Last year, Bay Ridge experienced an unprecedented and vibrant Democratic Primary for City Council. One of the candidates was Rev. Khader El-Yateem, who ran on a message of representation for an often overlooked population of Arab-Americans in the district. There was a great deal of news coverage of the race, and most of the stories centered on Rev. El-Yateem as a candidate. Today, however, we shift the focus and bring you the story of a storyteller.
Ahmed Mansour, through a series of chance encounters and circumstances, wound up journeying from his home on the Gaza Strip to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. With a video camera in hand, he found the El-Yateem campaign in its infancy, and documented everything along the way, amassing hundreds of hours of footage. As he followed “Team El-Yateem”, he ended up exploring a much more important character: the neighborhood of Bay Ridge itself and the Arab-American community that calls it home.
Today Radio Free Bay Ridge is happy to bring you our interview with Ahmed exploring the story behind his upcoming documentary “Brooklyn, Inshallah”. We also discuss what’s next for Ahmed as an artist, and how he perceives Bay Ridge from the point of view of being a simultaneous outsider and insider.
You can check out Ahmed’s fundraiser for his documentary on LaunchGood if you’d like to contribute to expanding it to feature length, or contact him if you’d like to assist in the project!
Trailer and Campaign Links
Help get “Brooklyn, Inshallah” to feature-length! You can check out Ahmed’s campaign on Launchgood as well as check out the trailer. His ultimate goal is $30,000 dollars, but all money donated will be collected and put towards the film, and is Zakat-eligible! $10 will get you insider updates, and $20 will even land you a digital download of the film! Also really interesting is the $30 educators package which will include an educators discussion guide about the film (which is something we here on the podcast are super happy to see).
Check out Ahmed’s earlier work
Ahmed helped produce and film the short documentary “Gaza Strip Closely” for the Texas-based charity Baitulmaal AHED. Check out some of his earlier work here, and on his YouTube channel. You can also see some clips from this work in his campaign launch video in the section above.
This episode was recorded in our Bay Ridge studio with co-hosts Rachel Brody and Daniel Hetteix. Post-production and editing are by Daniel Hetteix.