Zahra Was Married in Arkansas. To a Woman.

Our friends at the Orange Juice Blog published a story yesterday about Fullerton City Councilman Ahmad Zahra having been married in Arkansas, of all places, in the late 90s. And to an American woman named Michelle Salmon.

FFFF was sent of a copy of the marriage license.

Now this would normally not be of interest to anybody, except that Mr. Zahra has branded himself as the first gay Muslim, etc., etc. – brave hero, in fact. However, his self-propagated biography, such as it is, has never discussed a sojourn in the state of Arkansas, let alone having a wife there.

Michelle Salmon

How a Syrian immigrant ended up in Arkansas, married, sounds like an interesting tale in itself.

According to an interview with Zahra, the OJB reports his version of how he ended up in hillbilly country:

Adrift on a foreign shore. What to do?

I got to this country and I didn’t know anybody, but my father had a friend in Little Rock, so that’s where I went first. I met Michelle, and we liked each other and thought we could work things out, but it didn’t work out. She was even going to go to LA with me but she decided to stay with her family.”

Wow, that’s pretty damn thin. Personally, I “like” all sorts of folks without feeling the least bit inclined to get married. Not surprising “it didn’t work out.”

Zahra’s would-be explanation falls flat given his previous statements. Like these:

Zahra, 52, did not have one specific moment when he came out as gay. He always knew he was, but it would be decades until his family would know.

In fact, when Zahra did finally come out to his friend, he was not entirely surprised, saying, “That explains a lot.” Zahra had never dated girls.

So why does a gay, Muslim immigrant marry an American woman in Arkansas? That’s a good question. Was Zahra giving the hetero deal one last swing at the plate? No need for marriage to do that, especially in Arkansas.

The Orange Juice suggests another reason:

Okay, well, the suspicion arises that this was a marriage to get citizenship, which is illegal under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act of 1986. But Ahmad tells us he didn’t become a citizen until long after their 2001 divorce, in 2008.

Um, we always know that when somebody provides irrelevant information, he’s likely avoiding something. In this case the year of Zahra’s actual citizenship (even if true) isn’t the issue. The issue is whether he tried to accelerate permanent residence status by virtue of a phony marriage. And as OJB observes, that is illegal.

The fact is that nobody cares about Zahra’s sexual orientation, or his “heroic” coming out narrative, real or otherwise. What I (and others, no doubt) care about is his pattern of untruths including his tale that he was “exonerated” by the District Attorney in a case of battery; his phony accusation of assault against Fullerton council colleague Fred Jung; his disappearance from a council meeting for a photo-op, etc. And naturally, if an immigrant’s first official act in America is to break the law, then the public deserves to her about it.

73 Replies to “Zahra Was Married in Arkansas. To a Woman.”

  1. So some Middle Eastern drifter shows up in Arkansas with no money and no prospects and you “like” the cut of his jib. So you MARRY the guy at which point he goes to UCLA extension school and is living in his car on the streets of Hollywood (his story, too) and then you get a convenient divorce?

    This should be a satire.

  2. Don’t forget his transgression of talking to anyone who would listen, like everyone, about closed session issues. After closed session. Why is he not kicked off council at the very least? He breaks the rules and smirks at everyone else as if he is untouchable from the rules, laws, and telling the truth. You know the kind that smiles to your face while stabbing you in the back. And he expects to be Mayor?
    Throw the bum out. Ahmad doesn’t play well with others unless they are kissing his ring.
    An illegal wedding is just one more lie he has created and lived.

  3. An illegal wedding is immigration fraud and there are no statute of limitations with that. I wonder who knows somebody at the immigration and naturalization services department?

    1. According to Dr. Zahra, it appears his dad had a friend in Arkansas who knew a woman who just happened to marry a gay Syrian man, you know, to try it out and see if it works.

      Makes me wonder how many other gay Syrian men have made that same trek to Arkansas?

      You see, men can’t get married in Syria and show up in the good old USA and get their citizenship. For some reason it doesn’t work that way.

    1. We liked each other so much that we got married. I was an unemployed Syrian here on a tourist visa. But the marriage didn’t “work out.” Maybe it was because I had always known I was gay.

    2. As a Hollywood insider, he can produce, direct and star in it.

    1. There’s ikhtilaf (disagreement among scholars) on the permissibility of homosexuality in Islam; even among those who take the most extreme of positions, however, hudud penalties (like stoning) can only be carried out in jurisdictions fully under Shariah law (which arguably no current country applies to – even Iran and Saudi Arabia, for instance, don’t provide for all the basic needs of the people living in their countries…)

      1. Let’s let the Koran tell it.

        Also Zahra has been seen drinking and violating the Ramadan fast. So there’s that. Let’s face it. The guy isn’t honest about anything.

