Featured Article
All Articles
Trending News
Most Visited News

American East: A Thoughtful Movie for Arabs, Jews and Iranians

Jan 26, 2009

Actress and former Dallas Cowboys' Iranian cheerleader, Sarah Shahi, and Iranian-descent Actors Anthony Azizi and Sam Golazari all do wonderful acting in this movie, as do the rest of the cast, mostly Arab-Americans. The movie (2007) is about a Muslim family-man (Badreya) who wants to open an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant in Los Angeles, with his best friend, who's a Jewish Business man (Tony Shalhoub). The story highlights the pressures under which many Arab-Americans now live by focusing on the points-of-view of three main characters. Unlike other Hollywood movies that use exaggerated and dramatized stereotypes (either positive or negative) about people of Middle Eastern origin living in the U.S., American Eastoffers a realistic, satirical, balanced, thoughtful and human portrayal of Arab and Jewish Americans.

The Iranian Cast:

Aahoo Jahansouz, also known as Sarah Shahi, was born in Texas to an Iranian father and a part-Spanish part-Azerbaijani-Iranian mother (her parents divorced when she was 10 years old).

She is reportedly a great-great-granddaughter of the 19th century Persian Shah Fath Ali Shah Qajar. She attended High School and University in Dallas, Texas. She won the Miss Fort Worth USA pageant in 1997. She joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 1999-2000 squad. Following encouragement by Director Robert Altman, she moved to Los Angeles and accepted roles in several TV series, such as Alias, Dawson's Creek, and The L Word where she played Carmen de la Pica Morales. She also appeared in an episode of HBO's The Sopranos, and as one of the leads alongside Damian Lewis in the NBC hit show Life. Sarah Shahi speaks English, Persian, and some Spanish, and has a Brown belt in Karate.

In her role as Salwah in American East, Aahoo Jahansouz (Sarah Shahi) portrays a young Arab-American professional (nurse) who is caught between Arabic and American cultures.

Anthony Azizi, born in New York City of Iranian descent and of Bahaii faith, is mainly known for his television work. He has had recurring roles on Lost, 24, and Commander in Chief and has also guest-starred on many other TV shows such as Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, JAG, Gilmore Girls, The Shield, NYPD Blue, The West Wing and Desperate Housewives. Azizi is married to actress Cymbeline Smith

In American East, Azizi plays Murad, a coffee shop Arab patron and an angry and vocal critic of America and Israel.

Sam Golzari, born in London, England to Iranian parents. He graduated from UCLA's Conservatory Acting Program and has had several roles in movies, such as in 21 and American Dreamz. Golzari is also a founding member of the LA-based music band the Elevaters . In American East, he acts as David, a Jewish business man who is against doing business with the Arab.


All together, American East is a timely, poignant feature drama about Arab-Americans living in post-9/11 Los Angeles. The movie is suitable for families despite use of some adult language (mostly by the angry Murad) and a brief suggestive romance scene (perhaps to appeal to the Western viewer). The story examines long-held misunderstandings about Arabic and Islamic culture. Among the Cast members, Ya Ya is played by Mike Batayeh (pictured below), the Actor and comedian whose stand up comedy tour  was recently featured on kodoom.com. Another related event recently featured on our site was a panel discussion about Muslims and Arabs in Hollywood, organized by Levantine Cultural Center.

The movie was co-produced by Zahra Pictures, founded by Ahmad Zahra, born in Syria and raised in both Syria and the UK.  After acquiring a Medical Degree from Damascus University, Ahmad went on to study Film, his first passion, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  His film experience ranges from development and production to distribution in both independent and studio pictures.  After several years with 20th Century Fox, Ahmad went on to found Zahra Pictures in response to a need in the film market for media that can bridge the gap between different cultures (The company's logo, similar to the Hand of Fatima Zahra, is depicted below). The American East is available in DVD, and is selectively screened in theaters.


© 2016 Kodoom LLC All Rights Reserved
  July 23, 2016

Independent Persian News Search Engine, Kodoom.com: Widespread clashes have been reported between people and the police in Iran's Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, over government ...

