Free Trip to Egypt – the movie

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See Official Trailer here.

Muslim, born in Halifax, raised in Ottawa, Tarek Mounib, dons a Make American Great Again cap, attends a Trump rally and asks:  Would anyone like to take a free vacation to Egypt and see what life is like in an Islamic country?

Eventually seven Americans  accepted his offer. An Arizona single mom, a Kentucky beauty queen and born-again Christian, an African-American police officer, a soldier and one of his friends, and a retired school teacher (and her husband) who said she was a former liberal scarred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I’m so racist now, I can’t stand myself,” Ellen Decker says when she introduces herself during the film.

Mounib paid for the Americans to spend 10 days in Egypt in the company of local hosts. A film crew captured 250 hours of footage skillfully edited to create a film of not quite 100 minutes.

What began as a interesting documentary, morphed into a profound study of human nature and the similarities we share no matter where we live in the world.

I thought the film would be interesting. It was much more than that. In fact, audience members left the theater in tears (well, the women, that is). And we all stood in the theater lobby discussing the film before we reluctantly departed.

From the Ottawa Citizen: The film’s early focus on Mounib disappears as the Americans and Egyptians engage. There are a few tense moments, but more moments of bonding that seem both ordinary and remarkable. A heartstring-tugging episode or two movingly demonstrate that a common humanity greater than any cultural divide can provide much-needed consolation.


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