Five Montreal men who happened to have the name "Osama"
|Directed by||Mahmoud Kaabour |
|Produced by||Diversus [ca]|
|Written by||Mahmoud Kaabour|
|Starring||Osama (Sam) Shalabi |
|Music by||Osama (Sam) Shalabi|
Being Osama is a documentary produced in 2004 by Tim Schwab and Mahmoud Kaabour. Director Kaabour is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, now based in the United Arab Emirates. Co-director Schwab is an associate professor of film at Montreal's Concordia University.
The documentary details the lives of six Montreal Arab men, all with the first name "Osama":
- Osama (Sam) Shalabi, of Egyptian origin, a music composer who grew up in Atlantic Canada. He is a leading member of the Montreal-based instrumental band, Shalabi Effect. He composed the soundtrack for Being Osama.
- Ossama al-Sarraf (better known as Sultan), a Christian Palestinian Canadian DJ who wears dreadlocks. He is one half of the DJ duo, Sultan + Ned Shepard.
- Ossama el-Naggar, an Egyptian Canadian musical expert and importer of opera and classical music CDs living in Canada for over twenty years
- Osama el-Demerdash, an Egyptian, who is very politically active regarding issues surrounding immigrant rights and deportation of refugees
- Oussama al-Jundi, a Lebanese Canadian who runs a Muslim school in Montreal
- Osama Dorias, an Iraqi Canadian and devout Muslim whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime while he will still a young child. His father has recently returned to Iraq, and portrayed as a university graduate and a basketball player, involved in organising a Muslim basketball league in a Montreal suburb.
They all recount their experiences in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Reception and distribution
The film has been recognised as a contribution to the intellectual and artistic debate about the Arab diaspora.
Kaabour presented it in a two hour special on the Zaven Kouyoumdjian pan Arab talk show "Seereh w Enfatahit" (Arabic سيرة وانفتحت) on the Lebanese Future Television channel.
Being Osama has won international awards including: