Rapping for Hope: Hip Hop and Arranged Marriages

Bobby Gulshan
“Sonita” tells the story of a young Afghani girl living in Tehran. From the outset of the film, Sonita is beset with the problems of an immigrant, having no status, insufficient identification and too little money. In the case of this young aspiring rapper, this may also include a dream too big for her world. 
In a scene early in the film, the teacher asks Sonita and the other immigrant Afghan girls who attend her class to make imaginary passports, which involves choosing their parents and place of origin. Sonita’s “passport” says her name is “Sonita Jackson,” and when asked by the teacher why she chose that, Sonita replies that she wants her imaginary parents to be Michael Jackson and Rihanna.

“Nefertiti’s Daughters”: Using Street Art to Foment Revolution

By Nada Ramadan Elnahla

The documentary, “Nefertiti’s Daughters,” chronicles women’s endeavors during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 and how street art reflected their unprecedented revolutionary efforts. Street art, a powerful tool in itself, proved especially adept at highlighting the ongoing battles of these women against social, political and religious oppression, battles where “The voice of women is a revolution.”

“Nefertiti’s Daughters”
Directed by Mark Nickolas and Racha Najdi
Icarus Films, 2015

The Songs Linger Long After the Names Are Erased

By Lynne Rogers

In Melborne, Australia, when Iraqi exile Majid Shokor decides to look into his musical history, he discovers, much to his surprise, how much Iraqi music owes to the country’s former Jewish population. The film, “On the Banks of the Tigris, the hidden story of Iraqi music,” documents Shokor’s global journey to meet a variety of Iraqi musicians and hear their stories. (Photo caption and credit: Yair Dalal and Majid Shokor, courtesy of Fruitful Films)

On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music
Directed/Produced by Marsha Emerman
Fruitful Films, 2015. 79 minutes


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