Multi Meets Poly
A thought-provoking and often-humorous reflection on the theoretical and practical differences between two powerful social ideas: multiculturalism and polyculturalism.
By personifying these ideas as human characters—one male, one female—and by endowing each character with professional rivalry, intellectual one-upmanship, and sexual tension, a would-be romantic evening becomes an intriguing vehicle for exploring American interpretations of pluralism, cultural interchange, and diversity.
Mosque Alert tells the story of two suburban American families living in Naperville, IL—one Christian, the other Muslim—who find their lives torn apart by a proposal to build a new mosque in their community.
Silk Road Rising and playwright Jamil Khoury invite you to join us on a unique journey, a first in new play development history. We want you to become co-creators of Jamil’s new play, Mosque Alert. Through your active participation we hope that you that will influence and assist Jamil as he develops a new play that will be both a work of art and a tool for civic engagement.
The Imam and the Homosexual
“The Imam and The Homosexual” probes the “strange bedfellows” political alliance between Imam Mustafa Khan (played by Khurram Mozaffar), spiritual leader of a besieged Naperville, IL mosque, and Carl Baker (played by Nicholas Cimino), the gay son of the imam’s chief nemesis. As Imam Mustafa struggles to reconcile his support for civil rights with his religious and cultural objections to homosexuality, Carl imagines the Muslim and LGBT communities uniting against their common enemies.
The Balancing Arab
The Balancing Arab (15 min), released in 2012, tells the story of Hanan (played by Amira Sabbagh), a politically active Arab American, and Heidi, her Irish American personal fitness trainer (played by Leslie Frame). Set in a downtown Chicago gym amidst a strenuous training session, the mood turns tense as the two women recount an event at the Arab American Cultural Center a few nights earlier -- an event at which the evening’s political discourse got filtered through decidedly different lenses.
both/and (12 min, 30 sec) breaks the shackles of “either/or” in this semi-autobiographical short video play by Jamil Khoury. both/and explores and explodes the persistent tensions between American and Arab, Arab American and gay, for profit and not for profit, and assorted other “disputed territories.”
Sacred Stages: A Church, A Theatre, and A Story (28 min, 37 sec), tells the unique and inspiring story of the relationship between the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple—Chicago's oldest Christian congregation—and Silk Road Rising, a theatre company founded in response to 9/11 that showcases playwrights of Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds.
Not Quite White
Not Quite White expands the American conversation on race by zeroing in on whiteness as a constructed social and political category, a slippery slope that historically played favorites, advantaging Northern and Western European immigrants over immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Middle East. Inspired by Jamil Khoury’s short play WASP: White Arab Slovak Pole, Not Quite White integrates scenes from WASP alongside interviews with Arab American and Polish American academics who reflect upon contested and probationary categories of whiteness and the use of anti-Black racism as a “whitening” dye.
The Four Hijabs
The Four Hijabs is an entertaining and accessible way to engage with the complex ideas surrounding the hijab.
The Four Hijabs is an animated short film that explores the multiple meanings of four hijabs mentioned in 16 Qur’anic verses through Arab-Muslim feminist lenses:
⚬ the visual hijab (the modest dress of both Muslim men and women)
⚬ the spatial hijab (the separator between private and public spaces)
⚬ the ethical hijab (ethical values/practices required of all Muslims)
⚬ the spiritual hijab (the barrier that inhibits deep spiritual growth and new knowledge)