Arab Americans on the Ground: Los Angeles Arab Film Festival

Posted by Shadi Matar on October 26, 2016 in Blog


image001.jpegAAI was happy to turn out for the Los Angles Arab Film Festival recently and encourage attendees to #YallaVote! Californians from across the state gathered to enjoy realistic portrayals of Arab people, our culture, art and history at the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the country. Held at the Harmony Gold Theater on Sunset Boulevard, the Festival enjoyed capacity crowds. AAI set up a #YallaVote information table to meet and greet voters as well as co-presented the documentary, “Nasser” covering the rise and fall of Gamal Abdul Nasser.



Arab American Voter Profile

Nagham Wehbe, L.A Arab Film Festival Coordinator

Q: What was your first interaction with #YallaVote?

I was so happy when I saw the Yalla Vote campaign because it is really important to reach out to the Arab American community and get them registered so they can vote. I am very glad that many of the organizations here in California also know about this initiative. 

Q: When was the first time you voted?

This will my first time voting since I moved here from Lebanon!

Q: What does voting mean to you?

In general, I have conflicted ideas on voting. On one hand I think it's about having a voice and having options that many in other countries do not have. On the other hand, given the choices we have this year, I am not optimistic that there will be real change.

Q: Why is the 2016 Election so important to you?

The election is important to me because this election has two very different candidates running for president. As an Arab American the results could be scary if the right choice is not made. Many things will change after this election or they could stay the same.

Q: What are you most looking forward to ahead of November 8th?

I am looking forward to knowing the results after November 8th. After that we will know what the situation is and what we can expect in the coming years.

Q: What do you believe are the most important issues for your local community, your state, and the U.S. in this election?

The most important issue in this race is defining what America is because we have two different visions of America on the ballot. So, America will be defined by which candidate wins.