Aiishwariya Haran, who plays the role of spunky Shazia Jamal, is a seven year old girl from Toronto, Ontario.  Aiishwariya is of Sri Lankan heritage, but was born and raised in Canada.  This is Aiishwariya’s first acting experience.  Her goal is to become a lawyer, but she says she'd like to become a director as a hobby, or that's what her mom tells her.  

Sonika Ramachandran who plays the role of Tasneem Jamal, Shazia's little sister, is a six year old girl from Toronto, Ontario.  Sonika’s heritage is East Indian and her parents come from South India.  This is also Sonika’s first experience acting in a film.  Sonika enjoys art and would like to become a teacher and a director when she grows up.

Jacoba Barber-Rozema, who is eight years old, plays Shazia's best friend Kylie.  Jacoba has acted in two movies: Miramax's Mansfield Park and A Wrinkle in Time. She plays the cello and loves soccer.

First-time actor Ayesha Adhami has long been involved with the struggle of immigrants as a former adult ESL teacher, and current activist, journalist and co-host of Voice of the Movement on 89.5 CIUT, University of Toronto community radio. A friend heard about casting for the Peace Tree and suggested that Ayesha audition for the part. "The story appealed to me on so many levels, particularly being of Muslim background and struggling to deal with backlash against the Muslim community in a post-9/11 climate. Here - finally - was a simple little story that showed a Muslim family as real people dealing with real issues of intolerance and identity in a way that anyone can relate to. I'm proud to be involved with a project so committed to creating understanding and tolerance in our world. It's desperately needed."

Actor Peter Deboran, who played Shafiq, is a trained actor who has been featured in commercial films such as, ''where the Heart is' with Uma Thurman, to independant films like 'satya' by Atul Sohla. His stage performances include, 'Playboy of the West Indies" for Winnipeg's Prairie Exchange Theatre, "Canadian Momsoon' for Cahoots Theatre and the Dora Awared winning, "My Father, My Hero."  Peter is thrilled to be part of 'The Peace Tree' because, as he puts it, "the characters of Shafiq and his wife were not superficial but layered and complex - just like we are."

 

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