Being Osama

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Being Osama
Five Men Named Osama.JPG
Five Montreal men who happened to have the name "Osama"
Directed byMahmoud Kaabour
Tim Schwab
Written byMahmoud Kaabour
Produced byDiversus [ca]
  • Osama (Sam) Shalabi
  • Ossama al-Sarraf
  • Ossama el-Naggar
  • Osama el-Demerdash
  • Oussama al-Jundi
  • Osama Dorias
Music byOsama (Sam) Shalabi
Release date
November 2004

Being Osama is a 2004 documentary about how the lives of men named "Osama" changed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

It was produced by Tim Schwab and Mahmoud Kaabour. Director Kaabour is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, now based in the United Arab Emirates.[1][2] Co-director Schwab is an associate professor of film at Montreal's Concordia University.[3]


The documentary details the lives of six Montreal Arab men, all with the first name "Osama":

  • Osama (Sam) Shalabi, of Egyptian origin, a music composer who grew up in Atlantic Canada. He is a leading member of the Montreal-based instrumental band, Shalabi Effect. He composed the soundtrack for Being Osama.[4]
  • Ossama al-Sarraf (better known as Sultan), a Christian Palestinian Canadian DJ who wears dreadlocks. He is one half of the DJ duo, Sultan + Ned Shepard.
  • Ossama el-Naggar, an Egyptian Canadian musical expert and importer of opera and classical music CDs living in Canada for over twenty years
  • Osama el-Demerdash, an Egyptian, who is very politically active regarding issues surrounding immigrant rights and deportation of refugees
  • Oussama al-Jundi, a Lebanese Canadian who runs a Muslim school in Montreal
  • Osama Dorias, an Iraqi Canadian and devout Muslim whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime while he will still a young child. His father has recently returned to Iraq, and portrayed as a university graduate and a basketball player, involved in organising a Muslim basketball league in a Montreal suburb.

They all recount their experiences in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.[5]

Reception and distribution[edit]

The film has been recognised as a contribution to the intellectual and artistic debate about the Arab diaspora.[6]

Kaabour presented it in a two-hour special on the Zaven Kouyoumdjian pan Arab talk show "Seereh w Enfatahit" (Arabic سيرة وانفتحت) on the Lebanese Future Television channel.[7][8]


Being Osama has won international awards including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mahmoud Kaabour at IMDb
  2. ^ Veritas Films
  3. ^ "Tim Schwab". Archived from the original on 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2016-09-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Sam Shalabi at IMDb
  5. ^ Doyle, John (28 February 2005). "Documentary examines the perils of being Osama". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  6. ^ The Personal is Geopolitical: Horror and grace at the Third Annual Arab Film Festival Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine at; by Caroline Palmer; published November 9, 2005; retrieved September 1, 2013
  7. ^ Being Osama at IMDb
  8. ^ "Being Osama". Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2009-09-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) " 'Being Osama', directed by Dubai-based filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour" (2007) The Dubai Journal.
  9. ^ Review – "At a Glance" (April 21, 2005) Concordia's Thursday Report Vol.29 No.14

External links[edit]