Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Blog

Today our country faces one of the most challenging civil rights issues in decades: the rising tide of Islamophobia. America is a nation that thrives because of its complexity and diversity. Growing anti-Muslim sentiments threaten to unravel the very fabric which makes our society strong. As such, demonization of American Muslims and Arab Americans is not only a problem for those communities alone, but a problem for the entire country. The most effective way to dispel misconceptions, break down barriers, and expose injustices facing any community or group of people is to tell individual, real-life stories - stories of sacrifice, hardship and triumph. And that is precisely what a young group of filmmakers are trying to do with their new and inspiring film, “Adeela.”

“Adeela” tells the story of a young Arab American Muslim woman who is encouraged to sing the national anthem at a small town’s Fourth of July celebration, but receives backlash because of her faith. The movie details the girl’s struggle to gain acceptance and deal with discrimination in her town. The concept and imagery is extraordinary and speaks directly to the misconception that "Muslim/Arab" and "American" are mutually exclusive identities. The movie’s creators say that notion is precisely what inspired them to make the film. In a video posted on their website, “Adeela’s” filmmakers say they were prompted to make their film when they witnessed bigoted opposition to a fundraising event hosted by a Muslim relief group, ICNA Relief, which provides domestic disaster relief and social services to predominantly immigrant communities. In the voice over of the video, Nicolas Ybarra, one of the principle filmmakers says, “Although I am not Muslim, I am American, and seeing my fellow American citizens being ridiculed for doing what they believe in was heartbreaking to me.”

To help the film reach its full potential, Ybarra and his colleagues have launched a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of production. The goal is $64,000.00, after which the team hopes to submit the final product to film festivals and hopefully for review by Academy Award judges. Through a medium such as film, we can tell the stories about American Muslims and Arab Americans that urgently need telling. The movie promises to be extraordinary, so please share “Adeela” with your friends and family.

comments powered by Disqus