Seeking to build a bridge of mutual understanding and friendship, a Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur of Muslim faith, now living in Switzerland, decides to reach out to the very people who fear him. Traveling across the United States to find Americans concerned about an Islamic threat, he makes them an intriguing offer – a free trip to Egypt.
With initial reactions ranging from suspicion to hostility, Tarek Mounib accompanied by YouTube celebrity and activist Adam Saleh, a Muslim born in New York City to Yemeni parents embarks on a mission. Traveling from sunny California to a Trump Rally in Kentucky, from a small town in the heart of Georgia, to Union Square in NYC, they cobble together a diverse group of people – including a school teacher, police officer, Marine Corps veteran, single mom, preacher and beauty pageant queen. All have preconceptions and misgivings, but are open and courageous enough to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Arriving in Cairo, the Americans spend 10 days paired with locals just as diverse as them – and possibly with just as many misconceptions.
What happens when a retired teacher and her husband are united with a young Egyptian revolutionary? Or when a Christian missionary and a born-again, former Miss Kentucky are housed with an orthodox Muslim family where the mother wears a burqa? Or when a police officer faces off with a radical, left-leaning journalist? The answers are provocative, surprising, funny, magical, emotional, revealing, enlightening and ultimately life-changing, in other words, all things human. When people look beyond their ethnicity, political affiliations, religious beliefs, economic status and connect at a human level, it’s a transformative and universal message for everyone to come together and join the global ;#PledgeToListen initiative, a social media revolution of acceptance.
From Kindness Films, Free Trip to Egypt was created and produced by Tarek Mounib and directed by Ingrid Serban, an award-winning, Romanian-born filmmaker who splits her time living and working in San Francisco and Paris. British-Egyptian filmmaker Yasmin Kamal and San Francisco/Paris-based singer-songwriter Forest Sun produced the film, and Sun composed the original soundtrack.
Free Trip to Egypt opens in theatres in New York on May 31, and in Los Angeles on June 7. Audiences will also enjoy an exclusive one-night only event on June 12 in 500 theaters across the country, highlighting the #PledgeToListen Day of Unity. The screening will be followed by a live panel discussion led by esteemed celebrities, politicians and thought leaders including Marla Maples, Directors Tom Shadyac and Peter Farrelly, Democratic Presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard and Tim Ryan, Congressman Ro Khanna and Rabbi Rami Shapiro. The panel will be live streamed into each theater and panelists will talk about how to listen and bring more kindness+compassion to the world. Audience members will then take the online #PledgeToListen, a social oath to look beyond that which divides us and commit to bring authentic conversations to their community.