“A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans” vividly paints a portrait of the Arab American immigrant experience through the stories of people who emigrated in pursuit of the American Dream, including: the late Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anthony Shadid; Former Majority Leader Sen. George Mitchell; comedians and natives of New Jersey Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid; consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader; American racing legend Bobby Rahal; composer and pianist Malek Jandali; and the late White House correspondent and journalist Helen Thomas.
Seton Hall University alumnus Abe Kasbo ’94/M.P.A. ’99
Kasbo credits his Seton Hall education and experience with faculty, including: world religions professor Gisela Webb, sociology professor Philip Kayal and political science professor Jo-Renee Formicola, for inspiring him to make the film. “Seton Hall University provided the fertile ground necessary for me to think independently and critically. I am grateful for the opportunity to share the lessons I learned at the University with viewers.”
Seton Hall University Professor Emeritus Philip Kayal
Professor Kayal shared how he connected with Kasbo, a fellow Syrian American, more than 20 years ago. “I taught a course on intergroup relations, which was really a course on ethnicity and assimilation, and Abe wrote a wonderful paper on the problems faced by Syrian immigrants in the U.S. It’s from that paper that we discovered we had a common interest,” he said. “I don’t have enough words to say the satisfaction and joy of doing this. I think it’s a necessary project, especially in the contemporary social environment. I think it’s going to make a contribution to group understanding.”
Since premiering in Washington D.C. earlier this year, Kasbo and Kayal say that they have entered film festivals and are planning on a New Jersey debut early next year. Kayal has also created the Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research to support the same mission as the film – to bring awareness to Arab Americans.
Tickets to the film’s New York City debut can be purchased for $20 here. To view the trailer and for more information about “A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans” please click here or follow the film on Twitter @ArabAmericanDoc.