Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

MPAC Presents Annual Media Awards

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

MPAC Presents Annual Media Awards

Article excerpt

Actor Stephan James, who played the role of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in the Academy Award-winning movie "Selma," accepted the Muslim Public Affairs Council's (MPAC) top entertainment media honor at MPAC's 2015 "Voices of Courage and Conscience" awards presentation May 2 at the Los Angeles Omni Hotel. This was followed by a video comment by Congressman Lewis himself.

Also honored at the 24th annual MPAC event praising productions that cast Islam in a favorable light were the feature film "Camp X-Ray" and the documentary "The Newburgh Sting" by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner. "Camp X-Ray" writer and director Peter Sattler accepted the award for the film that tells the story of a young woman guard at Guantanamo who discovers her mission is ominous.

Accepting her award for "The Newburgh Sting," the story of four African-American Muslims targeted by an agent provacateur in a sting operation and arrested for an alleged terror plot on May 20, 2009 in Newburgh, NY, documentarian Davis said there is a need to shiftthe national dialogue away from old stereotypes.

"We All Live In Gaza"

Veteran newsman Maurice Jacobsen screened his documentary, "We All Live in Gaza," April 8 at the Levantine Cultural Center. "Gazans are peaceful people," he declared, "and are not dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Jacobsen's film documents the destruction of Gaza caused by constant Israeli bombing. Following Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, the Egyptian government under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi rapidly rebuilt Gaza, he pointed out, but that success was later destroyed in Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge assault.

The resiliency of Gazans is evidenced in the young people's rap music, which Jacobsen records. The filmmaker interviewed a young Gazan musician, Ayman Jamal Magamsi, whose father was killed in an Israeli aerial bombing attack. "Music can heal and help," explained Magamsi, who created a website called "Windows to Gaza."

An image from an unfinished documentary Jacobsen is working on titled "Mission to Gaza" focuses on the words: "Gaza loves Life." They are written on a piece of cement from a destroyed building. Jacobsen also noted that, on a weekly basis, Gazans risk their lives by going to "a no-man's-zone" and protesting Israel's occupation and siege.

Jacobsen clearly came to love the people of Gaza during the two and a half years he lived with them from 2011 to 2013. For more information, visit .

Nakba Observed

"Obama, Obama, You will see, Palestine soon will be free," was the deafening chant shouted May 15 by more than 60 activists in front of Israel's Los Angeles Consulate. …

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