Breaking Walls for Yemeni Film

Posted by on February 05, 2014 in Blog
By Margaret Lowry This year’s Academy Awards will be a big night for Arab Cinema. Alongside the two feature-length films Omar by Hany Abu-Assad and the The Square by Arab American director Jehane Noujaim, from Palestine and Egypt respectively, a new short film from Yemen can be added to the list of nominated Arab films. Karama Has No Walls is the first film from Yemen to be nominated for an Oscar, and the first film ever for its Yemeni-Scottish director Sara Ishaq.
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“Omar” and “The Square”: From the Region to the Red Carpet

Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Blog
by: Firas Suqi Spring Intern, 2014 Filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad has put Palestinian cinema back in the limelight after his fictional thriller “Omar” was nominated for an Academy Award in best foreign language film. Shot between Nazareth, Israel and various locations throughout Palestine, “Omar” tells the story of a Palestinian baker unwillingly thrust into the role of an Israeli informant after being beaten and forced into a false confession during the investigation of a murdered Israeli soldier.
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Community Screening of Oscar Nominated Film “The Square”

Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Blog
Big news: The Square, a documentary film directed by Arab American filmmaker Jahane Noujaim about the Egyptian revolution, has been nominated for an Oscar! There is still time for you to join us tomorrow for a special screening of the film on its DC premiere. To celebrate the film and its director, we are hosting an Arab American community screening of the film, and we invite you to attend as our guest. We have bought out the entire theater so you can come join us, talk to Jehane and celebrate the film with fellow community members. The screening is free of charge, but there are very few seats left, so RSVP now.
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Arab American Writes Award Winning Fantasy Novel

Posted by on December 05, 2013 in Blog
By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013 Arab American author Saladin Ahmed debuted his first fantasy novel earlier this year. In Throne of the Crescent Moon, the first novel of three planned installments, Ahmed creates a rich Middle Eastern backdrop for his story that takes place in the fictional city of Dhamsawaat.
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Arab American Author Releases Children’s Book, “My Grandfather’s Masbaha”

Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Blog

By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013

Susan Daniel Fayad is an Arab American author who has spent most of her professional life working in education. She taught primary grades at an international charter school before moving forward in her career as a State Department-sponsored educational adviser with AMIDEAST Lebanon. In her new children’s book My Grandfather’s Masbaha, Fayad uses her experience as an educator to teach an important life lesson to her young readers. “The main message is be thankful for every single thing you have because it is truly precious,” Fayad said,...

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Gabr Fellows Sit Down with HuffPost Live

Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Blog

By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013

Four participants of the inaugural class of Shafik Gabr Fellows sat down with HuffPost Live yesterday to talk about the prestigious program and their misconceptions and newfound realizations about the United States and Egypt. The fellowship incorporates discussion sessions, action projects and trips to Egypt and the United States. Back in June, the 10 American fellows visited Egypt, all for the first time.

“I never knew the depth of Egyptian history and how much contribution they made to the world. In the discussions with my friends, [we saw the desire] to...

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Gabr Fellowship Brings Together Egyptian and American Leaders to Listen, Engage and Impact

Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Blog

By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013

With a foot in two countries and knowledge of the inner workings of politics in two regions, Arab Americans uniquely understand that dialogue, discussion and engagement are necessary tools in improving the poor state of U.S.-Arab affairs and bridging the divide between two seemingly different regions and cultures.

On Saturday, AAI President James Zogby conveyed a message his mother taught him to 22 young professionals from the United States and Egypt. He said: “If you want someone to listen to you, listen to them first.” The young leaders Dr. Zogby addressed...

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Photographer Rania Matar Captures People’s Similarities Despite Cultural Differences

Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Blog
By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013 Rania Matar is an Arab American photographer born and raised in Lebanon who moved to the U.S. in 1984 to study at Cornell University. Originally an architect, she expanded her trade beyond shooting portraits of her children when she grew displeased with the negative depiction of her homeland in western media.
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Why ‘Wadjda’ is Important

Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Blog
By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013 A recent comment by Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan from Saudi Arabia drew outrage over the weekend as women in the country prepare for a campaign on October 26 to grant women the right to drive. This weekend’s events play out as "Wadjda," a movie from Saudi Arabia drawing critical acclaim and attention, begins to roll out in cinemas across the United States.
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Bringing a Palestinian Perspective to DC

Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Blog
By Margaret Lowry The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival opens this Saturday with a photography exhibit and reception featuring the work of Palestinian artist Samar Hazboun. The festival, which is entering its third season, aims to bring DC’s various communities closer together through art, and catalyze invigorating discussion about film and culture using the lens of Palestinian filmmakers as an entry point. The stories told through the festival are not necessarily about the Palestinian/Israel conflict, nor are they necessarily stories about Palestinians, but they are stories that reflect the dynamic formation of a transnational identity common to Palestinians and diasporic communities more generally.
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