Cedars in the Pines

Cedars in the Pines
Genre: Documentary | Director: Akram Khater | Language: English | Length: 55 minutes | Country: United States, Lebanon | Year: 2012 | Rating: NR

Over the past 130 years the Lebanese have created a rich legacy in North Carolina. They have built businesses from humble beginnings and innovative ideas, and shared their rich culture through food, dance, faith, art and literature. This film narrates the lives of those who have journeyed from Lebanon to build new homes, raise families and describes the 130-year history of the Lebanese in North Carolina. The film was produced by Professor Akram Khater of NC State University.

The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies is proud to have sponsored a screening of Cedars in the Pines. The Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies offers more information about the production and the continuing project on the Lebanese in North Carolina.

Find curriculum to accompany the film here.

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 4.H.1.3, 4.G.1.3, 4.C.1.1, 8.H.2.3, 8.H.3.1, 8.G.1.2, 8.C&G.1.4, 8.C.1.2, 8.C.1.3

Driving to Zigzigland

Driving to Zigzigland
Genre:
Comedy | Director: Nicole Ballivian | Language: Arabic, English | Length: 92 minutes | Country: United States, Palestine | Year: 2006 | Rating: NR

A chronicle of a day in the life of a Palestinian cab driver in Los Angeles, DRIVING TO ZIGZIGLAND, portrays the social struggle of the Arab immigrant in post-9/11 America. The utilities are due and Bashar has twenty-four hours to make the money. For the remaining hours left until tomorrow, an unceasing flow of passengers ride in Bashar’s taxi and give the Arab cabbie the run around on issues that deal with suicide bombers, George Bush, Cat Stevens, the war in Iraq, music, and world geography.

Without losing its lightness or optimism, Driving to Zigzigland manages to contemplate discrimination and fear in the post-9/11 era, the desire to leave one’s homeland and the yearning to return to it, and the constant reinterpretations of identity that we all engage in. It is not only Palestinians who dream of Zigzigland, Bashar explains, “The American dream is just a Zigzigland dream.” In life, he says, “there is only struggle and survival.”

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2

Prince Among Slaves

Prince Among Slaves
Genre: Documentary | Director: Andrea Kalin, Bill Duke | Language: English | Length: 58 minutes | Country: United States | Year: 2007 | Rating: NR

Prince Among Slaves recounts the true story of an African Muslim prince who was captured and sold into slavery in the American South. After 40 years of enslavement, he finally regained his freedom, became a national celebrity, and dined in the White House. This is an incredible story about an incredible man who endured the humiliation of slavery without ever losing his dignity or his hope for freedom.

His story of courage and forbearance under the meanest of circumstances is a powerful drama that not only speaks directly to the African American experience, but also to the human experience. It expands our idea about what it means to be human, what we’re capable of surviving, and how our dignity can remain intact, even when under relentless assault. And because his story takes place beginning around 1776, it also illuminates the foundational period in American history as viewed from a perspective that is generally ignored when thinking about the establishment of the country: that of the African people enslaved in the early years of nationhood.

Watch the documentary online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 8.H.3.1, 8.C&G.1.4, 8.C.1.1, AH1.H.3.2, AH1.H.3.4, AH1.H.4.1, AH1.H.4.4, USH2.H.3.3,WH.H.5.1, WH.H.5.3