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Arab Film Fest showcases personal & political stories seen through Arab eyes

A still from "From Baghdad to the Bay," a documentary being shown at the Arab Film Festival 2018

On this edition of Your Call, we discuss this year's Arab Film Festival in San Francisco with a focus on the documentary From Baghdad to the Bay.


Ghazwan Alsharif, a former translator for the US military in Iraq, was wrongfully accused of being a spy. He was arrested by the US military police, tortured, imprisoned, and ostracized from his family and country. Upon his release, he moved to San Francisco where he now lives openly as gay man. From Baghdad to the Bay follows his harrowing journey. How are filmmakers exploring politics, sexuality, and conflict in the Arab world on the big screen?


Serge Bakalian, executive director of the Arab Film Festival and the Arab Film and Media Institute

Erin Palmquist, director of From Baghdad to the Bay, and producer and director of photography for the documentary shorts series Oakland Originals

Web Resources:

Bay Area Reporter: Gay Iraqi's story hits Bay Area film festivals

Arab News: The Six: Films on show at California’s Arab Film Festival

KQED: Now Playing! Arab Film Festival Raises the Blinds on a Multifaceted World


Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.