        1. Several people took note of Mr. Zahra drinking wine at the All the Arts.

      2. It will be wonderful when Amy Parker and her Marxist comrades are in charge and running the world according to their beliefs and principles. It will be paradise and everything will be perfect!

  4. All of this information has been shared with the INS. There should be a knock on Dr. Z’s door very soon!

  5. Hey, wait a minute. Zahra once said he had some special medical visa so he could go to some program at UCLA.

    Now he says he was a lonely young immigrant who knew nobody and so headed to Little Rock, Arkansas?

    The bullshit is piling up so fast we’ll needs wings to stay above it.

  6. Serious accusation regarding citizenship with no proof per usual.

    But I doubt your readers will get past your headline and his sexual identity, so whatever.

    1. I got past the headline, all the way to the bottom until I stopped at this stupid comment above.

    2. So, ahem, Zahra, who “always” knew he was gay, “marries” a woman in Arkansas? What for?

      Marriage fraud among peoples from the Middle East (including Israelis) happens all the time.

      Proof? I guess you can decide why a gay, immigrant man might have stopped off in Arkansas (on his way to film glory in LA) to get married to a woman. Any bright ideas? Please feel to offer ludicrous possibilities.

      1. Ever heard of gay / lesbian folks that have children from a prior marriage to a person of the opposite gender? Impossible by your lreasoning. No gay or lesbian person ever dated or had a relationship with someone of the opposite gender. It’s just impossible. Never happens. And no person ever has their sexual identity change over time. Just doesn’t happen. People are born knowing 100% who they are and it never changes.

        His road to citizenship is between him and the US government. You don’t have any facts that aren’t already in the public record, yet he is a citizen, and he hasn’t been convicted of marriage fraud. You can’t even establish that his marriage was involved in any way in his road to citizenship. What we see instead is guessing, conjecture, assumptions.

        “guess you can decide why a gay, immigrant man might have stopped off in Arkansas (on his way to film glory in LA) to get married to a woman.”

        I don’t have to guess or decide anything in that regard. I can’t imagine why that’s in any way any of my business.

        1. Well maybe he was lying about always knowing he was gay. Or when telling the reporter that his friends realized his not dating girls became understandable.

          You can go argue with Zahra and make sure you tell him that Zahra disagrees with him.

        2. Sounds like an argument aimed at confusing a single impressionable juror to get a mistrial.

          There is a lot to this revelation. This guy is a public figure. His own story – not the contrary possibilities you pull out of nowhere and are willing to consider – warrants suspicion and all the discussion.

          Nobody’s trying to prove anything “beyond a reasonable doubt” in commenting. Try addressing the known facts of the matter. Start with Mr. Z’s own statements.

          1. Exactly. Well said. Why multiply causes? Why must we entertain the completely implausible simply because in some weird universe, where incredulity is suspended something might somehow, somewhere, some time be possible.

            All things being equal, the simplest explanation is best.

          2. What “contrary possibilities?”

            Someone is married the natural assumption is they wanted to be married for the normal reasons. Jumping to an assumption of illegality when the US government already made him a citizen should ethically require a higher bar to running your mouth and making serious accusations based on zero new info.

            1. “Should ethically require a higher bar. . .”
              Now you’ve left the conversation. Always retreating up to the moral high ground. I see you on that island. You look lonely.

              1. Yes I’m saying the accusation and the theorizing is inherently wrong. The government already decided. It’s done. Respect it.

                1. Like when the government voted no on the Trail to Nowhere?

                  Fucking idiot.

            2. How’s that? We are to grant credence to the propriety of Zahra’s story because he is now a citizen, regardless of how he came by that citizenship? That’s idiotic.

              Anyway, citizenship isn’t even the issue.

              The issue is why did an American woman in Arkansas marry a self-aware gay man who had never even dated a woman; an immigrant, without a job or job prospects, and who had no friends in the USA; a guy on a short term visa? Wow, a real catch, huh?

              The obvious conclusion is that the “marriage” was mutually beneficial to both of them – for a very short period of time. It could have got him a work visa or a green card; it could have got her remuneration.

              1. “he is now a citizen, regardless of how he came by that citizenship? That’s idiotic.”

