• Bio

    Copyright: Brigitte Lacombe

    Najla Said

    As an actress, Najla has performed Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, as well as in film and television. Favorite theatre credits include Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire (Seattle Rep), the London and New York premieres of Karen Malpede’s Prophecy, and Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East (Central Square Theater). In April 2010, Najla completed an eight-week Off-Broadway run of her solo show, Palestine. That same year, she was named one of “Forty Feminists Under Forty” by The Feminist Press. Since her off-broadway run ended, Najla has performed “Palestine” in over 25 high schools, colleges, and universities around the country and the world.


    Najla is one of New York Theatre Workshop’s “Usual Suspects,” and has also worked at the Public, The Cherry Lane, New Dramatists, The Lark, and Second Stage, among others.


    In 2012, she collaborated with Vanessa Redgrave on "A World I Loved," based on her grandmother's memoir, which premiered at The Brighton Festival in the UK, and The Miller Theatre in collaboration with The Public Theatre in New York.


    In the spring of 2014 Najla's play The Assumption of Mary was featured as one of the 48 plays in The Mysteries at The Flea Theatre.


    In October 2016, her libretto for Mahmoud Fairouz's Oratorio, "Zabur" was performed at Carnegie Hall, and in 2018 the composer David Robert Coleman used some of the text from “Palestine” to create a musical piece that was performed by the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Daniel Barenboim, on their European tour. The piece premiered in Aarhus, Denmark, and was also performed at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London , and the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals.


    Najla also recently guest starred on NCIS: New Orleans (CBS-TV.)

  • Resumé

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    Film and Television

    NCIS: NOLA, Noora Saadi, Michael Zinberg, dir. CBS-TV

    Rajam, Maha, Amanda Pennington, dir.

    Canvas, Skye, Elliot Fu, dir.

    Conversations w/My Ex, Chelsea, Adam Fitzgerald, dir.

    The Contestant, Rand, David Franklin, dir.

    Femme Fatale, The Femme, Brett Simon, dir.

    Party of Five, Nurse Attias, Adam Nimoy, dir

    The Siege, Maya, Edward Zwick, dir.

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    Spin Off, Yara, CWNY/Riverside Theatre

    Broken Stones, Aaliyah/Diane/Lea, InterAct Theatre

    The Beekeeper’s Daughter, Rachel, TNC

    Divinity of Hell (Othello), Bianca, CWNY/Unshout the Noise

    Woman at the Funerals, Anna, IATI

    Comedy of Sorrows, Doha, HERE

    A World I Loved (w/Vanessa Redgrave), The Public/Miller (NYC) / Brighton Festival (UK)

    The Fever Chart, Tanya, Central Square Theatre

    Prophecy, Miranda/Hala/Mariam, NYTW (NYC) / New End (London)

    Palestine (also wrote), Solo Show, NYTW

    Jigsaw Nation, Ensemble, Relentless Theatre Co.

    Sunlight at Midnight, Yasmin, Amnesty International (London)

    Nine Parts of Desire, Solo Show, Seattle Repertory Theatre*

    The Details of Silence, Alia/Margot, Symphony Space/Nibras

    The Comfort and Safety…, Maha, International WOW**

    Love’s Labour’s Lost, Rosaline, Kaleidoscope Theatre Co.

    Passengers, Architect, Second Stage

    God and Mr. Smith, Steph, Kaleidoscope Theatre Co.

    Sajjil (Record), Ensemble /co-author, Nibras***/NY Fringe

    She Stoops to Conquer, Miss Hardcastle, Kaleidoscope Theatre Co.

    The Merchant of Venice, Nerissa, Fractured Atlas

    Salome, Salome, Lincoln Center Directors Lab

    Education & Training

    Actor’s Center Conservatory (acting: Earle Gister, Ron Van Lieu, Scott Freeman); Shakespeare Lab @ The Public (Janet Zarish, Peter Francis James); On Camera: Joanna Merlin, Todd Thaler, Ted Slubierski, Brad Calcaterra; Ron Canada. V/O: Christine Lavren; Princeton University, B.A. magna cum laude, Comparative Literature, Theatre and Dance


    Stage & Screen


    Dulcina Eisen & Associates, (212) 355-6617 / (917) 991-8945


    The Wylie Agency
    (212) 246 0069

  • Showreel

  • Author

    Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in An Arab-American Family

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    Praise for Looking For Palestine

    Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in An Arab-American Family (based on her solo play), is Najla Said's memoir of her childhood in New York, her father Edward Said and mother Mariam Said. It is published by Riverhead, a division of Penguin Books.


    "A story about coming to peace with oneself, with one’s filiations and affiliations, with the fraught histories that determine us and shape our lives... told with a wonder-filled and deeply sensitive perspective."

    Nasia Anam, Los Angeles Review of Books


    "By the time Looking for Palestine is finished, one goes from wanting this book to do everything—a repeat of the demands Najla faced all her life—to understanding she was just fighting for the right to be herself against the odds of what everyone else wanted her to be.

    And now in this memoir, she has succeeded."

    Sarah Schulman, New York Journal of Books


    "Looking For Palestine sorts through a bewildering stew of identities with honesty and humor."



    "An enlightening, warm, timely coming-of-age story exploring the author’s search for identity framed within the confounding maze of America’s relationship with the Middle East.​"

    Kirkus Reviews


    Listen to an interview with Najla about her memoir on NPR Radio