Client portrait: How Tarek Mounib is building bridges in FREE TRIP TO EGYPT – and why we all need to listen
In a world that feels ever more divided, many people feel anxious about where things are headed. In the US in particular, as the increasingly volatile presidential election contest has shown, political fall-outs that many people are no longer on speaking terms with their fellow citizens. In response, millions take to Twitter to vent their frustration, others favour the radio phone-in, some invest their time in political activism.
But few concerned citizens of the world follow the path taken by Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur Tarek Mounib — who decided, in the face of increasing divisiveness and anger directed against ‘the other’ — to offer a reluctant group of right-wing Americans an all-expenses-paid holiday to an Arabic country.
This quest to find out if the simple fact of human connection can overcome complex global divisions is documented in Free Trip to Egypt — a funny, moving, and surprising film about seven Americans learning to live alongside people they had been taught to fear. It’s also a deeply personal film, drawing on Tarek’s roots as the Canadian-born son of Egyptian parents, who was brought up with an Islamic faith that was seldom discussed in public.
“We wanted to reach out to people who were concerned about the ‘Islamic threat’ and say: ‘Hey, is there something we could do for you?’ It’s not about educating or preaching, it’s about human connection,” explains Tarek.