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The Academy Award-nominated “Stranger at the Gate,” a story of kindness and love overcoming hate, and a question-and-answer session with two of its main characters, will be the focus of a program presented by the Center for the Study of Muslims and Arab Worlds (CSMAW) at Cal State San Bernardino.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place at noon Monday, April 10, at the Santos Manuel Student Union South Theater.

“Stranger at the Gate” is the story of how an Afghan refugee named Bibi Bahrami – and the members of her little Indiana mosque – come face to face with a U.S. Marine, Mac McKinney, who attended the mosque as someone wanting to learn about Islam. But fueled by hate, he had secret plans to bomb their community center. Those plans were thwarted by an unexpected way – the mosque community welcomed and embraced McKinney.

Bahrami and McKinney, along with Mohannad Malas, who is one of the executive producers of the documentary, will attend the screening of the 30-minute documentary at CSUSB and stay for the Q-and-A session.

“This powerful, short documentary speaks to the importance of listening to and learning from those who are different from us,” said Ece Algan, professor of communication studies and executive board member of CSMAW. “In our increasingly polarized world, this documentary shows us what humanity means in the face of hatred created by Islamophobic propaganda from our leaders and our wars overseas.

“Stranger at the Gate” was nominated for the 2023 Academy Awards Best Documentary Short Film. Directed by Joshua Seftel, with executive producers who include Mohannad Malas, Malala Yousafzai (the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate) and Lena Khan, the film has collected numerous nominations and awards.

Along with being critically acclaimed, the film also found a fan in Steven Spielberg, who told Yousafzai and Steftel that he had watched it three times and “cried in a different spot.”

For more information, contact Dany Doueiri, CSMAW director, at csmaw@csusb.edu.