In the Bay

The audiences here are loving the film. I am surprised and happy at the number of people showing up and yes I am really happy with the Desi and Muslim turnout. Big thank yous to TRIKONE, 3rdi and SWANABAQ. Many touching and compelling Q and A's and interactions have happened and I have been talking with audiences for up to 40 minutes!
More updates and experiences from the road here in the Bay area will follow-meanwhile here are two emails from a Muslim and a non-Muslim after they saw the film in Berkeley last night...
From the Muslim:
Salaam, Parvez:
I was very nice to meet you last night at the 7:20 screening. Your film was very poignant. My objective is to open dialogue within the ummah so that people who are dealing with myriad issues feel like they can stay within the family and receive compassion and understanding. It hurts my heart to think about people abandoning Islam because they don't "fit." That is such a Western concept, and one I don't believe is inherent to Islam. If I am wrong, let Allah be the judge. Please let me know if I can be of future assistance. If not, just know that I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.
From the non-Muslim:
Thank you for making such an amazing movie!!!
Not only did the movie do a good job at exploring the subtle religious and cultural differences of the gay community in different Islamic countries, but it managed to retain the commonality in all of them: the Jihad.
The struggle was what unified all the men and women in the movie and what made it relatable to me, who is pretty far away from Islam, but really close to similar struggles in the Catholicism.
It also brought focus to one connotation of the word Jihad, which is often trampled by those pushed by what we read in the daily papers: the sense of struggle.
An Italian dancer/chemist fan,

and this from FATIMA:
Hey Parvez, it was nice meeting you on Friday night. Thanks for making this wonderful film. Your movie has greatly touched and inspired me to embrace Islam.

1 comment:

Denny said...

I saw "Jihad" on Friday, and like everyone, loved it very much. I think there was an important omission, however, on the issue of secularism. I very much understand deeply-held religious beliefs, although I have rejected my own, and I understand as well the value of focusing the movie on those individuals, rather than extending the focus to Muslims who have drifted away from devout practice. However, all of the film's stories depict gay people seekng refuge in secular, not theocratic, societies. I think this really bears explicit mention, even if it is obvious to some viewers. The only way in the modern world for people to be free from vicious, even murderous, oppression, is to promote and nurture secular societies. The film occasionally depicted France and North America as places that are not always welcoming to Muslims, and I know that is the case. Nevertheless, these are the very societies in which gay Muslims find safety.

Breaking News from Mohandessin in Cairo

I have another friend Yousry. (Different from the other amazing Yousry I just interviewed for a Mondoweiss exclusive) I have blogged about h...