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"The coward is the first one in the grave."

- Ahmed as the pirate Najee in Captain Phillips

Faysal Ahmed (Somali: Faysal Axmed, Arabic: فيصل احمد‎‎) (born 1985) is a Somali-American actor and youth program coordinator from Minneapolis. In 2013, Ahmed was cast in Paul Greengrass' biographical survival thriller film Captain Phillips, based on the Maersk Alabama hijacking of 2009, in which he portrayed Somali pirate Nour Najee. Ahmed is a close friend of Barkhad Abdi, Mahat M. Ali, and Barkhad Abdirahman, and the three were ultimately chosen to play the part of the remaining pirates who would co-star with Tom Hanks in the film.

Nour Najee Edit

Faysal Ahmed portrays Somali pirate Nour Najee. In the film, Najee is shown to be the right hand man who was chosen by pirate ringleader Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) to help hijack the Maersk Alabama on April 8, 2009. Ahmed's character is based on one of three men who were gunned down by Navy SEALs on April 12, long after Muse and his men had boarded the Alabama and taken it's captain, Richard Phillips, hostage in a lifeboat.

Najee is shown to wield an AK-47 without a stock, just like pirate mate Adan Bilal (Barkhad Abdirahman), and is prone to violent outbursts. He is careless, even threatening to kill everyone around him unless Captain Phillips gets into the lifeboat until the crew of the Maersk Alabama returns Muse safe and sound. Najee appears a stronger and more capable gunman, criticizing Muse's leadership and how he deals with Phillips' captivity in the lifeboat. At times he lashes out on Phillips, taking away the knife he was using to cut and wrap the bandage on Bilal's cut up foot. Later in the film, Phillips attempts to escape the lifeboat only to be recaptured after Najee and the other three pirates fire shots and struggle with him in the water. Najee then beats Phillips until Muse restrains him. 

After Muse agrees to 'meet with elders' on the Bainbridge, Najee is able to see that it is a ruse intended to get Phillips back safely and that negotiations likely won't end in their favor. He is also able to convince Bilal and Elmi (Mahat M. Ali) to tie Phillips up and blindfold him so that they can kill him. Upon doing, Najee is only able raise his pistol before Navy SEAL snipers open fire on the lifeboat killing him as well as Bilal and Elmi. 

Fictional Character Background Edit

The character of Nour Najee is based on one of the three Somali pirates who were killed in the Maersk Alabama lifeboat on April 12, 2009. Two of the pirates were later identified, while the third's name was left unidentified. The unidentified pirate wore similar clothing to that of Najee, a red polo shirt and blue shorts. It was later revealed by Richard Phillips that one of the four pirates (not likely Muse), was "small with Charlie Manson eyes", this description can also be contributed to the creation of the pirate Najee for the film. Whether this was the unidentified pirate or not cannot be confirmed and will more than likely remain to be seen.

Weapons Edit

  • AK-47 assault rifle (stockless)
  • Colt M1911 semi-automatic handgun

Filmography Edit

  • Captain Phillips (2013)
  • A Stray (2016)

References Edit

  1. [1] Barkhad Abdi Treasures His Nomination
  2. [2] Patheos: Interview With A Stray's Faysal Ahmed and Barkhad Abdirahman