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Filmography - Islam: Islam in the Middle East – including Egypt

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Islam in the Middle East – including Egypt

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012. 

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on biology topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary:


The battle for Islam. 2005.  1 streaming video file (63 min.). A far-reaching exploration of Islam after 9/11, this program follows renowned scholar Ziauddin Sardar on an eye-opening journey through Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Sardar interviews Muslims with widely varying political leanings-including Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, other government leaders, women's rights activists, and a cleric who promotes an extremely conservative form of Sharia. The program exposes the tension between pluralistic and hard-liner mentalities growing within the Muslim world, and concludes that moderation and tolerance, rather than zealotry and terror, will ensure the continued strength of the faith. A BBCW Production. Some interviews are in other languages with English subtitles. (63 minutes).  Streaming video

Changing schools Damascus's educational melting pot. 2009.  1 streaming video file (59 min.). Zaki al-Arsuzi School is a girls-only secondary school. Jaramana School is a boys-only middle school. Focusing on two new students-Du'aa, a teenage Muslim girl who has transferred to secular Zaki al-Arsuzi from a Sharia school, and Yusif, a teenage Christian boy from Iraq who is attending Jaramana as a war refugee-this program maps their experiences against the broader picture of Syrian society, modern Islam, and political instability in the Middle East. Topics include the observance of Ramadan and the Festival of the Cross, wearing the hijab, Baathism, the evolving role of women, the trauma of life in a war zone, Syria's growing entrepreneurialism, and matters of school governance. Produced by the Open University. (Portions in Syrian with English subtitles, 59 minutes) .  Streaming video

Eye of the storm Jerusalem's Temple Mount. 2002.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). At the heart of the Middle East conflict stands the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Holy ground for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, this 35-acre plot is the world's most contested piece of land. Filmed on location, this timely program presents a wide array of perspectives on the role and future of the Temple Mount. Numerous interviews bring together political and religious activists-from moderate to radical-from all three faiths, including Jewish groups actively preparing for the reestablishment of King Solomon's Temple and evangelical Christians taking similar steps that they believe will hasten the Second Coming. (52 minutes) .  Streaming video

Gender me: Homosexuality in the world of Islam. 2008.  1 streaming video file (52 min.). Filmed in Istanbul and Oslo, this artistic documentary by Turkish/Norwegian filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen openly explores what it is like to be both gay and Muslim. Through the interrelated stories of a gay rights activist, a gay imam, drag artists, and others, Gender Me gently denounces homophobia in general, encourages discourse and engagement within Islam as a positive societal approach to coming to terms with sexual otherness, and seeks to advance a loving appreciation of the oneness of all humankind. (Portions with English subtitles, 52 minutes).  Streaming video

The green wave. 2011.  1 videodisc (80 min.). The elections in the summer of 2009 in Iran promised a taste of freedom for many, especially young voters who are dissatisfied with the government of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he is re-elected - one accuses him of electoral fraud. The disappointment of the population is reflected in protests and demonstrations. Being bloodily suppressed by the army and police.  DVD 9426

House of Saud. 2005.  1 videodisc (120 min.). "... explores how the Al Saud family maintains its hold on power in the face of growing tensions between Islam and modernity. Through interviews with members of the royal family, government officials, and other experts from Saudi Arabia and the U.S., the two-hour documentary also traces America's relations with the Saudi royal family from their first alliance in the 1930s through September 11 and beyond to the present day"--Container.  DVD 2665

Inside Mecca. 2003.  1 streaming video file (57 min.). Each year millions of travelers flock to Mecca, undertaking the Haj, or pilgrimage, required of all devout Muslims. Few people outside of Islam, however, have seen this ancient and sacred city. This program offers an unprecedented look at the birthplace of Mohammed and the rituals that bring together the followers of the world's fastest-growing religion. Photographer Reza Deghati, himself a Muslim, gained unparalleled access to the Sacred Territoryof the Haj last year and brought back still images of the event never before seen by most Westerners. Now he ushers viewers back to Mecca to capture the exclusive story of the city's traditions and holy places. (56 minutes).  Streaming video