  July 23, 2016

The Telegraph: The 18-year-old German-Iranian man who opened fire in a crowded Munich shopping mall and a nearby McDonald's, killing nine people and wounding 16 others before ...

  July 20, 2016

Independent Persian News Search Engine, Kodoom.com: According to a deadline set by Iran's Anti-smuggling Agency, if Apple fails to officially register its brand and store in Iran by ...

  July 20, 2016

Independent Persian News Search Engine, Kodoom.com: An Iranian investor is reportedly prepared to spend €100 million to acquire the well known but financially struggling French ...

  July 19, 2016

Attacking Obama on the nuclear deal with Iran was not the only hot topic in the Republican Convention this week. CBS News reports that Donald Trump's wife (his third), Melania, was ...

  July 18, 2016

18th Asian Men's U20 Volleyball Championship in Taiwan: Iran's powerful victory over Japan in Semi-Finals./In the Championship Finals, Iran lost to China 3-2 in a close ...

  July 16, 2016

UNESCO - 15 July 2016 – The World Heritage Committee of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today inscribed four new sites in China, India, Iran and ...

  July 14, 2016

Hollywood Reporter- As part of its effort to increase diversity among its ranks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently issued a record 683 invitations to new ...

  June 25, 2016

Wisconsin State Journal: A viral video of the forceful arrest of a young black woman Tuesday outside East Towne Mall in Wisconsin, sparked outrage from Madison’s black community and ...

  June 18, 2016

On June 9 2016, Dr. Reza Moridi, the Iranian-born member of the Ontario Parliament, himself a physicist, spoke on behalf of the Liberal Caucus to welcome Professor Arthur McDonald, ...

  ۳ related news

Asian June imports at 1.72 mln bpd, highest since 2011 * Imports by China, India, Japan, South Korea rise * Japan, South Korea imports more than double By Osamu Tsukimori TOKYO, July 29 Imports of Iranian oil by four major buyers in Asia in June jumped 47.1 percent from a year ago to the highest ...

  Tehran Times - 13 hours ago

Iran claimed the title of the 2016 IBSF World Team Snooker (Men) Championship on Friday. The Iranian team consists of Soheil Vahedi and Amir Sarkhosh knocked out Team China 5 frames to 2 to win the competition. Iranian players were in outstanding form and gave a brilliant start with superb break ...

  Payvand - 14 hours ago

, Iran is hosting the 2016 Grass Skiing World Cup. Thirty-eight athletes from eight nations (Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Japan and Iran) are fighting for medals in this event for young Grass Skiing talents. After the 2010 edition, it is the second time that ...

  Iran Focus - 19 hours ago

The National Council for Resistance of Iran (NCRI) demonstrations in Tehran in Toopkhaneh Square as thousands of Iranian Turks (Azeris) protested the disparagement of Azeris by state media. Thousands of angry protesters in Orumiyeh, north-west Iran, were attacked by state security forces (SSF) ...

  Time - July 29, 2016

To protest the country's clothing requirements for women/ In Iran, women are required by law to completely cover their hair in public. This is enforced by “morality police,” who fine or jail women who go without a hijab or whose head coverings are deemed inadequate. Women have been by posting ...

  Iran Focus - 18 hours ago

Ken Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council, in Washington, D.C., said, for Town Hall, that Islamic extremism in Iran is one of our main foreign policy ...

  Reuters - 21 hours ago

An Iranian man works on an oil production platform at the Soroush oil fields in the Persian Gulf, south of the capital Tehran, July 25, 2005./ Imports of Iranian oil by four major buyers in Asia in June jumped 47.1 percent from a year ago to the highest level in more than four years, evidence ...

  Trend - 16 hours ago

The Georgian Ministry of Energy has no information on the conclusion of contracts for the import of Iranian gas to the country, Mariam Valishvili, Georgia's deputy energy minister, told Trend. Earlier, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported with reference to the country’s Oil Minister Bijan ...

