ISSUE - AREAS
Folklore as a Peacebuilding Tool- Professor Wolfgang Mieder serves as a guide for the use of comparative folklore in development, diplomacy, and military intervention in the current geopolitical landscape and reveals the possibility for building closer international ties through analysis.
Military Use of Folklore- Programs such as Afpak Hands were developed in 2009 through the Department of Justice to develop experts in a variety of cultural and social skills for working toward U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Capt. Edward Zellem and General David H. Petraeus describe in the film, the use of proverbs in Iraq and Afghanistan allowed for greater understanding and influence in counterinsurgency strategy.
American Worldview- Through the personal stories of Americans in the film, Dates for Coffee gives insight in the dominant narrative of the melting pot of the world. Influenced by media, fairytales, and other lore, candid interviews with John Filson (CA), Joe Kerlin-Smith (VT), Samira Abdul-Karim (NY), and Becca Smith (Washington DC) reveal how Americans perceive the possibilities available to them based on the stories they've been told.
Islam and Arab Culture- For many Americans who are not muslim or of Arab descent, any distinction between Islamic values and Arab culture is minimal. From the perspectives of both Arabs and Muslims in the film, the viewer is given an opportunity to hear stories from people of Arab countries including Nawal (Oman), Manal (Sudan), Ammar (Yemen), Dr. Mohammed Abu- Nimer (Palestinian Territories) as well as a muslim-American Samira Abdul-Karim (NY). Each personal narrative offers insight into the lives of people often undistinguished in popular media.