Iran, The cyber-dissidents. 2006.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (25 min.). Iran, an Islamic republic, has the largest number of internet users in the Middle East. A large dissident population is finding new ways to communicate, risking arrest, prison, torture and even death as they try to organize resistance to the repressive religious government. To be a reformer today is to live dangerously. One leader of the opposition, Farid, is a cyber-dissident whose web site has been on the cutting-age of protest. He knows he is taking serious risks keeping his web site up and running but says if the government destroys it, he will find another way to communicate with the reformers. A recent feature film called The Lizard which is critical of the regime has been very popular. In one chilling scene, a crowd of ticket-buyers outside one of the movie theatres where it s playing is seen being watched by government agents. This is a unique view of Iran to which an American film crew could never have access.  Streaming video;1641315

Iran, A revolution betrayed. 1984.  1 videodisc (60 min.). A historical documentary on the emotional muddle of Iranian political and religious turmoil of recent years. Looks at the career of the Shah and the triumph of Khomeini. Shows how the revolution began to devour its own as liberals fought conservatives, national minorities were crushed, and the dissident were eliminated through secret trials and executions.  DVD 5956

Iran. 2003.  1 streaming video file (37 min.). In the Islamic Republic of Iran, battle lines are drawn between conservative clerics claiming a God-given right to rule and reformers challenging their authority. This provocative program seeks to understand what happens when a modern state is re-created based on fundamentalist Islamic principles, and whether its society should be open and democratic or oppressed and authoritarian. From Iran's chaotic capital Tehran to its holy city of Qom, Iranians share their thoughts on life before the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, the brutal eight-year war with Iraq, and the struggle Islamic reformers face against hard-line Muslims to establish a progressive government in place of a Republic they believe has lost its way. (37 minutes).  Streaming video

Iraq in fragments. 2007.  2 videodiscs (225 min.). Documentary in three parts.  Offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the U.S. presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied.  American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.  DVD 3049

Iraq The Agony of a nation. 2007.  1 streaming video file (54 min.). What, if anything, has American military power achieved in Iraq? What are the origins of the fractured nation's sectarian warfare? Are Iraqi security forces more dangerous than Islamist insurgents? This documentary features reports that U.S. and Iraqi government forces can be linked to the country's most dire security problems. Featuring interviews with high-ranking officials in the Interior Ministry and police chiefs in Mosul and Baghdad, the program investigates the actions of the so-called Wolf brigades, a U.S.-supported Shiite military group that participated in a number of anti-Sunni offensives and reportedly committed torture and other atrocities. The program also deals with other renegade militias, some trained by the same American operatives who allegedly created the Salvadoran death squads of the 1980s. (54 minutes).  Streaming video

Islam vs. Islam: A Special Edition of NOW with Bill Moyers. 2002.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). In the West, Islam is often oversimplified-to the detriment of better understanding this complex religion and the diverse interpretations inspired by its tenets. The Aspen Institute and Bill Moyers brought together eight journalists and scholars from the U.S., Pakistan, France, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Britain to join in a conversation about the history and motives of the states too easily grouped under the heading Islamic nations.The panelists identify and explore the fulcrum of the conflict: increasing tension between the growth of religious expression in the region and the pressures of modernity from the West. (58 minutes).  Streaming video

Jerusalem Center of the world-part 2. 2009.  1 streaming video file (62 min.). The second installment in the PBS series Jerusalem: Center of the World focuses on the city's evolution under Roman rule; its historical significance in both Christianity and Islam, past and present; the tensions that exist between Jews and Muslims in modern Jerusalem; and the uncertainties that lie ahead for the planet's most contested piece of land. A PBS Production. Part of the series Jerusalem: Center of the World. (62 minutes).  Streaming video

A jihad for love. 2008.  1 videodisc (81 min.). First feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality.  The film travels a wide geographic arc, presenting lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France.  Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film's characters show for it.  DVD 5640

Khomeini's children Imprisoned youth? 2004.  1 streaming video file (54 min.). The generation of students who overthrew the Shah's regime in Iran some 25 years ago championed the synthesis of Islam with leftist ideologies. But today's generation has no direct recollection of that regime, and they regard it as one with greater personal liberties than they now enjoy. This program examines the present condition of those who grew up during Ayotollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, with particular emphasis on how these young people yearn for secular freedoms-drinking, dancing, dating-considered to be against the Islamic way of life. An insightful look at the real lives of Iran's generation X. (54 minutes).  Streaming video

Moment of innocence Nåun va-guldåun. 2002.  1 videodisc (75 min.). "At age 17, while a member of an anti-Shah militant group, Makhmalbaf attacked a policeman in an attempt to steal his gun. He stabbed the officer with a knife and took a bullet in return. The policeman went to the hospital; Makhmalbaf went to a torture chamber hosted by the dreaded SAVAK secret police. He stayed there until the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Twenty years later, the filmmaker placed an ad in the paper to recruit actors for Salaam Cinema. The same wounded officer responded to the ad."--Www. IranianMovies. com.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1431

