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Middle East

Middle East


Before and after the popular uprising that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, a new generation of Egyptian filmmakers started using their weapon of choice-their cameras- as a tool for revealing the truth to the world. More than ever a crucial weapon of resistance, filming breaks the law of silence and makes sense out of confusion that now rules Egypt. Weapon of Choice shows how filmmakers, through fiction, documentary or citizen journalism, take action in the long and difficult process of transformation that is Revolution. With Ibrahim El Batout, Ayten Amin, Wael Omar, Khalid Abdalla, Amr Salama, Mohamed Diab and Karim El Shenawy.

DVD / 2013 / (Senior High - College) / 43 minutes

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Defusing Human Bombs is the incredible story of the Sabaoon School in Pakistan. Through psychology, religious study, vocational training and education, and most importantly through trust, it aims to undo years of Taliban indoctrination in the hearts and minds of young boys. Some of the high risk students here had picked up arms voluntarily. Others were forced into compliance and were preparing for a suicide terrorist attack. Filmed over a period of 18 months, the film exposes the incredible hardship and violence the boys experienced during their time with the Taliban, including abduction, brainwashing, and aborted suicide missions. Run by Hum Pakistani, a local NGO with security provided by the Army, the Sabaoon School has been a ray of light for families living in the Swat area of Pakistan. However, its mission of rehabilitation is not without problems or danger; only a fraction of the boys have made a successful transition back into society, and one of the school's teachers was assassinated. The film illustrates the challenging task of attempting to help the young and vulnerable escape the power of the Taliban in Pakistan.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 57 minutes

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For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood was an outlawed organization, marginalized and persecuted. Today, along with the Salafists and other Muslim groups, they are the principal winners of the Arab revolutions. They believe in a "Turkish model" of Islamic rule, and their speech is well-crafted to avoid scaring away the West. But what kind of policies do they want to introduce? Should political Islam be feared? Abdel Hakim Belhadj, leader of the Islamic al-Watan Party in Libya, has long been on the CIA's radar. In Morocco, radical preacher Sheikh Mohamad Fizazi is enjoying a comeback. And in Syria, insurgents are fighting to introduce Sharia law. From Libya to Morocco to Syria, this program investigates the new parties jostling for power.

Note: Only available in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and South Africa.

DVD / 2012 / 51 minutes

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Directed by Alexandre Trudeau

After centuries of Western domination, the waterways of the Middle East are now being contested in unprecedented ways. Pirates are roaming sea lanes. Local powers are threatening chokepoints. And the people are rising up to bring their authoritarian rulers down. With no simple solutions for maintaining control of oil flows, the West is facing a crucial decision. Already weakened by extended military interventions, faltering economies, and strained global partnerships, the US and Europe must decide whether violent intervention or benevolent passivity is the best course of action.

  • "This is a sobering history of the decline and fall of Western hegemony in the Persian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean -- and the alarming reality of what comes next. The historic march through North Africa and the Middle East with the world's top strategists, economists, and thinkers provides an unsettling glimpse into the post-American maritime order." - James Kraska, Howard S. Levie Chair in International Law at the U.S. Naval War College

  • "A sobering, comprehensive look at the contemporary geopolitics of the oil patch and the sea lanes that connect it to the world." - F. Gregory Gause, III, Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont | Author of The International Relations of the Persian Gulf

  • "Alexandre Trudeau depicts a very clear and relevant picture of the oil-based conflict in the Middle East. The film is well-directed and only as sensational as its subject matter." - Laurence Trepanier, CBC News

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2012 / 54 minutes

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    Director: Ruaridh Arrow

    Gene Sharp hardly seems like one of the world's most dangerous men. White-haired and soft-spoken, the 83-year-old professor mostly keeps to himself, spending much of his time in his small Boston home reading, writing, and tending to his orchid garden. But to the world's most brutal dictators, Professor Sharp's ideas have proven catastrophic. In this fascinating new film, first-time director Ruaridh Arrow details how an obscure list of nonviolent actions authored by Sharp in 1973 has served as a blueprint for anti-authoritarian revolts everywhere from Eastern Europe and the Balkans to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Giving as much attention to the substance of Sharp's "198 Methods of Nonviolent Action" as it does to the democratic rebels who have courageously made these methods their own, How to Start a Revolution bears witness not only to the power of nonviolent struggle, but to how one person of conscience can quietly influence the lives of millions of people. Features commentary from Sharp's close ally Retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Helvey, Sharp himself, and many of the revolutionary leaders his work has inspired.

