Seton Hall University

Alumnus and Professor Emeritus Collaborate for ‘A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans’  

A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans’ "A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans" will make its New York City debut on Sunday, December 6
Seton Hall alumnus Abe Kasbo ’94/M.P.A. ’99 and Professor Emeritus Philip Kayal have come together to direct and produce “A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans,” a documentary that shares the untold story of almost 200 years of the contributions made to the American fabric of those who immigrated to the United States from the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. The film will make its New York City debut on Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., at the SVA Theater at 333 W. 23rd St. in Manhattan.

“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.

Abe Kasbo

Seton Hall University alumnus Abe Kasbo ’94/M.P.A. ’99

“It is my hope that viewers will walk away from the film realizing that the foundation of American history includes Arab Americans who have made and continue to make significant contributions to every field that they have gone into,” said Kasbo. “The story of Arab Americans is an extraordinary one that all immigrants can relate to and it is a uniquely American story that must be told.”

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.”

Dr. Kayal

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.

Categories: Alumni , Arts and Culture , Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Abe Kasbo
  • (973) 287-6868