Muslims. 2003.  1 videodisc (120 min.). Looks at what it means to be a Muslim in the 21st century. Filmed in Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria and the United States, this program explores the influence of culture and politics on religion, looks at the political forces at work among Muslims around the world, emphasizes Islam's kinship with Christianity and Judaism, and examines the diverse interpretations of Islam among the Muslim people.  DVD 1637

Orhan Pamuk. 2008.  1 streaming video file (29 min.). Refuting any connection with overt political goals, Turkish novelist and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk aims to create stories as a child, not knowing where I am going next.Yet few writers in the Islamic world are more closely associated with political strife or have sparked as much street-level anger. This program features an interview with the world-renowned author in his Istanbul office, bringing to light his insights into art, oppression, and the interaction between East and West. Subjects include the role of storytelling in shaping human values, Pamuk's depiction of Islamic teenagers in the novel Snow, and his reaction to Don DeLillo's assertions about the relevance of violence and terror. (29 minutes).  Streaming video

The perfumed garden.  2000.  1 videodisc (52 min.). Through interviews with men and women of all ages and classes this film explores the myths and realities of sensuality and sexuality in Arab society, a world of taboos, of erotic literature and films. It begins looking at a more permissive history, and ends with the experiences of contemporary lovers from mixed backgrounds. The film discusses pre-marital sex, courtship and marriage, familial pressures, social taboos and issues of language. It also demonstrates how the rich legacy of fantasy in the A Thousand and One Arabian Nights still permeates contemporary Arab culture.  DVD 8821

Persepolis. 2008.  1 videodisc (95 min.). In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family. Their long dream is realized when the hated Shah is defeated in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, Marji grows up to witnesses first hand how the new Iran has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study. This change proves an equally difficult trial for Marji and finds herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and her homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.  DVD 4498

Pilgrimage to Karbala Iran, Iraq, and Shia Islam. 2007.  1 streaming video file (87 min.). It is the summer of 2006, and a bus filled with Iranian men and women sets out on a perilous journey to the holy sites of Najaf and Karbala in war-torn Iraq. Wide Angle accompanies them on their pilgrimage-revealing many of the attitudes, beliefs, and emotions that add to the complexity of modern Islam. As the bus rolls through breathtaking desert landscapes, the five-day odyssey takes on spiritual as well as historical dimensions. Each traveler recalls past anxieties and dangers-having lived through Iran's 1979 revolution and its war with Iraq-and each marvels at the chance to experience the longed-for Karbala pilgrimage, impossible during Saddam Hussein's rule. In addition to this moving and sometimes disturbing story, anchor Daljit Dhaliwal talks with Dr. Vali Nasr, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future. (87 minutes).  Streaming video

Red lines and deadlines Inside Iran's reformist media. 2004.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). Twenty-five years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is struggling for political reform. Some of the most visible signs of struggle can be found in the nation's media. This Wide Angle documentary goes behind the scenes at Shargh, one of Iran's new pro-reform newspapers, illustrating its efforts to report the news without incurring the blade of censorship-an ever-present threat from Iranian authorities. Showing how Shargh has quickly cultivated a loyal readership among Iran's intellectuals, opinion-makers, politicians, and youth, the program features eye-opening scenes of daring young journalists covering Iran's controversial 2005 presidential elections. In addition, Judith Kipper discusses Iran with anchor Bill Moyers. (57 minutes).  Streaming video

Reel bad Arabs How Hollywood vilifies a people. 2006.  1 videodisc (50 min.). Throughout its history Hollywood has portrayed Arabs as buffoons or bandits. The video seeks to rectify this sterotyping by comparing it to other forms of racist imagery and by suggesting alternative narratives that treat the Arabs as human, not demons.  DVD 2315

