A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
HomeIdentity – The Lives of Arab Americans in the United States

Identity – The Lives of Arab Americans in the United States

A documentary by Hannah S. Bennett

This is a documentary featuring Arab Americans that live in the Columbus, Ohio community. The goal of the project is to highlight what it means to have an Arab identity in the United States, including family, kids, and being part of the overall community. It is my hope that this film will serve as an inspiration to dive even deeper into these wonderful stories.

My name is Hannah Bennett, and I am a cinema student at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. This project began when my Arabic Professor, Dr. Hanada Al-Masri, asked if I would be one of the videographers on an Oral History Project featuring Arab Americans that she was organizing.

A team of translators and interviewers and I drove out to meet families in their homes in the Columbus community and conducted a series of interviews. Filming these conversations was one of the most excellent experiences that I have had during my time at Denison. When we finished the interviews, Dr. Al-Masri suggested that the interviews be turned into a documentary – and this project was born.

These participants have some beautiful stories to tell – many more than I could include in this documentary. If you would like to hear the full interviews, which I highly recommend, please visit

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