The Citizen

Synopsis: Yearning to leave behind his life of misfortune in the Middle East, Ibrahim Jarrah wins the U.S Green Card Lottery for a chance to become an American citizen. Ibrahim lands in New York City the day before 9/11... and the events of the September terrorist attacks forever shape the struggles he faces on his journey to capture the American dream. Inspired by true events, filmmaker Sam Kadi's feature debut is a gripping tale of courage, love, and perseverance, the qualities of a true CITIZEN.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Sam Kadi
Production: Monterey Media Inc.
  3 wins & 3 nominations.
99 min


I don't want to go.

I say now.

All rise.

Please be seated.

Mr. Winston, you may

cross-examine the witness.

Good morning.

Prior to your arrival in 2001,

had you made any other visits

to this country?


Did your duties as an auto

mechanic in any way...

necessitate a relocation

to the United States?


Would you please

repeat the question?

What brought you to

this country, Mr. Jarrah?

Why are you here?

So what brings you

to the States?

I won the lottery.

Well, congratulations,

Mr. Jarrah.

How long have you been applying

for the Green Card Lottery?

Twelve years.

Well, you're a lucky man.

I've never been lucky before.

You know, you speak pretty good English.

Do you understand me okay?

Yes, sir.

I will understand more when

I go to school here. Okay.

Now, I believe I have all

of your paperwork, correct?

No, I have something

very important.

One second.

That's the congratulation


All right,

I'll have a look at that.

Well, right now we're gonna

go over some of the details...

so you have a clear understanding

of the arrangement, okay?

You have been granted a visa through the

International Green Card Lottery system.

Now that means you'll have an opportunity

to become an American citizen.

Now, in order

to gain citizenship,

you're going to have to meet

certain eligibility requirements,

maintain a good standing

with the U.S. government.

If you meet all of these requirements,

after a period of about five years,

well, then, you'll be eligible

to take the citizenship test.

- Is that understood?

- Yes, sir.

Now I see here you moved from Beirut,

Lebanon, to Aleppo, Syria,

- when you were a teenager.

- Yes.

Why is that?

Because of the civil war

in Lebanon, you know.

So then, why did you move

from Syria to Kuwait in 1990?

I mean, Kuwait wasn't exactly a

peaceful place in the early '90s.


You know, the economy

was so bad in Syria,

I couldn't find a job,

and I found a job in Kuwait.

Four months later,

Saddam invaded.

This is usually

how my luck goes.

No. But I will find work because

I have a business degree. Okay.

What about your living


I'll stay with my cousin,

and he's outside waiting for me.

- What is your cousin's name?

- Rashad.

Everything is written down here.

Yes, I see it.

How did your cousin

end up here?

Sorry, sir,

I don't know this.

You don't know?


Well, I'd like to speak to him.

No problem.

I go outside,

and I bring him here.

- All right, that'll be fine.

- I go?

Yes. Just follow the officer.

He'll help you find your cousin.


I cannot find him.

Can I make a phone call,


- You have reached Rashad.

- Please leave a message.

Okay, cousin. Okay. Okay, see you tomorrow.

Sounds good. Bye-bye.

Did you find him?

I'm sorry, sir,

my information is not right.

He's not coming today.

He's coming tomorrow.



What about tonight?

Actually, he paid for me for a motel

to stay till he comes to the city.


Your paperwork...

is being processed.

You'll find the rest of your

luggage out in the hallway.

Welcome to America.

Thank you, sir.

I'm sorry. I don't have

an address here.

Oh, don't worry.

Just fill in the rest.

Thanks for calling.

Where is he?

Thank you.

Here's your key.

Room 310.

Take the elevator to the third floor, make

a right, and it's on your right-hand side.

Thank you.

Goddamn it!

This whole time?

I just don't get it!

You swore that you

were done with this shit!


What the hell do you think you're doing?

Get back here!


Get in!

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