Mountainfilm Emerging Filmmaker
Rev. Khader El-Yateem immigrated to the U.S. with his wife and family in 1992, settling in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge. “I am an Arab-American Palestinian Christian immigrant Lutheran pastor,” he tells voters in the 43rd District, where he hopes to become the first-ever Palestinian on New York City Council. El-Yateem grew up amidst conflict in Bethlehem, and clocked two life-threatening months in Israeli prisons at age 19. After 9/11, with State Sen. Marty Golden claiming that “some of the hijackers came from Bay Ridge,” El-Yateem worked to de-escalate mounting community tensions. Today, his district — with an estimated 5,000 “likely Middle-Eastern voters,” faces something worse than even the bigotry that followed 9/11. This film traces the path to Election Day for a man who continues to shatter molds and enliven his constituency in a time of uncertainty.