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Dream of America (Contours Podcast)

photo by: Barbara Bowen

The year’s end brings reflection on the power of great creative work. This December, I Interviewed Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehan Harney about her film “Dream of America,” which documents Iraqi men who fled to America after risking their lives in defiance of Saddam Hussein. Listen to how the men’s story literally made Washington Post headlines earlier in 2010. The resulting publicity garnered welcome support for the film’s main subject, a father of four, whose fidelity to the U.S. led him into serious and continuing personal struggles.

In this Gateways To Action PODCAST, hear the award winning filmmaker’s perspective on moderate Islam, radical Islam, and her concern for the 50,000 Iraqi allies living among us, often below the radar to protect family members who remain overseas. Harney’s middle eastern background is brought to bear as she handles the subject of intercultural tension with sensitivity. She shares with us her motivation, hopes and creative process.

See Multimedia Content to listen to this engaging interview:


Multimedia Content







Jehan’s other film projects: “Colors of the Veil,” “Beyond Faith,” “Mahmood’s Eye,” “Soul Mechanic,” “Emilie,” and “Sterile Dreams.” Visit Jehan’s Web site to read her bio and view trailers for these films:

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In your opinion, what is Islam’s place in America? How might the American government respond to radical Islam for more peaceful outcomes?


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Filed under Art, Culture  |  Comments: 0 | Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2010

2 Comments on “Dream of America (Contours Podcast)

Penelope J. Says:

Your question is thought provoking and hard to answer. I’d think that Islam’s place in America should be accepted as another religious and cultural part of this multicultural society. However, I’d hate to see the fundamentalist Muslim fringe dominate whole segments with anti-societal demands and beliefs (as seems to be happening in some European countries). Unfortunately, the current atmosphere of intolerance and fear is not always conducive to a mutual adaptation and coexistence.

admin Says:

Hi Penelope, thanks for your comment. I think there is no question that our multi-cultural society does, and must continue to, include Islam. You make a good point about some who spread intolerance and fear, caused by unfortunate misunderstandings or distortions. The radical narrative must be strategically countered, and I think American society must play a significant part in the solution. I found an excellent podcast from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: In episode #3, important leaders in counter-radicalism discuss crucial distinctions between the Islamic faith, and the modern political Islamist ideology that often turns violent. They discuss the challenges faced by America and brainstorm on missing links in current strategies used by Britain and other European countries. If you want to learn more about this fascinating topic, check it out here: (See episode #3)

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    Creative action is the fundamental key to innovation in all fields of endeavor. It has opened the common gateway to remarkable cultural achievements since antiquity. Our complex daily lives are bombarded by stories of what is broken. News of what is not working in our society often trumps what is actually making a difference. This Blog is dedicated to creative action that endures through resistance to spawn positive change. We seek to inspire: to create gateways to new visions, aspirations and solutions. Meet the creative agents of global change.

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