Fresno State’s
CineCulture film series and Filmworks present two screenings of the Palestinian drama “The Idol” at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the Tower Theatre (815 E. Olive Ave.).

“The Idol” was inspired by the true story of a Gaza refugee who won the hearts of an entire region in 2013 when he won the Arab world’s version of “American Idol.”

The movie follows the dream of Mohammad Assaf, a popular wedding singer whose band plays on second-hand, beat-up instruments, but whose ambitions are to someday play the world famous Cairo Opera Hall. On his unlikely journey against impossible odds, Mohammed retains hope that his voice will transcend the pain that surrounds him and bring joy to others. Although the borders are closed, he finds a way to reach the Arab Idol auditions in Cairo and make it in front of the judges. From there, destiny awaits.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, who also directed “Omar” (2013) and “Paradise Now” (2005). The event is co-sponsored by Aimee & Kamal Abu-Shamsieh and the Palestine Freedom Project. The 95-minute unrated film is in Arabic, with English subtitles.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Visit for full details. INFO: Dr. Mary Husain at or visit the CineCulture website. See original press release: