Help your students separate the reel from reality. Take a 100-year historical tour of representations of Arabs and Muslims on film (and discover how Hollywood really began with Orientalist Arab stereotypes) by creating your own film program, including introductions by Jack Shaheen. These films make for a comprehensive classroom or even school-wide activity. On a smaller scale, after watching Reel Bad Arabs together, have students write a review of one of the following films (or any other film with relevant content) to analyze how each film’s Arab and/or Muslim characters are portrayed. Make the activity comparative if you wish by using films focused on other groups.
This is a wonderful activity to pair with the affordable traveling exhibiton, A is for Arab: Stereotypes in U.S. Popular Culture.
Please note: Make sure to watch all films you are considering screening in your classroom in advance as some of them contain violence or allusions to violence, and some of the stereotypical images can be graphic. These films are recommended for high school audiences or older. All of these films are widely available on Amazon.com or on Netflix.com. Films can also be borrowed for classroom use only from the Hagop Kevorkian Center at NYU free of charge: email firstname.lastname@example.org to check them out.