News and Events

IMEY Launches International Film Series

March 2005 — RAND’s Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth (IMEY) has launched a new platform for discussing cultural and political changes in the Middle East: an internal quarterly film series. Audiences of more than 30 have viewed the first two offerings.

In January 2005, IMEY screened a documentary about women in the Libyan military. The film showed the military training undergone by Libyan schoolchildren as part of their curriculum. It introduced a number of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s female bodyguards and provided fascinating glimpses into daily and family life in Libya. IMEY Director Cheryl Benard then facilitated a discussion between the audience and the filmmaker who worked for a year to gain permission to film in that country.

The second film, Submission, was shown in March 2005. It is a controversial 10-minute movie about the role of women in Islam. Written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Somali immigrant to Holland who is now a member of their parliament, and Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who directed, the film received international notice when a Muslim militant murdered Van Gogh on the street in Amsterdam last year.

After the film was shown, Dr. Haleh Esfandiary, The Wilson Center, Dr. Roxana Moayedi, Trinity College, and Obaid Yonossi, RAND, provided their perspectives and insights on radical Islam.