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Ahlam Muhtaseb, Ph.D.

Ahlam Muhtaseb, Ph.D.
Ahlam Muhtaseb, Ph.D.

Communication studies

Multiple awards for her documentary she co-produced, "1948: Creation & Catastrophe"

Professor of media studies Ahlam Muhtaseb has been recognized numerous times for the award-winning documentary that she co-produced and spent 10 years making.

1948: Creation and Catastrophe - Wins Jerusalem International Film Festival’s Special Jury Award CSUSB Faculty Feature - Ahlam Muhtaseb

“1948: Creation & Catastrophe,” a documentary co-directed and co-produced by CSUSB professor of media studies Ahlam Muhtaseb, began its screening journey in 2017 with its premiere at the 26th annual Arizona International Film Festival.

Since then, the award-winning documentary, which highlights the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been shown at numerous national and international events.

Muhtaseb, who has conducted fieldwork in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, and Andy Trimlett, the film’s director and co-producer, spent 10 years making their 86-minute documentary, which explores the events of 1948, the most pivotal year in one of the most controversial conflicts in the world.

They managed to collect dozens of stories from fighters, refugees (many still living in camps) and survivors of the war now living in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

During the project, Trimlett and Muhtaseb looked through more than 20,000 pages of history, conducted more than 90 interviews, collected more than 2,000 photographs from three dozen sources, combed through hours of archival film and gathered dozens of documents from Israeli military archives.

“Both Andy and I decided not to take sides or propose solutions,” said Muhtaseb. “We wanted to use a hard-fact-based approach to the film — here are the facts, here are the controversies and interpretations about what happened in 1948.”

Muhtaseb is the recipient of the 2020 CSUSB Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities Award and was one of the 2019-20 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Faculty Mentor Awardees. Her research interests include digital communication, digital resistance and decolonization, social justice and diasporic communities. Her research has appeared in national and international publications, such as the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and Arab Studies Quarterly, and has been presented at national and international conferences. 

She has an M.A. in journalism and a Ph.D. in digital communication from the University of Memphis, Tennessee.