A few days ago, we sent out a message to all our subscribers. If you are not in our mailing list, we want you to know we stand with you. Here’s the full statement from Serge Bakalian, our Executive Director.

Dear AFF Community,

Last week’s US election results devastated and disheartened many of us, and the fear and hatred permeating post-election reactions have only served to confirm what we already knew—there is deep-seated anti-Arab prejudice, Islamophobia and xenophobia to be reckoned with, but our community remains resilient.

One of the most powerful things we can do in a time like this is lift up our own stories and our own voices. Media and film are as influential in forming connection across lines of difference as they are in representing the beauty, diversity and complexity of Arab and Arab American experience. Our work will be more challenging than ever in the coming months and years, but the work itself has not changed.

We find ourselves with a renewed commitment to launching the Arab Film & Media Institute. We need to hear from Arab and Arab American artists and filmmakers to counteract divisiveness and prejudice with art and empathy. The first steps to doing this are 1) expanding the reach of curated screenings, short film programs and special events and 2) establishing an educational program that provides school curriculum to high schools and colleges to fight stereotypes and foster understanding of Arab experiences.

In order to #LaunchAFMI and achieve our first two goals, we need your support and we need it urgently. Help us reach our campaign goal of $30,000 over the next two weeks. With a donation as small as $35, you’ll become an official backer of AFMI and receive acknowledgement on our website. But please, don’t stop there—invite your friends to do the same! Our stories are important, and they are our own. Let’s transform the world through Arab film.

In community,

Serge Bakalian
Executive Director