    DVD contains two versions: a full length version (82 minutes) and an abridged version (52 minutes).

  • "A world conquering British documentary" - The Daily Telegraph

  • "A vital conversation starter and educational tool for a world awash with violence." - The Huffington Post

  • "Inspirational" - The Globe & Mail

  • Best Documentary - Fort Lauderdale Film Festival
  • Best Documentary - Boston Film Festival
  • Best Documentary - Raindance Film Festival, London
  • Special Jury Prize - One World Film Festival - Ottawa

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2011 / 134 minutes

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    (The voices in this film emerge despite state censorship and repression. Exceptional in a country living in fear, they tell the chronicle of a forbidden Iran.)

    While winds of freedom blow through the Arab world, the Iranian youth waits. They were the first to rise up against their leaders in 2009. The first to tweet, Facebook and post YouTube updates, filming the fallout of their failed revolution on camera phones. Now, Iran has closed itself off to the Western press, making it difficult to get the inside story from the outside.

    For the past two years, Manin Loiseau has been following a group of Iranians inside Iran. Many lost loved ones or were tortured themselves in the aftermath of the elections. Piecing together interviews, footage from hidden cameras, YouTube clips and more, she paints a vivid portrait of the aftermath of the Green Revolution.

    DVD / 2011 / (Senior High - College) / 78 minutes

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    By Matt Sienkiewicz and Joseph C. Sousa

    The Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency (MNA) emerged out of the ashes of the second Intifada to become the only independent news network in the Palestinian Territories and an increasingly prominent and influential journalistic force in the wider Middle East. Live from Bethlehem tells MNA's remarkable story. It chronicles the agency's struggles and successes through the eyes of the station's reporters, producers, and photographers, in the process quietly revealing the humanity of ordinary Palestinians as they go about their daily business. The documentary trains its focus on people more than on abstract issues, yet it never loses sight of the myriad social and political forces and pressures that Ma'an journalists are forced to negotiate as they try to gather and report balanced information. What results is an admirably nuanced portrait of how news gets produced, and how Palestinians live, in one of the world's most troubled regions.

  • "fascinating..." - The Chicago Reader

  • "A truly superb film...exceptional in its nuanced portrayal of the forces that come to bear on media production in the Palestinian Territories." - Dr. Michael Curtin, author of Playing to the World's Biggest Audience

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2009 / 36 minutes

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    This Wide Angle report travels to the front lines of the staggering refugee crisis that continues to unfold in the Middle East as Iraqis flee their war -torn hometowns to live either as exiles in neighboring countries or dislocated within Iraq's borders. The situations in Syria and Jordan, where refugees cope with their new surroundings amidst government pressure and rising resentment from the local population, are spotlighted. In addition, Aaron Brown speaks with regional leaders about how the catastrophe is impacting the Middle East - and these millions of homeless Iraqis whose hope of return grows dimmer with each passing year.

    Note: Only available in the US and Canada.

    DVD / 2008 / 57 minutes

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    Featuring Michael T. Klare

    With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil transcends partisan politics to show how six decades of failed government policy have increased America's dependence on foreign oil and made its energy and defense policies virtually interchangeable.

    Against the grain of leaders and pundits who have dismissed and belittled claims that the U.S. has sacrificed the lives of its troops and countless others around the world to feed its oil habit, the film exposes a fundamental connection between diminishing global petroleum supplies, skyrocketing rates of global consumption, and successive American wars and military interventions. Based on the critically-acclaimed book by international security expert Michael T. Klare.

