Thu., March 6 @ Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
Fri. & Sat., March 7-8 @ Arab American Nat'l Museum, Dearborn

Tickets required 
Schedule is subject to change


7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, 2014 at Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

with introduction by Rima Hassouneh of the University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies


The Forgotten

The Forgotten
Director: Ehab Tarabieh
2012/Syria, Qatar
21 min.

How does one defy the oppression of displacement, especially when it has been forgotten by the world at large, as has that of the people of the Golan Heights? The protagonist in this film seeks obscurity on his own terms by securing the services of a smuggler. Based on a true story. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Best Short Film, 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival


WhenISawYouWhen I Saw You (Lamma Shoftak)
Director: Annemarie Jacir
2012/Palestine, Jordan, Greece, UAE
93 min.

In this coming-of-age story, 11-year-old Tarek – a Palestinian refugee to Jordan during the 1967 war – cannot fathom why he and his mother cannot go home to Palestine to reunite with his father. His frustration with living in a camp leads him to try to walk back to Palestine. Eventually his free spirit and curious nature lead him to a group of people on a journey that will change their lives. When I Saw You is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love, humor and the desire to be free, from the director of the critically acclaimed Salt of This Sea. In Arabic and English with English subtitles.

Palestine’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film, 2013 Academy Awards
Audience Award, SIGNIS Award, 2013 Amiens Int’l Film Festival
NETPAC Award, 2013 Berlin International Film Festival
Special Award, 2012 Cairo International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

"When I Saw You is cinematic poetry. Beautiful, groundbreaking and deeply, deeply moving."
-The Huffington Post

"One of the best works to come out of the current explosion in filmmaking in the Middle East!"  

View trailer here.

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014 at Arab American Nat'l Museum, Dearborn

with introduction by Mona Sahouri, Arab American Heritage Council


ThoughIKnowTheRiverIsDryThough I Know the River is Dry

Director: Omar Robert Hamilton
2013/Palestine, Egypt, UK, Qatar

19 min.

A man returns to Palestine from the U.S. and experiences what he had not expected – a vivid remembrance of the time before he had left involving his brother, lover and unborn child – charting the realm that marks the intersection of collective memory and involuntary autobiographical memory. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Prix UIP, 2013 Rotterdam International Film Festival
Best Short from the Arab World, 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival


ProfessorProfessor (Al Oustadh)
Director: Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud
2012/France, Tunisia, Qatar
92 min.

Deeply insightful about the human-rights situation in Tunisia in the 1970s, Professor is a dramatization of the events surrounding a university law instructor’s involvement with the government of President Habib Bourguiba. Appointed by the ruling party to defend the official position of its League of Human Rights during a period of tension, Khalil Kalsaoui is having an extramarital affair with one of his students. When she is arrested for her political views, Kalsaoui’s attempts to defend her puts his career and personal life in jeopardy. The film echoes the deterioration of human rights in Tunisia under recently deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and in doing so demonstrates one of the main forces driving Tunisia’s revolution of 2011. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.

Best Performance, Ahmed Hafiane, 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival
Best Screenplay, Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud, 2012 Carthage Film Festival

“Sex, lies and government spies in…this quietly engrossing retro-thriller...”
-The Hollywood Reporter

View trailer HERE.


4 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Arab American Nat'l Museum, Dearborn

with introduction by director Suha Araj (The Cup Reader)

Skype chat w/ director Fadi Haddad (When Monaliza Smiles) follows films


TheCupReaderThe Cup Reader (Khsara)
Director: Suha Araj
12 min.

Intro'd by director Suha Araj

This deft comedy of errors involves multi-generational Palestinian women who rhapsodize about love – anticipated, unrealized or lost – in the orbit of a cup reader named Warde, whose own love life was long ago denied her because of a sheet that was not stained. Perhaps fortune-telling is not all there is to cup reading?
In Arabic w/ English subtitles.

