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)

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