Today we’d like to introduce you to Moe Alafrangy.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on February 17th, 1989 – second to youngest of 6 siblings). Although Dubai was more desert than tall buildings at the time, it was comfortable, stable & safe. There I attended a private school which didn’t offer much in extracurricular activities but again, stable & safe.
On my ninth birthday, my parents were divinely granted an opportunity to relocate across the globe & change all of our lives. They followed their hearts and we migrated west to Washington DC. They both believed that this move would add tremendous value to the lives of their children & they couldn’t have been further from the truth.
There I was at the age of 9, riding on an escalator at a local mall in Northern Virginia when my sister noticed a small tae kwon do school on the upper level; “Kims Karate.” She quickly suggested that our mother sign my younger brother & I up for classes; my mom happily agreed – Thanks, mom!
There, I was blessed to train under my instructor Kofi Yiadom, the man who quickly became my role model and inspired much of what I’m doing today. Kofi was proficient in Martial Arts Tricking, a new sport that combined flipping, kicking & twisting into one continuous combination — I was hooked!
I devoted myself to training every day and Tae Kwon Do / Tricking became my passion At the age of 14, I received my 1st-degree black belt under Kofi’s direction and soon after, I began working at the very same school I started upon my arrival to the US. Full circle. Kofi surprised everyone at the dojo when he announced that he has decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in stunts; a Hollywood stuntman. I found his confidence & bravery to pursue his dream super inspiring, which planted a seed in my mind that evolved into somewhat the same path of pursuit. Seven years later, I made my move to Hollywood and began paving the way for myself in entertainment.
It has always been important for me to connect with my students, therefore, I always executed my teaching strategies of martial arts with the notion of relating to them. One of the core strategies that set me apart from others was including real-life lesson to help explain the correct technique behind completing a strike/defensive maneuver, etc – this came naturally.
It was like God gifted me with the ability to use my own experiences alongside my language & energy to instruct/guide those open to learning more optimistic ways, no matter their orientation. I feel I owe this level of comfort in both teaching and reaching people with my words, to my career as a Martial Arts instructor.
As an instructor, I didn’t use the same recipe or even ingredients when it came to teaching; I understood that everyone digests information differently & that’s very okay. I genuinely adapting to each person’s unique curve based on their level of entry and ensuring they were comfortable during the process, I did my best to use the right tone of language until they performed flawlessly — not to mention the honor of mentoring throughout.
I loved the idea of influencing people who looked up to me and ensuring they made better choices while being confident, caring, and honest individuals. Selfishly, teaching blissfully became a therapeutic outlet for me. I gravitated to a divine & more purposeful path which heavily promoted elevating all those that crossed my path. – Alhamdulillah [Praise God]
Fast forward to age 21:
I decided it was finally time that I moved to Los Angeles in the coming year  to pursue an entertainment career.
On December 25th, 2010, A friend of mine invited me to join him & his friends on a snowboarding trip. This was a great way to end the year, carving down diamond slopes in West Virginia; of course, I agreed.
As someone who’s never snowboarded, I was beyond stoked for the adventure.
This is precisely when my memory begins to fade… There we were, two good friends sitting on top of the mountain trying to decide who should go first; we were both excited but nervous to try our first 30-foot ramp jump.
As someone who was comfortable flipping upside down and jumping over / off different tall object, and tumbling all over town I thought: “let me give this a try…”
Not knowing what to expect, I followed my instincts & began my descend down the ramp.
As I approached the edge of the ramp, an acquaintance of mine who was recording mumbled: “Moe’s gonna hit hard. He doesn’t know what’s coming” everyone surrounding him chuckled. I clipped the edge of the ramp with the front of my board which launched me forward head first and towards the ground.
According to those present, I immediately went into a seizure after crashing on my head & became unresponsive. I fell into a deep coma as my head continued to expand with internal bleeding; the doctors were uncertain of the damage caused.
Within the next 48 hours, all holding rooms in the ICU were filled with family & friends from the Middle East & Northern Virginia.
Shortly after my mother arrived, doctors told her that there was a 50/50 chance I’d wake up. My mother quickly rejected & continued praying to God while remaining strong in faith.
Roughly six days passed before I finally opened my eyes, sparking a loud celebration amongst everyone around me, however, my memory had slipped me and my family members were unrecognizable — this left everyone feeling bittersweet. Doctors advised my family that “I will never be the same again.”
I was transported to check into a rehabilitation center near my home to begin working with psychologists, neurologists & health advisors in an effort to help me regain my memory. Weeks of physical and mental therapy behind me, one day at a time & a lot of patience from my support group, I was rehabilitated and ready to check out. In hindsight, it was quite unsettling that the health professionals had very little hope or faith in my recovery — they did not determine my outcome and I was able to fight through my tragedy with God’s will & blessing. In fact, this was one of the greatest lessons I took home from this entire ordeal — God is greater in power & he is the best of planners.
And so it began… my spiritual awakening. I began to question my approach towards every decision I had to make; no matter big or small. I began to contemplate my religion/faith along with my overall purpose in life. Indeed this brought me closer to God blissfully. I developed a found & deep appreciation of life, my God-given right to exist in this world & I was fascinated by my new obligation to fulfill my divine purpose. Life is short and this blessing in disguise liberated me because those who remain still do not notice their cage. I began to use doubt as motivation to proceed with confidence & this changed everything for me.
This was my new obsession; contributing abundantly to life because I was beyond grateful to still have mine.
“It’s like, since your accident you’ve got propellers on both sides of you,” said my friend that sat along my side moments before my accident. I was different & everyone could feel it; this astonished everyone, including myself.
I found it phenomenal that every time I questioned the teachings of my faith, finding the right answer would strengthen my belief. I now happily accept that this was Gods way of redirecting me to a more divine & beneficial path in life, which continues to equip me with more & more enlightenment + wisdom that I happily use in my contribution to mankind. Being a Muslim [believer in one God] finally began to feel like the blessing I was told it was; divine guidance.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Artists tend to overall vibrate on a different frequency, which naturally ables them to discover mindful perspectives to choose from before emotionally reacting to an external event. Whether or not an artist chooses to respond with optimism or pessimism, their stance is likely to directly influence their fans.
Art has the power to attract & influence all walks of life.
May we choose to inspire & lift others using what comes to us naturally!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I actively share my thoughts & perspectives on my Instagram: @inthemoement.
Support me by sharing anything you find inspiring about ‘my story’ with others as long as you feel compelled to.
Please tell us about your art.
Acting | Dance | Tricking = Creating & Directing your energy
My favorite part about my first true passion, Tricking, is embracing the momentum I generate during a set up for a trick – then riding the resulting wave of energy up into the air to perform a picture or rotation; then, of course, descending down for my landing.
I’ve become quite sensitive to energy as I’ve taken the time to learn more on the topic as a whole; this has evolved my craft in wonderful ways. When it comes to movement being such a big part of self-expression, I now feel freer to make choices that are more authentic to my nature as opposed to ‘playing it safe’.
I’ve learned to treat artistic opportunities that I’m cast in as precious gifts because they allow me to plug in & recharge – الحمد لله .
- Website: www.MOEALAFRANGY.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inthemoement/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IntheMOEMENT/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoeAlafrangy
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9KHs7BP8a38XWNkem8-Srg?view_as=subscriber
Eve Photography [www.evephotography.com]
David Chan – [Jive Duck]