Professor Jack Shaheen and Reel Bad Arabs

Jack Shaheen is a Christian Arab American professor of Lebanese descent.After observing how Arabs are portrayed in the media, and especially entertainment, he authored a book: Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood vilifies a people, which is also available as a documentary on DVD.You can see excerpts from it on Youtube. More graphic footage is available in Jacqueline Salloum's Planet of the Arabs.



Reel Bad Arabs is an Excellent Book


Salamat. Allow me to second Khalid, 'Reel Bad Arabs' is very educational and fun to read. It is great to just crack the book at random and pick out a movie and read how bad I am.

'Reel Bad Arabs' doesn't just denounce though. At times Shaheen praises movies for good portrayals of Arabs. Unfortunately it isn't that Shaheen is stinting in his praise, but that so few movies have non-stereotypical portrayals of Arabs.

For further inter-cultural research one can pick up the most excellent 'The Crusades Through Arab Eyes' by Amin Maalouf. While the book deals mostly with how Arabs saw the Crusader invasion, it gives some insight into how long ago some of the stereotypes were created.