  Tehran Times - 13 hours ago

TEHRAN – Iran defeated South Korea 88-63 at the 24th FIBA Asia U18 Championship semifinals. In the match held in Tehran’s Azadi Hall on Saturday, the Iranian team booked a place in the final match after beating South Korea. Earlier on the day, the Japanese team had defeated Lebanon 75-59. Iran ...

  Tehran Times - 13 hours ago

TEHRAN – United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will arrive in Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials ahead of the resumption of peace talks on the five-year-long conflict in Syria. He will exchange views with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ...

  Tehran Times - 14 hours ago

Iran and Russia are to sign a five-year strategic cooperation plan on more than 70 industrial projects. The two countries conferred on taking bilateral economic partnership into a new level during the four-day visit of Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi to ...

  Tehran Times - 15 hours ago

TEHRAN – The Iraqi ambassador to Tehran has said that his country would have fallen into the hands of Daesh if Iran had not rushed to the support of the Iraqi army and popular mobilization forces. In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, Rajeh Saber Abboud al-Mousavi said that Iran’s ...

  Trend - 17 hours ago

Iran's police seized over 3.4 tons of drugs from armed smugglers in the country's south eastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi, provincial police chief, has said that police confronted with three groups of smugglers in the province on July 29, IRNA news ...

  Payvand - July 29, 2016

Russia says it has presented a plan to Iran which envisages establishing a unified transport company with India to operate along the emerging North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) - an ambitious intercontinental multi-modal route that would link St. Petersburg to Mumbai. The plan was raised ...

  Payvand - July 29, 2016

The Iranian constitution has concrete language prohibiting any form of development detrimental to the country's environment. However, the large scale water transfer projects considered by the government as remedies to the ongoing water shortage vows in various regions of the country have fallen ...

  Press TV - Five hours ago

Japan has been a “good partner” for Iran for years, Amir-Hossein Zamaninia, Iran's deputy petroleum minister, says./ A senior Iranian official has called on Japan to move faster on rolling out a credit package worth $10 billion for investment in Iran. Japan signed a bilateral investment treaty ...

  Newsweek - 30 minutes ago

The scorched wetlands and river beds have turned the wind into sand storms. The wind "has turned the region into hell."/ Iran is facing a series of environmental disasters this summer, including forest fires, record heat indexes in some provinces and sandstorms threatening the capital, Tehran. ...

Siavash Live in Concert
Friday, Aug 26, 2016 - Vienna, VA
Iranian Women's Studies Foundation (IWSF) Conference, Feat. Abjeez Concert
Aug 5-7, 2016 - College Park, MD
Washington DC Screening: 50 Kilos of Cherries (50 Kilo Albaloo), Best Selling Iranian Comedy
July 17 to Aug 2, 2016 - Washington, DC
Max Amini Stand Up Comedy
Saturday, Sept 17, 2016 - Washington, DC
Erfane Keyhani Spiritual Well Being and Well Being Classes
Washington, DC
Iranian Events Around the World
Sponsored Ad
Max Amini Stand Up Comedy
Saturday, Sept 17, 2016
Washington DC Screening: 50 Kilos of Cherries (50 Kilo ...
July 17 to Aug 2, 2016
Siavash Live in Concert
Friday, Aug 26, 2016
Erfane Keyhani Spiritual Well Being and Well Being Classes
Iranian Women's Studies Foundation (IWSF) Conference, ...
Aug 5-7, 2016
Iranian Events Around the World
Iran finishes 1st at World Team Snooker Championship
Photos: Grass Skiing World Cup in Dizin, Iran
Iranian Azeris demonstrate in major cities – NCRI
Men in Iran Are Wearing Hijabs in Solidarity With Women
Ken Blackwell argues for a change of US policy on Iran
Asia's June Iran oil imports jump 47.1 percent year-on-year to more than four-year high
In Iran, Water Wars start, 180 injured (Videos)
Depressed Iranian-German teenager behind mass ...
Iran to ban iPhones if Apple fails to officially ...
Iranian investor bids for Olympique de Marseille
Did Melania Trump plagiarize from Michelle Obama?
Iran crushes Japan 3-0 in Asian Men's U20 ...