Nominee, Best Narrative Short, 2013 Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 Chicago Palestine Film Festival


When Monaliza Smiled (Lamma Dehkat Monliza)
Director: Fadi Haddad
95 min.

Grumpy Monaliza, in her 30s, rarely smiles. She works in a government office, where she meets Hamdi, an affable Egyptian tea boy. Together they dream of a life straight out of the romantic movies of yesteryear. Their fantasy is challenged by their socioeconomic and family backgrounds as expected, but also a prevalent bias against international romance. Never preaches; its quirky characters are too busy making us laugh. In Arabic with English subtitles

Skype chat w/ director Fadi Haddad follows screening

Official Selection: 2012 Dubai International Film Festival; 2013 Arab Film Festival (California); 2013 Malmo Arab Film Festival

“…a Jordanian rom-com made with a whole lot of respect for the genre and yet coming up with
something engagingly modest and suitably sweet natured…”

View trailer here.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Arab American Nat'l Museum, Dearborn

with introduction by filmmaker Rola Nashef (Detroit Unleaded). Copies of the newly released Detroit Unleaded DVD will be available for sale; Nashef will autograph them in between the 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. programs.


Amal's Garden
Director: Nadia Shihab
2012/Iraq, USA
32 min.

An intimate and telling documentary portrait of an elderly Turkmen couple who have finally come around to renovating their home, as if to reinvest in the lives they have long led in Northern Iraq, despite their residing in the shadow of war and belonging to an ethnic minority. In Turkmen and Arabic with English subtitles.



The Lebanese Rocket Society
Directors: Khalil Joreige, Joana Hadjithomas
2012/France, Lebanon, Qatar
95 min.

A true tale of ambition against the odds, born of our intrinsic desire to explore, this documentary feature charts the short-lived history of an ambitious project to lead the relatively small, impecunious country of Lebanon into the space age. In the early 1960s, a group of students from Haigazian University led by their mathematics professor, Manoug Manougian, designed and launched rockets to study and understand space exploration. Although the program was successful and a point of national pride, it came to a sudden end in 1967 and was erased from the collective memory. Through testimonies and archive documents, the film retraces this adventure and attempts to revive the past in the present as a tribute to dreamers.  In French, Arabic and English with English subtitles.

Best Feature Documentary, 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection, 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

“...this amazing true story has so much resonance in terms of turbulent Middle East history and the recent reawakening of idealism...”
-TimeOut, London

View trailer here.




Package A films at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, will be screened at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor, Mich. Directions and parking info available at or 734.668.8463. Michigan Theater Members get free validated parking. 

Package B, C and D films, Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, will be screened at the Arab American National Museum (AANM), 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, Mich.

Free, lighted parking is available in the municipal lot behind the Museum; enter lot by turning north from Michigan Avenue onto Neckel Street, immediately west of the AANM.

For further information on the festival, call 313.624.0239 or email



Buy Tickets Here

To purchase tickets IN ADVANCE, click on any Buy Ticket button on this page and use a debit/credit card.

Tickets will also be available at the door; cash or debit/credit card.

To become a Member of the Arab American National Museum and take advantage of reduced rates on this and other event tickets, call 313.624.0200 or click HERE.

INDIVIDUAL PACKAGES (A, B, C, D)                    

AANM Member or Michigan Theater Member $8
General Admission $10

Select one or more of the following packages:

Package A @ Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
The Forgotten
When I Saw You (Lamma Shoftak)

Package B @ Arab American National Museum, Dearborn
Though I Know the River is Dry
Professor (Al Oustadh) 

Package C @ Arab American National Museum, Dearborn 
The Cup Reader (Khsara)
When Monaliza Smiled (Lamma Dehkat Monaliza)

Package D @ Arab American National Museum, Dearborn 
Amal's Garden
The Lebanese Rocket Society


Festival schedule is subject to change.

The 2014 Arab Film Festival is made possible in part by
    National Endowment for the Arts

Media sponsorship generously provided by

Additional promo support provided by

Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan 



13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS