Five Montreal men who happened to have the name "Osama"
|Directed by||Mahmoud Kaabour
|Produced by||Diversus [ca]|
|Written by||Mahmoud Kaabour|
|Starring||Osama (Sam) Shalabi
|Music by||Osama (Sam) Shalabi|
|Release dates||November 2004|
Being Osama is an award-winning documentary produced in 2004 by Tim Schwab and Mahmoud Kaabour. Director Mahmoud Kaabour is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, now based in the United Arab Emirates. Co-director Tim Schwab is an Associate Professor of film at Concordia University.
The documentary details the lives of six Montreal Arab men, all with the first name "Osama":
- Osama (Sam) Shalabi, of Egyptian origin, a music composer who grew up in Atlantic Canada. He is a leading member of the Montreal-based instrumental band, Shalabi Effect. He composed the soundtrack for Being Osama.
- Ossama al-Sarraf, a Christian Palestinian-Canadian aspiring rockstar who wears dreadlocks
- Ossama el-Naggar, an Egyptian-Canadian musical expert and importer of opera and classical music CDs living in Canada for over 20 years
- Osama el-Demerdash, an Egyptian, who is very politically active regarding issues surrounding immigrant rights and deportation of refugees
- Oussama al-Jundi, a Lebanese-Canadian who runs a Muslim school in Montreal
- Osama Dorias, an Iraqi-Canadian and devout Muslim whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime while he will still a young child. His father has recently returned to Iraq and portrayed as a university graduate and a basketball player involved in organizing a Muslim basketball league in a Montreal suburb.
They all recount their experiences in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Reception and distribution
Being Osama has won a number of international awards, including:
- Best Documentary at the University Film and Video Conference
- Best Documentary award at the Big Muddy Film Festival at Southern Illinois University
- An Aurora Award (for Best Documentary) at the Canadian National Youth Film Festival
- Certificate of Merit for fighting racism from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
- The Personal is Geopolitical: Horror and grace at the Third Annual Arab Film Festival at CityPages.com; by Caroline Palmer; published November 9, 2005; retrieved September 1, 2013
- “Being Osama”, directed by Dubai-based filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour at 7:30pm on Sept 11th 2007 at the Wayback Machine (archived November 2, 2007) at the Dubai Journal (via archive.org); published September 2007; retrieved September 1, 2013