Koran by Heart: One Chance to Remember

Koran by Heart: One Chance to Remember
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Greg Barker | Language: English, Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 90 minutes | Country: Egypt, Global | Year: 2011 | Rating: NR

There is a passage in the Qur’an that says if you memorize the Qur’an and teach it to others, you will be successful in this life and the next life.” In Koran by Heart, the young scholar who says this has already committed the entire Muslim holy book to memory. He has also earned a place in the Islamic world’s oldest Qur’an memorization contest—though he’s only ten.

Every year, about 100 of Islam’s best young students from around the world come to Cairo for the International Holy Koran Competition. Many are in their late teens, some as young as seven. Koran by Heart follows the progress of three scholars, a girl and two boys, all ten years old, as they compete against students who, in some instances, are nearly twice their age.

Koran by Heart captures the skill, determination, and faith of the young competitors, but never lets the viewer forget that they are children: the solemn girl we watch as she accepts a prize from the president of Egypt is the same high-spirited kid who squeals with delight on her first camel ride.

Viewing guide and related resources available here (Muslim Journeys | Item #308: “, August 21, 2015 http://bridgingcultures.neh.gov/muslimjourneys/items/show/308.)

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards:  6.C.1.1, 6.C.1.2, 7.C.1.2, WH.H.2.5

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