    "Resources, not differences in civilizations or identities, are at the root of most contemporary confilict." - Michael T. Klare

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2007 / Approx. 55 minutes

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    Part 1 chronicles the discovery of oil in Persia in 1908; the tumultuous claims placed on Middle East territories and conclude with the British being sent home from Iran in the 1950s.

    This episode explores the "sphere of interest," power politics, oil's role in both World Wars, American influence, the Saudi empire, the exile of Britain, and the Shaw's rise to power and the start of turmoil between the nations of the Middle East.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Part 2 profiles the history of Middle East oil beginning in the early 1970's. It chronicles the oil embargo and the resulting rise in import prices as foreign leaders attempt to negotiate. Tensions in the Middle East begin to heighten as conflicting groups become more violent with each other and foreign powers. Assassinations, hostage situations and torture are tearing the region apart. American female soldiers fighting in the Gulf War sparks interests in women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Fundamentalist groups react to this and become even more oppressive and aggressive.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Part 3 profiles the after effects of the second gulf war. Iraq, which once played a major role in the Middle East oil trade, is struggling to gain stability. Exemplifying this is the city of Kirkuk, one of the two largest oil regions in the country, where oil brought destruction and discrimination against the Kurds. In Iran, controversy surrounds the Sunni and Shiite's and the struggle for everyday life. This episode also shows the disparity between north and south Tehran and the south's disappointment with failed promises by president Ahmadinijhad. In stark contrast lies Kuwait and Saudi Arabia where modernization is far beyond that of Iran and Iraq.

    DVD / 2007 / (Senior High - College) / 55 minutes

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    Featuring Dr.Jack Shaheen

    This groundbreaking documentary takes aim at a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged from the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Featuring acclaimed author Dr. Jack Shaheen, Reel Bad Arabs explores a long line of degrading images of Arabs, from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-toting terrorists. Along the way, it offers devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypical images and their development at key points in U.S. history. By inspiring critical thinking about the social and political effects of these Hollywood caricatures, the film challenges viewers to recognize the urgent need for counter-narratives that do justice to the diversity and humanity of Arab people, and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.

  • "Good documentaries can move you or inform you. Great documentaries can change your entire point of view. Reel Bad Arabs falls into the latter category." - FAIZAN RASHID, Film Critic, The Emirates Network

  • "Jack Shaheen is a one-man anti-defamation league.'' - HELEN THOMAS, Distinguished Journalist & Author

  • "Good documentaries can move you or inform you. Great documentaries can change your entire point of of fairness and sanity in pointing out Hollywood's ongoing egregious smearing of Arabs." - HOWARD ROSENBERG, Los Angeles Times TV Critic

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 2006 / 50 minutes

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    By Juliano Mer Khamis

    This personal narrative tells the story of a children's theatre group on the West Bank that was established by Arna Mer Khamis, who grew up in a Zionist family and later married a Palestinian Arab. Directed by Arna's son Juliano, Arna's Children shifts back and forth in time to show the children in rehearsal from 1989 to 1996, and then revisits them later to discover the tragic fates that awaited three of them. Devastating and shocking, the film reveals the tragedy and horror of lives trapped by the circumstances of the Israeli occupation.

  • "Mer is not addressing the Jewish or Arab viewer. He is addressing those who do not know what a life without hope is." - YITZKAH LAOR, Haaretz Daily

    DVD / 2004 / 84 minutes

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    This unique film feature Dr. Kent Weeks and documents the re-discovery of the forgotten tomb, KV5, in the Valley of the Kings. Here we learn that the once overlooked tomb is not only one of the largest found in Egypt, but also it is unique in plan and purpose. From the wall reliefs and objects found on the floors, archaeologists have discovered that KV 5 was the burial place of the sons of Ramseses II.

