AACC Helps to Cast a Light on Immigration Awareness Month


AACC will be celebrating Immigration Awareness Month throughout April.

Jaso Bolay, Editor

Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, award winning comedians and the co-directors of the documentary “The Muslims Are Coming”, will be coming to AACC to participate in an open discussion about “Women and Islam” at 12:30 on April 2 in Cade 219.

The panel will also include a representative from the council on American Islamic Immigration, Zainab Choudry, and the associate professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Institute at AACC, Anika Ingram.

“The idea here is that Islmaophobia is a big problem,” said Christopher Ballengee, instructor of Performance Arts and the coordinator of the AACC Muslim Oral History Project. “Muslims who are also American face a big problem sometimes just for living their beliefs. Especially for women who wear the hijab or otherwise cover themselves face discrimination all the time out in public since they are more visibly Muslim than other non-Muslim women who they work with, who they go to school with.”

After the discussion panel finishes, the documentary of Farsad and Obeidallah will be shown from 4 to 6 p.m. in Cade 219.

The 90 minute documentary casts a spotlight on Islamophobia through a comical lens and consists of commentary from the likes of The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Soledad O’Brian and Ali Velshi and comedians such as David Cross, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo, and Colin Quinn.

Farsad and Obeidallah’s documentary follows a group of Muslim comedians as they tour throughout the South and the Midwest.

“Laughter always helps diffuse tension,” explains Ballengee, “and these two comedians [Farsad and Obeidallah] use comedy to help stop Islamophobia.”

Following the viewing of their documentary, Farsad and Obeidallah will make themselves available in Cade 219 from 6 to 8 p.m. to open a conversation about Islamophobia with students.

These events are a part of AACC’s efforts to celebrate Immigration Awareness Month.

In addition to these events, other activities that will be taking place to help celebrate Immigration Awareness Month are “Ask an Immigration Attorney Night”, which consists of a pro bono legal consultant coming to AACC on April 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. in CALT 100; “Immigration Heritage Day”, where students will be encouraged to share inspirational stories and food on April 15 from 11 to 3 p.m.; “Who is Dayani Cristal?”, a featured film and discussion on April 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Cade 219; and lastly, “Haiti: Disaster, Destruction and Abandonment”, in which a survivor shares their story with the student body on April 29 from noon to 2 p.m. in CALT 107.

“We’re talking about awareness,” said Ingram. “We’re talking about awareness of all people and cultures so that we don’t have any misguiding information because that’s what’s really dangerous—ignorance and not so much anything else. It’s about free flow of information and becoming understanding.”

For more information about the events that will be held in celebration of Immigration Awareness Month, contact Chris Ballangee at cballangee@aacc.edu, Anika Ingram at atingram@aacc.edu, or Adil Qaiyumi at aqaiyumi@aacc.edu.