The Legacy of a Martyr

Paige Donnelly

The late Mohamed Bouazizi was a butterfly for Tunisia. In life, he went unnoticed by society’s radar. But in death, his small wings blew tremors throughout the Arab world; his self-immolation on December 17, 2010 was seismic for the region. His death epitomizes the butterfly effect.


When "Honor" Becomes Murder

Rebecca Joubin

In this exemplary documentary film, women (both veiled and unveiled, religious and secular) discuss the presence of Islam and secularism in contemporary Turkish society, where it is common for educated urban women to choose to wear the hijab. Turkish-born and Lebanese-raised filmmaker Olga Nakkas combines historical footage with interviews of Turkish women with ...

Innocence Crushed

Lynne Rogers

The Israeli and French filmmaker Simone Bitton has composed yet another powerful documentary with her new film "Rachel." The story begins with Rachel’s fellow activists reading excerpts from her personal journal five years after her death. Bitton’s camera dexterously shifts from the accounts of Rachel’s family, friends, and teachers, to those of the Palestinians living on the ...

The Modesty of the Intellectual: Waiting For Abu Zayd

Michael Teague

Contemporary debates about the role of Islam in modern Middle-Eastern societies are often captive to the vocabulary of “moderate vs. extremist,” leaving little room for discussions that move beyond these black and white distinctions.  Fortunately, Mohammed Ali Atassi’s recently released documentary about the late Egyptian “liberal” Islamic intellectual Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd is a rare exception.  

A Dangerous Business

Al Jadid Staff

In March 2007, Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo set out with his Afghan driver, Sayed Agha, and his ‘fixer,’ the 24 year old Ajmal Naqshbandi, to interview a “notorious one-legged Taliban commander.”  Instead, the trio found themselves in a nightmare, ...

Man As Nation

Rebecca Joubin

“Mustafa Kemal Ataturk” commences with images of Modern day Turkey, replete with contradictions and tensions between Islamists and secularists. Since September 11 Turkey has often been hailed as an example of a successful Middle Eastern democracy, ...


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