Join local author and filmmaker Omar Mouallem to learn about this fascinating history of the Prairies.
This session is part of Learn Downtown, a City of Learners speaker series offering bite-size learning opportunities downtown. Complimentary lunch will be provided in support by The Downtown Vibrancy Strategy.
What do the Burger Baron, Al-Rashid Mosque, and those vans selling kitschy flags on Fort Road all have in common? They’re deeply connected to some of the first Arab immigrants to arrive in North America. Join author/filmmaker Omar Mouallem, best known for his documentary about Burger Baron, The Lebanese Burger Mafia, for a unique presentation that shows how Middle Eastern homesteaders, peddlers and fur traders left a mark on the Prairies that surrounds us today.
Omar Mouallem is an author, filmmaker, and educator. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, WIRED, and Maclean's. His book Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas won the 2022 Wilfred Eggelston Nonfiction Award and was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2021. His documentary The Lebanese Burger Mafia, which documents the unlikely link between fast-food and Lebanese immigrants, won the 2023 Audience Choice for Best Doc at Northwest International Documentary Festival. In 2022, he received an Emerging Artist Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for his artistic contributions to Alberta. Omar is also the "fake dean" of Pandemic University, a virtual school he founded in support of writers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.