Tales from Arab Detroit

What does it mean to be Arab American?
Year Released
Film Length(s)
45 mins
Remote video URL


Unique in post-September 11 America, Tales From Arab Detroit, is an intimate community portrait. A visiting Egyptian storyteller/bard provokes an inquiry into issues of Arab heritage and tradition in a quintessential American immigrant community. American born children-- a "7-11 girl", hiphop dancer and rapper among them-- reconcile social and cultural differences with Arab immigrant parents. Through music, poetry and the ironies of everyday life, young people face up to racial discrimination and other socio-political challenges. Co-Produced by Sally Howell and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services

Featured review

An absolutely splendid film, a sensitive, elegantly edited gem… we laughed and cried simultaneously.
Naomi Shihab Nye
poet, writer, anthologist, educator


The most significant documentary made about Arab Americans.
Pat Twair
The Washington Report on the Middle East
I use it in teacher workshops. It deals with issues of identity, assimilation, racism and stereotyping with sensitivity and insight. It will help diversity trainers, human resource professionals, social workers, and multicultural program coordinators to sensitize others on how to honor the uniqueness of the Arab American community as well as the similarities it shares with immigrant and "minority" experiences.
Zeina Azzam Seikaly Outreach Coordinator
CCAS, Georgetown University
A versatile documentary with a potential for revealing broad issues in American history, its culture and immigrant communities. For use in social sciences, language arts, literature and humanities, to study the difference of views across generations.
Jonathan Friedlander
Director Outreach Program, International Studies, UCLA
...an excursion with elements of ethnology, anthropology and musicology, composed with a terrific sense of humor and empathy.
Joe Stork
Deputy Director, Middle East program, Human Rights Watch; former editor-in-chief, Middle East Report (MERIP)

Awards and Screenings

Award for Excellence, Society for VIsual Anthropology
Finalist: Hawai'i, Melbourne and Arizona International Film Festivals
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • DVD Extras

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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