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.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