Nancy is not supposed to move out of her mother's home until she is married. She desperately desires independence, but is confronted with barriers inherent in traditional Lebanese society. The story develops as her older sisters join their mother in a quarrel with Nancy, where they tell her she must accept tradition and respect the wishes of her mother. But Nancy is not convinced...
Sara is a 16 year-old soccer athlete playing a game traditionally reserved for men. In the culminating scene we learn that despite her injured leg she wins the Women's Egypt Cup for her team by scoring the winning goal.
Shahra and Linda perform in an Algerian Female Rap group called The Messengers. Famous for improvising lyrics that contain social and political critiques, The Messengers' politicized singing has become a unique expression of dissent, in the face of a conservative society and Islamic violence. It is especially poignant as it comes from two young female artists.
"[ARAB DIARIES] presents a rare critical insight into contemporary life in the Arab world. The quality of sound and cinematography of this series is superb. The films contain a rich source of information on a culture that is often guarded from the west. It dares to bring up strong issues without imposing judgment on the values discussed. The series is a good example of how much more we have to learn about the Middle East – the films managed to raise an eyebrow once or twice, even though I spent almost 20 years in that region. Highly recommended to all kinds of libraries, especially academic libraries with undergraduate studies related to culture, anthropology, or Middle Eastern studies, as well as libraries with internship programs in the Middle East." - Educational Media Reviews Online
2001 Middle East Studies Association Film Festival
2002 Vermont Women's Film Festival