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Icarus Film
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Arab Diaries
Filmmakers: Ali Bilail (Egypt), Samia Chala (Algeria) and Muriel Aboulrouss (Lebanon)
Producers: Deborah Davies, Daoud Kuttab & Ilan Ziv
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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

26 minutes / color
Release: 2001
Copyright: 2001
Sale: $225

Subject areas:
Adolescence, Middle East, Music, Religion, Sociology, Women's Studies, Youth Issues

Related Links:
Purchase the series on DVD for the special reduced price of $478

Related Titles:
Birth: The story of a woman caught up in a cycle of pregnancies because of social pressure to produce a male child, and two other stories of babies, in need, or absent, in Arab countries.

Love and Marriage: The stories of people confronting obstacles to their personal relationships and happiness in Algeria and Lebanon.

Home, or Maids in My Family: A Moroccan woman confronts her liberal bourgeois family and their servants about the relationship between them (Arab Diaries).

Work: Explores the hopes and aspirations of Arab men and women as embodied in the dreams and realities of flying.

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