A Burroughs entertainment ‘Dynamic Duo’

A veteran entertainment producer and a best-selling author

A Burroughs entertainment ‘Dynamic Duo’Bruce Auld, a former Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent, is writing the history of Burroughs High School. The articles that are being published are excerpts from his upcoming book, exclusive to The News Review.

The lives of Haroon Saleem and Sabaa Tahir began a world away from Burroughs and Ridgecrest. I have exhausted my sources to determine just how Ridgecrest and the small motel on the corner of Felspar and Balsam became their high school home. Nonetheless, they have earned the right to be named ”Burrough’s Notables” by Wikipedia.

Haroon Saleem graduated from Burroughs in 1996. He is Sabaa Tahir’s older brother and is President of Production for Trevor Noah’s Viacom-backed Day Zero Productions. Trevor Noah is the star of the “Daily Show, “airing weeknights on the Comedy Channel. Trevor recently hosted this year’s Grammy Awards. Haroon, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduate, is a twenty-year veteran of the entertainment industry. His production and technical credits include: Friendsgiving, Dinner in America, The Package (Netflix), An Ember in the Ashes, November Man, Into the Forest, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ray, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Pursuit” if” Happiness, ATL, Hitch, I Am Legend, Hancock, Chasing Mavericks and Tooth Fairy (starring Dwaine Johnson). Over the course of his 20-year career, he has collaborated with entertainment luminaries too many to detail. He was instrumental in then Senator Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign in California and organized the Los Angeles election night celebration, hosting some 17,000 attendees. He created the “I Vote,” a non-profit, which touched nearly 21 million individuals. Haroon was born on the Mediterranean coast of Benghazi, Libya. His family migrated to the United States, specifically Ridgecrest, California. (From Haroon Saleem’s resume). Haroon was elected Associated Student Body Treasurer for his senior year. A long-distance runner, he lettered in Cross Country and Track. (1996 Blockbuster)

Sabaa Tahir graduated from Burroughs in 2000 and is Haroon’s younger sister.

Sabaa’s parents immigrated from Pakistan to the United Kingdom, where she was born, later moving to Ridgecrest, living at her family’s eighteen room motel. There, she spent time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from UCLA, she interned at the Washington Post, later advancing to international news editor. She is a New York Times Best Selling novelist in the young adult/fantasy genre. Tahir’s first novel, An Ember in the Ashes, was published on April 28, 2015, a New York Times best seller, published in thirty-four languages. An Ember in the Ashes and Torch Against the Night were listed among Time’s Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. Paramount Pictures bought the rights An Ember in the Ashes before it was published. (From Wikipedia)

Our number four grandchild (age-wise), Avery (13), is a voracious fan of the young adult/fantasy genre, consuming a book a day. She has read Sabaa’s series and rates her work “a two thumbs-up.” Avery attempted to explain to her 73 year-old Papa the essence of An Ember in the Ashes. We are still working on it.

Sabaa recently visited the desert and posted the following on Facebook: “I used to think I hated the desert. Maybe because it was mercurial, grumpy and emotionally distant, like me. But predictably, as I learned to appreciate myself, I realized I never hated the desert. Her mercurial nature meant she was never boring. Her grumpiness meant you had to work to earn her trust. And her emotional distance kept people from taking advantage of her. I never hated the desert. I just didn’t understand her. And now that I do, I can let myself love her.”

From what might have been fairly humble beginnings in an old Ridgecrest motel, this “dynamic duo” has made the Burros and the Bruins proud of their achievements. Next week, a short article on Sabaa’s latest novel.

Courtesy photos: "Burroughs Notables" Haroon Saleem (with wife Brittany) and Sabaa Tahir

Story First Published: 2021-08-27