The late Farouk Abdel-Muhti was born in Ramallah, Palestine in 1947. His mother died when Israeli Occupation forces refused to let his family through a checkpoint to reach a hospital. He came to the U.S. in the late 1970s. A well-known figure in the activist community who has worked hard for the cause of human rights, Farouk was one of several Palestinian activists across the country who have found themselves in immigrant detention after protesting Israel's military operations in the West Bank and Gaza. Farouk was arrested April 26, 2002 by a team of task force officers as a result of a January 2002 Justice Department initiative directing agents to arrest immigrants with outstanding deportation orders, specifically targeting those from the Middle East and Pakistan.
Though not charged with terrorism or any crime, he was being held on the basis of a 1995 deportation order. But partly because he was a stateless Palestinian, the BICE (INS) has been unable to deport him. Here, Farouk tells his own story from Passaic County Jail, and speaks out against the injustices inflicted on Muslim immigrants since 9/11.
• Middle East Studies Association Film Festival, 2004