By: Omar Faisal, West Staff Writer
Tri-C will be screening “A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans,” followed by a Q&A with the director. The film is located at the Western Campus in WHCS 223 on Tuesday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m.
The filmmaker, Abe Kasbo, has been featured in The New York Times and is a winner of the category, “Home Grown Documentary Feature” at the Garden State Film Festival. The film describes the influence and contributions of immigrants in this country.
The film, which took eight years to make, conveys a true American story. “The untold story of almost 200 years of the contributions of those who immigrated to the United States from the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf have made to the American fabric,” said Kasbo.
Through the lens of the Arab-American immigrant experience, it unravels the stories of people who immigrated to this country in pursuit of the American dream. Including people like Senator George Mitchell, Jamie Farr, General John Abizaid, Anthony Shadid, Helen Thomas and more.
The film focuses on these successful personal stories, and often talks of the working class parents who abandoned everything and worked tirelessly and thanklessly in pursuit of a better life for their children. These personal accounts are then put into the contextual background of historical immigration patterns.
“We live in an open society, and so we ought to know our members,” the director said. He believes his film is important and relevant to the everyday viewer. In a media that paints Arab-Americans in a simplistic, even hateful light, it becomes important to tell a deeper, positive, and more intimate image of those that have made America their home.
Viewers may find the immigrant experience as an important and defining part of the larger American experience.