Synopsis: Muna, a single mother in Ramallah, has applied for a visa to the US. When it comes, her son Fadi, an excellent student, convinces her they should go. After an incident at customs begins their exile badly, they join Muna's sister and family in Illinois. Muna needs a job: although she has two degrees and 15 years' experience in banking, she settles for work at White Castle, telling the family her job's at a nearby bank. It's spring, 2003, and the US invades Iraq. While friends come from unlikely places, Fadi meets prejudice at school. How he'll respond to it and to American youth culture and how Muna will sort things out with her family are the rest of the story. Tragedy or hope?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Cherien Dabis
Production: National Geographic
  9 wins & 18 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

Just push the cauliflower aside.

That's what I do.

It all tastes so good.

You're too thin.

Where's my mom,

by the way?

So what-- Are the Iraqis happy

that Saddam is gone?

I'll give you some particular advice

if you don't like the way it was done.

Can I get up?

I can't hear!

I got a job.

- Where, Aunty?

- In the United Alliance Bank.

What will you be doing?

Working in office.


When do you start, Mom?

When you start--

- Then bye.

- Bye.

Hi. Can I help you?

I wish.

Good morning.

It's my first day.

- Wait-- You work here?

- Yes.

I'm Muna.



Your name is Matt?

Do you know

what it means in Arabic?

I know it's not "God is great"

but it's what I am.

It means dead.

You are dead.


Imagine that someone

invaded America, alright?

And then

the people resisted...

Would we be terrorists?

No. See that's completely

different, though.

- No, it's not.

- It is because

we wouldn't blow ourselves up

killing innocent people.

Because you wouldn't have to.

Alright, because you have

fighter jets in your backyard.

We didn't invade them.

We were over there trying to help them.


By starving them?

By killing them?

My brother is over there

trying to give them a chance

- at freedom.

- If you believe that,

I seriously feel sorry

for you.

- You seriously feel--

- Okay. Okay.

Let's open this up.

What do the rest of you think?

What are the reasons

behind terrorism?

Political injustice

and resistance to occupation.

Just give someone else

a chance, okay?


- You would ask him.

- I'm sorry.

What? What was that?

It seems Salma would rather

I refrain from questioning Fadi.

Probably cause he's got

something to hide.

Yeah, well, maybe he's planning

to blow the school up.

- Hey, that's enough.

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Cherien Dabis

Cherien Dabis (born 1976) (Arabic: شيرين دعيبس‎) is a Palestinian-American director, producer, and screenwriter. She was named one of Variety magazine's 10 Directors to Watch in 2009. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Amreeka" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jan. 2021. <>.

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