21st Century Orientalism: Portrayal of Arabs in New age of Media

Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | September 14, 2018 –  As part of the upcoming National Convention in Anaheim, California, ADC will explore the portrayal of Arabs in the new age of media. The session will explore the issue of Orientalism 40 years after the publication of Edward Said’s landmark book; and will build on the work of the late Dr. Jack Shaheen, the leading authority on this issue. In addition to discussing the portrayal of Arabs, panelists will also examine what we as a community can do to change these portrayals. 

Presenting on the session will be Ms. Lorraine AliMedia and Television Critic with The Los Angeles TimesMs. Maytha Alhassen, Ph.D.historian, journalist, social justice artist, and mending practitioner; and Mr. Mike MosallamProducer, Writer, Director and President of Mike Mosallam Productions. Each of the presenters brings a unique perspective and experiences to the conversation. Bios of the presenters are listed below.

The session will be part of the ADC National Convention, which will be held October 12-13, 2018 in Anaheim, California. This session will be hosted on the afternoon of Saturday October 13. To register for the Convention click here. Registration provides access to all panels, and the Saturday Evening Gala. 

Lorraine Ali is a television and media critic at the Los Angeles Times who writes about culture through the lens of media and entertainment. Ali was formerly a senior culture writer with Newsweek and a senior critic at Rolling Stone. Ali, who is the daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, has written extensively about Muslim and Arab American issues and how these communities are covered and represented in film and television. She’s also covered the Iraqi refugee crisis through the experiences of displaced family members. She’s appeared on Oprah, Charlie Rose, CNN, BBC and other televised outlets as an expert on media, entertainment, Iraq, Arab and American-Muslim issues. Ali was awarded an East West Center fellowship in 2016 and a Hedgebrook fellowship in 2011.


Maytha Alhassen, Ph.D. is a historian, journalist, social justice artist, and mending practitioner. Her work bridges the worlds of organizing, academic research, media engagement, artistic expression and spiritually-guided healing practices. As both artist and organizer, Alhassen performed and wrote for internationally touring play “Hijabi Monologues and worked with arts-based social justice organization Blackout Arts Collective. In a transition to behind the camera work, Alhassen has been consulting on depiction the depiction of Arabs and Muslims for documentaries, major studio films and TV shows. She is currently advising on the development a TV show on the Muslim American experience. In her capacity as an educator, she lectures nationally across college campuses on the history of the silver and small screen’s portrayal of Arabs and Muslims, tying pop culture representations of these communities to prevailing political narratives and U.S. foreign policy in the respective regions. Alhassen received her Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from University of Southern California in December 2017.



Mike Mosallam has produced, written, and directed in the film, TV, and live theatre space for over 2 decades. Mosallam is most notably known for creating the TLC series, All-American-Muslim. His short film, Breaking Fast, was selected for the Court Me?trage at the Cannes Film Festival as well as numerous other festivals nationally and internationally. His short film, CRIBZ: Arab-American Style, has over 5 million views on YouTube. In December, he will begin production on a feature version of Breaking Fast. Also, his production company, Mike Mosallam Productions, is developing an untitled Muslim Cosby Show series for television as well as a feature film about an 8th grader who spends the summer on his brother’s college campus in order to get in shape. His work has been lauded in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and was nominated for an NAACP Award.

Scroll to Top