  • "Highly Recommended. This program reports on the excavation of KV5, a tomb thought to be constructed by Ramseses II as a burial place for his first 12 sons. Using diaries, 19th-century maps, photography, common sense, and a lot of old-fashioned digging, a team led by Kent Weeks, a professor of Egyptology at American University in Cairo, uncovered the tomb. It is an exciting find because of the likelihood that the tomb has not been plundered by grave robbers and will present complete, undisturbed burial areas." -VRG Review

    DVD / 2004 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 15 minutes

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    A robed horseman, leading his camels across desert sands, guides us into 5,000 years of human history. We begin in the city of Cairo with its spectacular Egyptian Museum; next in Memphis we learn of the fable of the Apis Bulls; on the Suqqara Plain we visit the oldest stone structure on Earth, the great step pyramid; then to Giza, home of the famous pyramids and Sphinx, and to learn about papyrus making. Next, we explore ancient Nubia, today known as the Sudan; then to Elephantine Island and the Temple of Philea; next Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser, the world's largest man-made lake; then the temples of Pharaoh Ramses II; also the magnificent temples at Karnak and Luxor, once known as Thebes. Next, we explore the Valley of the Kings to relive finding Pharaoh Tutankhamun's treasures; then in Tell El Amarna we view a variety of temples; next we view life at an isolated oasis; then we visit Alexandria and its underground catacombs; next the Sinai Peninsula and Mt. Sinai; and in conclusion we meet the tent-dwelling Bedouin, the nomads of Arabia.

    DVD / 2004 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 90 minutes

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    Egypt's Pyramids have dominated the Giza plateau for more than five thousand years; and as we learn in this eye-opening documentary, most of the ancient world's secrets are yet to be revealed. Here we meet the select few who are granted access to the closely guarded tombs, including Dr. Zahi Hawass, no run-of-the-mill archaeologist, he is the impresario of Egyptology, "and no one touches a grain of Giza sand without his say-so." We learn of the myths that have been corrected, such as the Pyramids being built by slaves; visit the tomb Ka-em-ankh, an overseer of the treasure, and see the painstaking reality of an Egyptologist's life.

  • "Highly Recommended. This is an exciting documentary that aims to shed new light on the misty origins of Ancient Egypt. New images from space of the Sahara Desert show that the region was once widely irrigated - indicating an advanced civilization once existed there. There is also evidence to suggest why the desert is the site of ancient burial grounds. With the help of this new data, scientists are beginning to piece together a theory that suggests that it was the race that lived in this region which moved into the Nile delta after environmental changes made their home too arid, bringing with them the technologies that laid the foundation for the great Egyptian civilization that created the pyramids." -National Geographic.

    DVD / 2004 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 20 minutes

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    50 centuries ago, the Egypt of the Pharaohs. Of ancient Greeks and Romans. Christian Egypt. Islamic Egypt. Its lifeblood is the Nile. Today, the Republic of Egypt, with 60 million inhabitants, is the most populous Arab nation on Earth. This up-to-date study of Egypt and the Nile takes us to Cairo, ancient Memphis, the Pyramids, Alexandria, the Suez Canal, holy Sinai, the Red Sea, Luxor, Karnaw and Aswan.

  • "Highly Recommended. This voyage on the Nile presents an excellent look at Egypt." -Booklist

    DVD / 2004 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 45 minutes

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    In Gaza, politics and religion define every aspect of daily life, and it's a place where suicide bombers have the status of rock stars in the West. This documentary attempts to answer why the Palestinian leadership cannot control the fanatics of Hamas, and to understand what propels ever-greater numbers of Palestinians towards suicide? At a mosque we see eager faced youngsters who listen with rapt attention as a white shrouded fighter speaks of his wish to die. Also we are shown the forces that drive youngsters towards the harsh extremists who reject any peace process with Israel. At a public meeting, organized by the Palestinian administration, officials get into fistfights with one another. Set against the order and mass popularity of Hamas' rallies, it's a graphic example of just how limited Palestinian's powers are.