                No, it’s not. My point is he already went through the process to become a citizen and he jumped whatever hoops were required with the bureaucrats responsible for enforcing the process and law.

                That should be respected . It’s a done deal but you all have a hard on for Zahra so you jump at any opportunity to manufacture doubt and concern with your theories and conjecture even when the federal government has already made a determination in law. He’s a citizen.

                1. Hahaha! Yeah, he jumped alright: a queer dude married a woman. Normal as all get out.

                  Haha. What if he went through the process by pretending he was a straight male?

                  Jesus H. Christ. You’re either either supremely stupid or…no, you’re’ supremely stupid.

                2. Who does Zahra have a hard on for?

                  Answer: it isn’t a woman from Arkansas. That marriage was never consumated!!

                3. Notice how this Hogerhous wants to start at the end of the story instead of the beginning.

                  Um, say Mr. Bank Robber I guess you’re a stand up guy because you have earned so much money.

    3. His sexual “identity” matters to the INS since he was a foreigner and married an American female and subsequently got a green card.

      1. It might have been a considered factor, it might not have ever been relevant. Who knows. Not you. Not the blogger.

        1. Hmm. I have a transcript of Ahmad and Michelle’s interview with the INS in the Federal Building in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

          Zahra: There’s something I need to tell you, so I don’t get in trouble later.

          INS Man: And what’s that, sir?

          Zahra: Well, you see, I’ve always known I was gay, even as a young lad. I never dated girls.

          INS Man: Hmm. Mrs. Zahra, do you have anything to add?

          Michelle: My name’s not Zahra. Anyway, I just want to say that we met and fell head over heels in like with each other so we thought we’d give marriage a shot.

          Zahra: And we have big plans. I’m going to…we’re going to LA. I’m going to make movies!

          INS Man: (Looking at clock on wall) Well this all seems in order. Your sexual identity is your business, not mine. Not relevant. Hey, look! It’s lunch time.

    4. Damn. What a weak take. That’s all you could come up with?

      “There has to be a rational alternative explanation.”

  7. Everyone knows that the only way to REALLY know for sure that you’re gay is to move to Arkansas and get married to a woman while you wait for citizenship.

  8. I remember he also claimed that he lived in England. His english reeks with affected British snobbery. There must be another chapter to this poor immigrant story. Will it take us to Old Compton Street? Is that depravity coming out (no pun intended) soon too?

  9. Did he end up in Little Rock or Little Cock? The signs were there from the beginning…

  10. Once a liar ALWAYS a liar. I pray that we can get someone in that cares more about others than himself. I’m so tired of this egotistical character, I don’t even want to see or hear his name.

    I hope people in my district can wake up from this mans trance.
    I hope we can be saved from him, one way or another.
    I’ll just keep hoping.

  11. ahmad has always been self serving. His very first council meeting. Watch and see what he brings forward. SMH ‍♀️
    He needs to take a seat.

  12. Zahra claimed he had traveled to Syria this year.

    More lies, unless he knows al-Assad, considering this is from the State Department website.

    “Do not travel to Syria due to terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and risk of unjust detention.

    Country Summary: The U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended its operations in February 2012. The Czech Republic serves as the protecting power for the United States in Syria. The U.S. government is unable to provide any emergency services to U.S. citizens in Syria.

    Syria has experienced active armed conflict since 2011. No part of Syria is safe from violence. Kidnappings by armed groups, unjust arrests and/or detentions, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment of civilian centers pose significant risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

    The U.S. government particularly warns private U.S. citizens against traveling to Syria to engage in armed conflict. U.S. citizens who undertake such activity face extreme personal risks, including kidnapping by armed groups, unjust arrests, injury, or death. The U.S. government does not support this activity. Our ability to provide consular assistance to individuals who are injured or kidnapped, or to the families of individuals who die in the conflict, is extremely limited.

    Protests and demonstrations are quelled by government forces through aggressive tactics and protestors, activists, and political dissenters are routinely detained without access to legal representation or communications with friends and family.

    Terrorist groups are active in Syria. Parts of Syria have experienced recent increases in incidents of bombings, IEDs, and assassinations. Fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations, including ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a crime under U.S. law that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines.

