminder Series and Ask Baba Ali.
Ardekani has appeared on the Islam Channel and he has become a frequent guest at various Muslim conferences and events including the ICNA-MAS convention, Evening of Inspiration, the Global Peace and Unity Event and MuslimFest.
Ardekani has also designed two board games. In 2006, he designed Mecca to Medina, a board game about trading and negotiating with an Islamic-theme that can be played by all religions. Seven people invested $18,000 and made a 24% profit. In 2010, he designed Kalimaat, a game about common knowledge and memory.
In 2011, Ardekani founded Muslim matrimonial website, Half Our Deen.
Ardekani has traveled the world doing stand-up to a wide range of Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. He has traveled to over 30 cities and has performed all over the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, performing for audiences as large as 37,000 and for all ages including youth as young as nine. He has been reviewed in The New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times as well as featuring in seven episodes of DirecTV's The Fizz News.
In 2015, he starred alongside Omar Regan in the film American Sharia.
Ardekani avoids grandstanding and politicizing issues by simply telling it like it is. However, instead of mocking Islam, he uses a comical approach, without using any offensive material.
His sharp-witted style takes a realistic look at the everyday issues Muslims are confronted with, including being a Muslim teen in America, attending Muslim weddings, and dealing with cultural issues that have impacted Muslims.
In 2001, Ardekani got married. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children. His studio is the second bedroom of the apartment.
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