  • "Recommended. Journalist Sandra Jordan's street level look at the hell that is Gaza. She reports on the exalted status enjoyed by suicide bombers and their families, and explains why Arafat's Palestinian Authority is unable to control Hamas, the radical Islamic group that recruits and trains young bombers who view martyrdom as a ticket to heaven." -School Library Journal

    DVD / 2004 / (Senior High, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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    This documentary takes us to the landlocked mountains of Northern Iraq to investigate the new democracy that is flourishing in Kurdistan. In 1988 Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons killed over 5000 Kurds and today congenital abnormality rates are 4-5 times higher than post atomic populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Still the Kurds have rebuilt 80% of their villages and Iraqi Kurdistan is undergoing a mini boom. Western style shopping malls are springing up and university students have independent newspapers and Internet access. In 1992 the Kurds held elections, formed a parliament, and see themselves as a model for a democratic Iraq. However, the society they have built is incredibly fragile because the Jund al-Islam, part of the Al Quaida network, presents a new threat.

    DVD / 2004 / (Senior High, College, Adult) / 32 minutes

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    Israel's history is filled with stories and a new history is still evolving today. Here we experience many of those ancient and contemporary stories. First, we travel from Tel Aviv to Joppa, where Jonah set sail; then we visit Nablos, Mt. Gerizim, Caesaria, to explore Roman and Crusader ruins, Carmel National Park, Haifa's Baha'i Shrine, Acco's Mosque of El-Jazzar, Rosh Hanikra's sea-carved caves and Montfort's Crusader Castle. Next, an archaeological dig in Banias; then many New Testament sites, including Capernaum, the Church of the Beatitudes, the Church of the Multiplication, and Nazareth; also we tour the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Church of St. Joseph, Cana, Mt. Tabor, Belvior, and the archaeological digs at Bet Shean. Next to 10,000-year-old Jericho, the Judean Desert, the Monastery of St. George, the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, Masada, Eilan, Hai Bar, and Bethlehem. Our program concludes in Jerusalem where we visit the Knesset, the Supreme Court Building, Yad Vasheum, the Garden Tomb, Arab Suq (market), the Western (Wailing) Wall and the Church of the Holy Seplicar.

  • "Great heart went into the making of this. It gets top marks." -The Seattle Times

    DVD / 2004 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 90 minutes

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    More than 300 000 Palestinians in Lebanon still live in subhuman conditions. That is more than in any other Arab country. The plight of these people was once a central concern of the Arab world. Today, they feel forgotten. They are unwanted in Lebanon and have no place in the new Palestine. Many Palestinians in Lebanon feel abandoned by the PLO and the world. One old man who has lived most of his life in exile says: "Our land is still occupied. The Palestine of 1967 gives us nothing. We're the Palestinians of 1948. We want to go back to our land, to our homes." Will these people pay the price for a new Palestine?

    DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 15 minutes

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    This program examines the background to the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict. It covers:
  • The various peoples who have lived in and ruled over the area since biblical times.
  • The move to establish a Jewish homeland.
  • The 1967 six-day war.
  • Establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
  • Terrorist events at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
  • Declaration of the Intifidas.
  • The 1993 Oslo agreement.
  • The US-driven Roadmap to Peace in 2002.
  • The 2002 Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp.

    The program uses ABC footage and includes interviews with politicians and civilians from both sides of the conflict.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    DVD / 2004 / 27 minutes

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    Featuring interviews with Noam Chomsky, Hanan Ashrawi, Robert Fisk, and Rabbi Michael Lerner among many others.

    This critically-acclaimed documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites work in combination with Israeli public relations strategists to exercise a powerful influence over news coverage of the Middle East conflict. Combining American and British TV news clips with the insights of analysts, journalists, and political activists, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides an historical overview, a devastating comparison of U.S. and international media coverage, and an examination of the factors that have distorted U.S. media reporting and American public opinion.

