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Boys play, pray in Fordson football movie

6 Comments 13 December 2011

100 facebook likes buy By Diala Elhallak & Samira Maatouk
Unis Middle School

They all can’t wait for Friday night lights. Even on the field, these Muslim football players always stay close to home and their religion. Fordson High School is one of Dearborn’s public schools. Fordson is majority Arab American, with a mixture of many other ethnicities.

Poster from the Fordson movie promotion

During September, the movie Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football came out, based on life at the school. Fordson was filmed to show that these kids are just like any other American citizens. They do pretty much the same things. When the 9/11 tragedy occurred, Arab Americans were seen as terrorists, no longer regular people.

Baquer Sayed, 19, a graduate who played wide receiver for the Fordson varsity football team says, “I’ve been playing football since 8th grade. Five years and counting.”

The movie goes beyond the point of playing football. The story inside gives a whole new perspective on how Arab Americans are seen as terrorists because of the 9/11 incident, but that’s a stereotype.

Fordson the movie changed the outlook toward Arab-Americans.

The movie was viewed nationwide. Paul Brunick reviewed the movie for The New York Times and wrote, “Fordson, however does not condemn the United States. It rather proudly affirms the American dream, reclaiming it for Muslims who see no conflict between their patriotism and their faiths.”

The football players never forget where they came from NOR their religions.

The football players had to practice during the Muslim holy time of Ramadan.

During Ramadan, they would have to fast the whole day, no food whatsoever until the sun sets. That was the challenge these football players faced.

“It was hard, I felt like wanting to give up fasting a bunch of times,” said Hassan Houssaiky, one of the varsity players.

Before every game, the football players recited Al-Fatiha, a short part of their holy book, The Quran. At home, these football players live a normal life. They each care for one another, as well as their family members.

In the Washington Post, Stephanie Mary wrote, “Among the important, if obvious message sprinkled throughout Rashid Ghazi’s film, is this: Just because Muslims terrorists were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon doesn’t mean all mosque-goers should be persecuted.”

This explains why Ghazi and writer Ruth Leithman chose to frame the story as a look at the football team at Fordson High School, where 95% of the 2,440 students are of Arabic descent. The filmmakers clearly wanted to demonstrate that these are American kids doing American things.”

The students at Fordson are just like any other high school students. There is no contrast. They’re just American kids, living the American Dream.

“As a family you pick each other up,” said Coach Fouad Zaban.

The Fordson Movie was screened in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston New Brunswick, San Francisco and Washington, D.C..

Director: Rashid Ghazi
Written by Ruth Leitman
Director of photography, Mike Shamus
Edited by Ed Pickart
Music by Joel Goodman
Produced by Ash-har Quraishi and Basma Babar-Quraishi
Released by AMC Independent

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Your Comments

6 Comments so far

  1. Nour dekmak says:

    I really liked this but I didn’t see the movie:/ I hope they put this on ppv or the red box anyways good job(:

  2. I love this because i never saw the movie and now I’m starting to think ahead about the movie and i really want to watch the movie now. Awesome job Diala Elhallak & Samira Maatouk.

  3. Ahmad Aoun, 6th hour says:

    This movie above was nice. I really liked this so much. I liked how the Fordson Football Players prayed to God by saying prayers and the Fatiha before each game so God can be with them all the time. I felt bad for them because they had to play during Ramadan. They were fasting and could not drink water or eat food. But that was also a very big challenge for them. The coach was a little hard on them. I really like this movie.

  4. dounia ayoub 4th hour says:

    fordson football is really interesting and so was the movie i love how they all stick toghther, count on each other ,and never give up

  5. Moe Berro 7th hour says:

    The fordson football movie was very nice. I liked how the team fasted during romadon and played in games.The movie really pumped me up because they all stuck together and did what they had to do.


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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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