About this project
A Uniquely American Story
We are producing a full-length, broadcast-quality documentary about an untold and important piece of American History. It's the untold story of 200 years of the contributions that Arab-Americans have made to the American Fabric. The film tells the story of the Arab-American immigrant experience through the stories of Arab-Americans who have made contributions to the fabric of America through their dedicated pursuit of the American Dream, including Jamie Farr, General John Abizaid, Senator George Mitchell, John Zogby, and more. With historical immigration patterns as background, we will explore the personal stories of Arab-Americans and how they have contributed to the collective American experience. At a time where the media tends to paint Arab peoples and culture with the broad brush of terrorism, it is increasingly important to present a positive image of the many people of Middle Eastern, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula who have made America their home, and highlight their American journey.
Arab-Americans, like many other immigrant groups, left their homeland to come to the United States in search of a better life. In the process, they became an integral part of American society contributing to the Arts, Sciences, Public Service, and Business. Arab-Americans share common challenges in their own immigration story just as Italians and Irish and many other immigrant groups who have faced the trials and tribulations of leaving their homeland and immigrated to the United States.
While there are countless books about this subject (i.e. Adel Younis’ “The Coming of Arabic-Speaking People to the United States.” “Grape Leaves” edited by Orfalea and Elmusa. The Museum of New York City’s “A Community of many Worlds – Arab Americans In New York City”), as well as articles in scholarly journals, festivals, scholarly gatherings, and newspapers articles, there is no singular film; a documentary, with the kind of quality narrative and production value to be considered by media outlets like PBS, that spans the points and depth of this ambitious project. High quality, “PBS Documentaries” appear to exist for virtually every other American ethnic or immigrant group: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, African-American, Jews, Italian, Irish and so on. To our knowledge, no such documentary exists that provides an historical narrative of the experiences of about 6 million Arab-Americans. Considering the current zeitgeist in the United States, today, more than ever, the American public is seeking to learn more about Arab Americans. Beyond superficial discussions in the media, the historical immigration perspective of Arab-Americans in the United States has still not been eloquently told. Arab-Americans have proudly ventured beyond their ethnicity, language and religion to make noteworthy contributions to both the immigrant-American experience and ultimately the American experience. They served this nation with significant contributions throughout the spectrum of society; as politicians and public servants, entertainers, physicians, business leaders, and educators. It is this extraordinary and uniquely American story of people and places that must be told.
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