  • "Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land should be required viewing for every citizen in the United States." - ROBERT McCHESNEY, University of Illinois

    DVD (With English, French, Spanish Subtitles) / 2004 / 80 minutes

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    By Amal Moghaizel

    "I worry I'll never get married or have a family. We all fear, war, death and destruction. We all have the same fear of tomorrow." - Dina, an Egyptian student in Beirut

    Filmed after the fall of Saddam Hussein, 20 YEARS OLD IN THE MIDDLE-EAST traverses the region - from Jordan to Syria, Iran, and Lebanon - to take the pulse of Arab and Iranian youth.

    The film offers an opportunity for Western college students to truly understand the lives and attitudes of their Middle Eastern counterparts: how they're different, and how they're the same.

    Hyam Pourla, an Iranian theology student and aspiring mullah who clandestinely sings in a heavy metal band, says, "There are big games being played in the region. Great strategies decided for the Middle East... We are powerless. All people can do is suffer."

    It's a feeling echoed by many, including Abbud, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian studying in Jordan: "We are reduced to silence," he says. "We can't speak freely here."

    "We're now lacking ideals," says Kamal, who studies at the American University in Beirut. "The Arab myth is fading. We don't know where to look for references. We're lost."

    And Badder, who dreams of being a BBC announcer, laments, "We're ashamed to say we're Arabs and proud of it."

    Although wary of the future, this generation craves freedom, and wants to feel pride in themselves and their cultures. For many, dreams and hopes co-exist with hopelessness and despair.

    As America becomes more deeply embroiled in the region, 20 YEARS OLD IN THE MIDDLE-EAST offers an indispensable snapshot of the attitudes of a generation that desires liberty over extremism, but at the same time fears that American policies will lead them into ever more warfare, and which - above all - simply wants to pursue their dreams.

  • "This film should be required viewing for leaders and citizens alike in the Middle East because it not only captures - often with great sadness - the frustration and despair of the Middle East's youth but it also offers solutions to these problems, if we would only listen. It is significant that of all the young people interviewed in the film, it is a young woman who is the most passionate about implementing change. It is not so much an issue of whether she will realize this dream or not. More importantly, she has passion for that dream and she believes she can bring about change." - Arabic Women's eNews

  • "Recommended. Culled from interviews conducted just two months after the fall of Baghdad in May 2003, TWENTY YEARS OLD... offers a newsworthy picture of a youthful Middle East not all that familiar to Western audiences - and a shame it isn't. More moving than anything is the universal call for more freedom, greater freedom. Thus the effects of oppressive government weigh heavily on the idealistic young; all the more reason to make the film available to often complacent American undergraduates." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    DVD (Color) / 2003 / 52 minutes

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    Based on Edward Said's influential book, Orientalism, this engaging and lavishly illustrated program examines the context within which he conceived the book, as well as his cultural analysis of media representations of the Middle East and Islam. In a post-9/11 world, this program provides an indispensable perspective.

    DVD / 1998 / 40 minutes

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    In this important lecture, which is particularly relevant to the 'War on Terrorism,' Edward Said challenges the ideological assumption that the contemporary world is characterized by conflicts between different and "clashing" civilizations (Western, Islamic, Confucian).

    DVD / 1998 / 60 minutes

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    Directed by Marilyn Gaunt

    Egyptian women were the first Arab women to march in political demonstrations (1919), the first to take off their veils publicly (1923), and the first to receive free secular education (1924).

    But today the educated granddaughters of those early Arab feminists are returning to Islamic dress, complete with full face veil and gloves. A VEILED REVOLUTION considers possible reasons for this turn back to tradition - the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism, the rejection of western values - as Egyptian women speak out.

  • "This excellent film deals with the phenomenon of young, educated women who are returning to variously restrictive forms of what they refer to as 'Islamic dress'." - Science Books & Films

  • "An excellent basis for discussion." - EFLA Evaluations

  • Finalist, 1983 American Film Festival

    DVD (Color) / 1982 / 26 minutes

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