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)

Tunisian Women: We Will Stand Up

Tunisian Women: We Will Stand Up
Genre: Documentary | Director: Hajer Ben Nasr | Language: Arabic, English subtitles | Length:  55 minutes | Country: Tunisia | Year: 2013 | Rating: N/A

On December 18, 2010 Tunisians of all ages took the streets of Tunis to demand better living conditions and the end of President Ben Ali’s repressive dictatorship, starting what would become the 2011 Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring. Among the demonstrators were seven Tunisian women activists, each one of these women celebrating the culmination of a life devoted to the fight for freedom and democracy in their country This documentary has followed the fight against dictatorship of a few Tunisian women from different backgrounds, ranging from the opposition party leader, to the singer, to the simple mother whose child got unfairly imprisoned, and others. The film then goes on to tell us about their plans and fears when facing the new threats in the unstable post-revolutionary time in Tunisia.

Available for free streaming online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: WH.H.8.2, WH.H.8.6

Falafelism : the Politics of Food in the Middle East

Falafelism : the Politics of Food in the Middle East
Genre: Documentary | Director: Ari A. Cohen | Language: Arabic, Hebrew, English with English subtitles | Length: 50 minutes | Country: Global | Year: 2013 | Rating: N/A

Falafelism follows the iconic Palestinian croquette made from ground chickpeas and fava beans as it rolls its way through world history, cultural identity, class struggle, and international politics. There is no doubt that the world enjoys this humble sandwich as a Middle Eastern food favorite but some Israelis now claim it as their own. What is the origin of this dish? What is the difference between the Egyptian Tamieh and the Palestinian Falafel? Who is winning the Falafel wars? Can this delicious yet humble sandwich bring people together or is it yet another example of Israeli appropriation of Palestinian food and culture? Filmed in North America, Europe and the Middle East, with leading scholars, restaurateurs, and everyday people, Falefelism tries to answer all these questions and more as filmmaker Ari Cohen gains 20 pounds in search of cultural coexistence between Israel and Palestine, Jews and Arabs.