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Arab Americans

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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


This section contains video and audio materials, most of which have not appeared online before. While we have made an effort to keep the file sizes and running times small, some of the clips may take a long time to download, particularly from a dialup connection. Each clip comes with a text description, and many of the interviews have been transcribed. To view clips on our site, you will need the free QuickTime plugin

Collections of related audio and video materials are listed in tan. Items listed in grey are in the process of being digitized, and will be available soon.

QuickTime Audio and Video Clips

Arab American Comedians
Arab names probably do not immediately come to mind when one thinks of standup comics, but a handful of Arab Americans are making a name for themselves in comedy clubs throughout the country. In this section we present two of them here, the Palestinian American comics Dean Obeidallah, and Maysoon Zayid. Both of these New York based comedians were already appearing regularly in the city’s comedy clubs when the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 rocked the country, but they have since used their comedy to explore what it means to be of Arab descent in America today, as well as the humor and irony of everyday life. The clips below show a lighter side of the Arab American experience by introducing you to rising stars of standup comedy who have been attracting a lot of attention. Bits from each comic's act are edited together with interviews in which they discuss their craft, background, and the situation of Arab Americans in the United States today. Interviews conducted in 2002 are juxtaposed against interviews conducted four years later.

Interview with Helen Samhan
In this interview Helen Samhan, Executive Director of the Arab American Institute Foundation, talks about the Arab American community in the United States, briefly addressing the history of immigration, geographic distribution to Arab Americans, the visibility of the community, the work of the Arab American Institute, the role of the Arab American constituency in recent elections, the effects of the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the community, and the image of Arabs in American culture.

In My Own Skin: The Complexity of Living as an Arab in America [Video Clip: 3.7 M]
As the title suggests, this 16 minute films speaks volumes about the “complexity of living as an Arab in America.�? It is composed exclusively of interviews conducted with 5 women of Arab descent who reflect on   more...

Interview with Nadine Naber [Audio Clip: 12.1 M]
In this interview Nadine Naber, a Professor of Anthropology at the American University in Cairo, discusses identity formation in 2nd generation immigrants in the Bay Area, as well as the makeup of the Arab Community in general. Among the issues discussed   more...

New York Neighborhoods [Video Clip: 4.5 M]
This short film is, quite simply, a walk down two streets in neighborhoods that have a high concentration of Arab immigrants: Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY and Main Street in Paterson New Jersey. Included are a visit to a general store, a restaurant   more...

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