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September 7, 2017 at 10:28 pm

‘Travel Ban’ Countries Film Series to Highlight Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

[Map showing the six countries identified in the Trump Administration's 2017 "Travel Ban"] Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Solamia

[Map showing the six countries identified in the Trump Administration’s 2017 “Travel Ban”]

The Ohio University community is invited to attend screenings of the 2017-18 “Travel Ban” Film Series. The events will include feature and documentary films from each of the six countries that the Trump Administration’s “travel ban” targets: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

At each event, a faculty member will introduce the film and moderate the discussion that follows. These screenings are designed to highlight some of the history and contemporary politics of each of the six countries the Trump Administration executive orders are attempting to suspend travel, immigration, and refugee resettlement from.

The Fall 2017 half of the film series features the following films, which will be screened in Seigfred Hall, Room 401, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the specified dates. Each screening will be accompanied by short commentary from an Ohio University faculty member whose research and/or teaching cover the country in question:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 13: Men in the Arena (Somalia)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 3: The Devil Came on Horseback (Sudan)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29: A Separation (Iran)

In Spring 2018, the film series will continue with screenings from Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Rational for the ‘Travel Ban’ Countries Film Series

The societies and communities that make up the six countries targeted by the executive order represent a range of historical, political, economic, social, cultural, and religious experiences. Yet despite this diversity, much of the popular and official discourse in the United States concerning those communities reduces their members to one type of threat or another. Most recently, the Trump Administration orders suspending travel, immigration, and refugee resettlement from six Muslim-majority nations—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—sparked mass protest and legal battles nationally. These developments also intensified anger and anxiety across university campuses, most of which host some number of students, faculty, and staff from these countries.

Ohio University has been at the center of student and faculty efforts to counter the xenophobic effects of the “Muslim ban,” as the Trump orders have come to be known. Several faculty members have long sought to create and expand curricular and other programs that offer students opportunities to learn about and discuss the history and contemporary politics of many Muslim-majority countries across different parts of the world. It is in this vein that the organizers and co-sponsors of the film series present these events.

The 2017-18 “Travel Ban” Countries Film Series is organized by the Middle East and North Africa Studies and Islamic Studies certificate programs. It is co-sponsored with the departments of History, Classics & World Religions, and Political Science, the African Studies Program, the Center for Law, Justice, and Culture, the Contemporary History Institute, the War and Peace Theme, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, and the Office of Global Affairs and International Studies at Ohio University.

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