    There is an ongoing risk of kidnapping and detentions of U.S. citizens and Westerners throughout the country. U.S. citizens remain a target. U.S. citizens are also targets of abduction and/or unjust detention by the Syrian government and while in detention do not have access to due process or medical attention. Government detention centers are known to be unsanitary facilities where widespread cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of detainees has been documented, as well as torture and extrajudicial killings. Minors, persons with physical, sensory, or mental disabilities, and elderly have frequently been victims of unjust detention. The Syrian government has also been implicated in the enforced or involuntary disappearance of more than 100,000 citizens, including medical and humanitarian workers, journalists, human rights activists, political opposition, and additionally those suspected of affiliation with these groups and their family members. Note: Only the Syrian government can issue a valid entry visa to Syria. Failure to obtain a legitimate entry visa directly from the Syrian government could result in detention.

    Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of Syria, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), which says that heightened military activity associated with the Syrian conflict may result in the risk of GPS interference, communications jamming, and errant long-range surface to air missiles straying into adjacent airspace within 200 nautical miles of the Damascus Flight Information Region. These activities may inadvertently pose hazards to civil aviation transiting the region. It also has the potential to spill over into the adjacent airspace managed by neighboring states and eastern portions of the Mediterranean Sea.”

    1. I have often wondered about this guy’s trips to the Middle East and how that happens in a civil war torn country where 300,000 civilians have been killed.

      Zahra claims to be a graduate of the University of Damascus Medical School. If so, he would have been there close to the same time as the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and must have known each other.

    2. A level 4 State Department warning is not a legal prohibition, such as the one that currently exists for the DPRK. During COVID, almost every country was level 4 – but that didn’t stop people from traveling. I have a friend who went to several L4 countries over the winter – nothing stopped them…

      1. And so what? Where is the proof of Zahra’s claims Lil’ Miss Marxist? We’ll wait…

        1. not backing zahra’s claims here, just want to make sure that if we’re going to criticize and investigate, we do things along the right lines. plenty of things to look into our representatives for – this specific line wasn’t one of them

    1. Anyone who has spent time with Zahra is a “little worse for wear”. He is a cancer that eventually kills its host.

  13. Poor Michelle, she must have been traumatized by Fullerton’s version of George Santos.

    Fullertonian’s with a conscience should start a GOFUNDME 4 poor Michelle.

  14. I wonder how many of Zahras D5 constituents got permanent residency and citizenship without pretending to be married.

    There was talk a few months ago about a recall against Zahra. Now is the time to discuss this seriously.

    Let’s make Zahra come up with an explanation of the Arkansas that sounds a little bit like it might be true.

  15. Maria Konnikova in her book The Confidence Game contends that con artists’ psychology is made up of three behaviors:
    1. Narcissism
    2. Psychopathy
    3. Machiavellianism
    Seems like Dr. Z exhibits these behaviors in spades. I wonder how many more of his lies need to be exposed before this con reaches the end of the line.

    1. Got me thinking . . . We have already heard it from the Hoger guy and we know it’s coming in spades from Z, but where does the ever-present “Homophobia” accusation/diversion fit in? I guess under behavior #3. The Prince Z’s go to. So old and pathetic.

      1. Didn’t say anything about homophobia per se. It’s more an issue of general othering based on constantly bringing up questions about his sexuality.

        Which are none of your business. And I think his citizenship is also none of our business. He is a citizen. Means that his application was good enough for the government, it’s old news you’re trying to make new news out of it.

        1. We all are susceptible of being conned, but some of us are easier marks than others.

        2. An expected empty headed reply. He’s an elected official. Suspected lies on his biography are everyone’s business. People lose jobs and careers over lying about their past. It’s fair game and the “none of your business” defense is per se shallow and misguided. D5 voters won’t be voting to terminate his citizenship, but they are certainly entitled to know about all appearances of dishonesty and deceit of leaders and candidates. Z chose to enter the public arena. Grow up. Why are you coddling anyway?

        3. Zahra’s sexuality is a fact that he likes to talk about all the time, like he’s some sort of heroic figure. So there’s that.

          But no one is questioning Zahra’s sexuality, because nobody cares, except you, evidently. I don’t think anybody believes he isn’t gay and not one thing in this post suggests anyone believes otherwise.

          In fact it’s our steadfast belief in his homosexuality that leads us to question his motives for marrying a woman in Arkansas soon after arrival in the USA.

          1. One of his self-serving bios mentions that he had some sort of special MD visa to go to UCLA. At the very least, he would have had a tourist visa. The first would have expired when he switched careers and became an extension student at film school living out of his car in Hollywood (so his story goes). A tourist visa is only good for 180 days and has to be continually renewed. Neither would have let him legally work in the USA.

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