American Arab

American Arab
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Usama Alshaibi | Language: English | Length: 60 minutes | Country: United States | Year: 2013 | Rating: NR, some strong language

In Kartemquin’s American Arab, Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland.

Arab-Americans are not one monolithic group, but rather a diverse and complex array of many voices and cultures. This film weaves sadness and humor, anger and satire, provocation and understanding, embracing the multifaceted Arab American experience of post 9/11 America. By shedding light and giving clarity to a recent and difficult time for Arabs living in the US, American Arab shows how the struggles over identity within this documentary are universal.

American Arab is a project of Kartemquin’s first Diversity Fellowship, sponsored by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Ford Foundation. For more information, see the film’s website: https://www.kartemquin.com/films/american-arab

This film is available to colleges, schools, and libraries through the Cinema Guild, click here for more information.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.7, WH.H.8, AH2.H.7, AH2.H.8, 12.C.1.3 (Sociology)

My Fellow American

My Fellow American
Genre:
Documentary | Director: Robert Gardner | Language: English | Length: | Country: United States | Year: 2011 | Rating: NR

My Fellow American was produced by Unity Productions Foundation in association with Gardner Films, Inc. It was directed by the Oscar-nominated, multiple Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, Robert Gardner. My Fellow American was shot in Baltimore using some of the personnel who worked on the popular television series, The Wire. The voices heard in the film are actual excerpts found on YouTube, and were a small sample of such comments from various public figures, including law makers, radio and television personalities, and leading religious leaders.

My Fellow American is an online film and social media project that calls upon concerned Americans to pledge and spread a message that Muslims are our fellow Americans. It asks people of other backgrounds to pledge, and share a real life story about a Muslim friend, neighbor, or colleague that they admire. Using the power of social media, My Fellow American seeks to change the narrative – from Muslims as the other, to Muslims as our fellow Americans.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2, AH2.H.7, AH2.H.8, 12.C.1.3 (Sociology)

Cairo in One Breath

Cairo in One Breath
Genre
: Documentary | Director: Anna Kipervaser | Language: Arabic, English Subtitles | Length: 79 minutes | Country: Egypt | Year: 2015 | Rating: NR

The adhan is the Muslim call to prayer, an invitation to sacred space traditionally performed by a muezzin at a mosque five times each day. Cairo has thousands of mosques, and with countless muezzins chanting the call simultaneously there is a holy cacophony that reverberates through the city’s soundscape. Enter the Ministry of Religious Endowments with the concept of a unified adhan, a single call from one muezzin broadcast from a central studio to a network of mosques, each relaying the adhan through its own sound system. This beautiful and timely film is full of rich details of everyday life and maintains a quiet respect for the range of opinions voiced on either side of this somewhat unpopular edict. In a culture still unsettled by recent revolution, the idea of any kind of unification is controversial, and the loss of local traditions and individual voices is deeply felt.

For more information about the film and multimedia project, click here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2