Salam Iran - A Persian letter. 2002.  Filmakers library online.  1 online resource (52 min.). Salam Iran offers insight into a country seething with change but ruthlessly contained by the Islamic theocracy. It is also a universal portrait of exile; intense yearning for what can never be reclaimed. Amir Moussami fled Iran eighteen years ago as a young student targeted by the revolution as an agitator for democracy. He settled in Montreal, yearning for his country and for the mother to whom he never had a chance to say goodbye. When his mother wrote of her fear that she would die before setting eyes on him again, Amir planned a brief return. Filmmaker Jean-Daniel was captivated by Amir's story and decided to accompany him, camera in tow. But then fate cast a curve ball -- Amir's visa was deferred by the Iranian consulate the day before departure, and Jean-Daniel flew on without his native guide. He discovers for himself the complexities of a country struggling under the heavy yoke of Ayotollah Khomeini's conservatism, yet needing to navigate in the modern world. He finds a fascinating assemblage of Iranians to help him decipher this unfamiliar territory. Among them are a female vice president of the Republic who voices her disapproval of Western values; an academic who is prohibited from teaching because of his views; a news dealer who observes that the liberal press has been stifled. Finally Amir's visa is approved and he arrives at Tehran airport beaming with anticipation. Home at last! But home to what? The land of his happy childhood memories, or of the current repressive state? Amir journeys the many miles, past nomads, camels and mountains to reunite with his mother. They have a speechless but tearful reunion.  Streaming video;1641467

Shi'ism waiting for the hidden Imam. 2005.  1 videodisc. Adherents of Shi'ism comprise less that ten percent of the more than one billion Muslims in the world today, but ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, with its indelible images of blindfolded hostages seized at the American Embassy in Tehran, Shi'ism has been perceived by most Westerners as a religious sect characterized by violence and fanaticism. The ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq have led to a resurgence of Shia political activity after decades of oppression by Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime, providing Shi ism with newfound political influence as well as an opportunity to improve its image. This film discusses the history of Shi'ism, its origins, mythology of martyrdom, the centuries of perscution and discrimination of Shi'ism as a minority faith, and its basic tenets including the belief in the twelfth, or 'hidden' Imam, who will appear on the Last Day as the Mahdi. Filmed in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq, this film interweaves contemporary and historical footage, and introduces Muslim scholars, philosophers, writers, politicians and religious leaders discussing a wide range of issues.  DVD 781

Sous les bombes = Under the bombs. 2008.  Film movement series: Film Movement series.  1 videodisc (98 min.). "During a cease-fire in the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2006, Tony, a Christian taxi-driver, brings Zeina, a Shiite woman from Beirut, to the heart of the conflict in the country's south. While they scour the rubble of local towns for Zeina's son, they discover that despite their very different backgrounds they have much in common. During their trip through the desolate countryside, the two travelers develop a deep bond as a response to the death surrounding them. Shot entirely on location during the summer of 2006, in the middle of the ruins of war-torn Lebanon. Aractingi only hired two professional actors; the rest are real refugees, journalists, soldiers, etc., playing themselves"--Container.  DVD 4091

Turkey's tigers Integrating Islam and corporate culture. 2006.  1 streaming video file (57 min.). For years, Turkey has been run by a stridently secular business and political elite, while its devout Muslim citizens have been pushed to the political and economic fringes. But now, even the most committed Muslims are embracing Western-style capitalism and commerce-and are ascending in Turkish society at the ballot box and in big business. This Wide Angle documentary captures a modern-and to many Westerners, surprising-face of Islam rarely seen in the American media. The program follows prominent members of Turkey's up-and-coming business community-including two rival fashion entrepreneurs, one of whom has founded his company on Islamic principles-as they develop and carry out their manufacturing and marketing strategies. In addition, Turkish political cartoonist Salih Memecan discusses his work, Islam's relationship with the West, and the benefits of Turkey's association with Europe with anchor Daljit Dhaliwal. (57 minutes).  Streaming video

Which way next for Iran? 1999.  1 streaming video file (53 min.). With the election of Mohammad Khatami, reform-minded Iranians hope for discourse with the West, a policy that runs counter to fundamentalist opinion. In this program, President Khatami; Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar; Salam editor Abbas Abdi, leader of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover; and others address issues that stand between Iran and the U.S., Israel, Egypt, and other countries. In addition, the program profiles students attending the Faizieh Divinity School to reveal a powerful grassroots devotion to Islam that is not easily deterred by national and racial barriers. Which way will Iran go at this ideological crossroads? (53 minutes).  Streaming video

Wide angle integrating Islam and corporate culture. 2006.  1 videodisc (57 min.). "For years, Turkey has been run by a stridently secular business and political elite, while its devout Muslim citizens have been pushed to the political and economic fringes. But now, even the most committed Muslims are embracing Western-style capitalism and commerce--and are ascending in Turkish society at the ballot box and in big business"--Container.  DVD 5667