The Arab-American Dream on the big screen

Jun 27, 2012

The Citizen was inspired by true events and informed by director Sam Kadi’s own feelings as a Syrian immigrant.

As resistances calling for democracy continue in Middle Eastern Arab countries, it is easy to overlook the lives of those who have emigrated from their home countries to the United States. Director Sam Kadi hopes to place some focus on this issue in his feature film debut, “The Citizen.”

Kadi’s film centers around a Lebanese man who receives a green card through the lottery system and moves to New York City. Unfortunately, he arrives on September 10, 2001, a day before the terrorist attacks that would change America, and its perception of the Arab world, forever. As one might imagine, the rest of the protagonist’s future will be shaped by what happened on that one day.

The story is inspired by true events, and Kadi himself is an immigrant who came to the U.S. from Syria.

What reception has the film received so far, here in America and abroad? How is the main character’s life affected by 9/11? What did Kadi hope to achieve through making this film? What’s next for the director?


Sam Kadi, writer/director of “The Citizen,” legally emigrated from Syria to the U.S.

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