UNC-TV to air documentary about Elon faculty member
The documentary by filmmaker Jan Van Wyk, "Musings of an Iraqi Patriot," traces the journey of Ahmed Fadaam from his native Iraq to Elon.
UNC-TV will be airing the half-hour documentary about the journey of Ahmed Fadaam, a professor of fine arts at the start of the war in Iraqi who then spent time as a journalist before coming to Elon as an assistant professor of communications.
"Musings of an Iraqi Patriot" was produced and directed by Judy Van Wyk with funding and support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Southern Documentary Fund. The documentary, released in 2014, will air on UNC-TV on Sept. 8 at 10 p.m., and is also available on Vimeo.
Fadaam was teaching fine arts at Baghdad University in 2003 when the war in Iraq began. He served as an interpreter and journalist during the war, first with Agence France Presse before becoming Baghdad newsroom supervisor for The New York Times and the Times of London. He later served as editor and producer for Al Jazeera English television.
Fadaam came to the United States as a visiting scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and while teaching a course at Elon, sculpted a life-sized statue as a gift to the university. That statue now stands in front of Arts West. Fadaam returned to Iraq for several years and returned to Elon in 2012 as a professor, the The Global Experience and media courses among those he now teaches.
The Southern Documentary Fund had this to say about the work:
"Musings of an Iraqi Patriot" chronicles one man’s journey from accomplished artist and journalist to reluctant refugee and a voice for the millions of ordinary Iraqis whose lives have been irrevocably upended by war. Forced to flee the ongoing violence in Iraq, Ahmed Fadaam is haunted by the disintegration of his beloved homeland.
The documentary also had support from the Elon community beyond Fadaam. Tom Arcaro, professor of sociology, J McMerty, director of the Elon in LA program and assistant professor of communications, and Elon alumnus Peyton Lea ’10 are acknowledged in the documentary’s credits for their contributions to the film.