September 12-21, 2019

Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf

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Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is set in 2006, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Second Intifada, and Iraq War. The narrative film explores the results of Arab and Muslim Americans’ increasingly detainment for ‘guilt by association.’ Marjoun confronts her identity as a Muslim (as the world defines her) and her relationship with God. She becomes a ‘muhajiba,’ an exterior statement of the decision she makes to assert herself, and begins wearing the headscarf, lining the black cloth with metal safety pins from the crown of her head to the nape of her neck. We experience shifts through the lives of the three women in Marjoun’s household, in a time when young Muslim women are choosing the hijab independent of their familial traditions. Her 10-year-old sister who has already chosen for herself the hijab as it becomes a common choice for her peers; teenage Marjoun who considers the growing popularity of the hijab; and her young mother who practices a different faith than her daughters and husband.

Filmmaker Biography

Susan Youssef is the writer/director of two dramatic features, a documentary, and seven shorts that have been official selections of film festivals such as Venice, Toronto International, and Sundance; her work has been programmed in museums including Tate Modern, New Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. She is a Fulbright Fellow, Princess Grace Award Winner, and 21st Century Fox Director Fellow. Susan has been a Guest Speaker at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, the State Department, and many other institutions around the world. Born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to a Lebanese father and Syrian mother, Youssef’s initial knowledge of the Middle East was scarce. She attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate, where she made a film about her grandparents that she submitted to film schools. Prior to filmmaking, she was a schoolteacher and journalist in Beirut.

Hira Jafri began her film career in distribution on the production Habibi, which premiered at Venice, Toronto, and Dubai International Film Festivals. She worked as Co-Producer on Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, which premiered in competition at the Miami Film Festival. She also Co-Produced Amsterdam to Anatolia, a 21st Century Fox commissioned short. Hira serves as the Director of Global Programs at Yale University. 

Hannah Youssef debuted in her first feature film role as Wendy in Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf in addition to working on set as Production Assistant. She is a 2018 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she earned an honors degree in International Justice and Human Rights. During her time at university, she worked as Event Coordinator for the Women of Color Leadership Network, where she became widely known for spearheading college-wide slam poetry nights, as well as for her written play “Me, with You,” and her original pieces performed as a member of social justice education theater troupe Shaha: the Storytellers. She worked with students on college preparatory English and Critical Reflection classes as a tutor-mentor for the Upward Bound program, and defended the rights of UMass Amherst students as a legal assistant with UMass Student Legal Services Office. She was a prior panelist at Mount Holyoke College’s “Women of Color Trailblazers Leadership Conference” in 2018, a speaker to over 6,000 students at UMass Amherst’s First Year Convocation “Many Voices, One Community” in 2016, and a performer at UMass Amherst’s Coalition for Racial Justice Conference “Stand Against Racism” in 2016.


  • Wingate University, Wingate, NC. Thursday 9/12/2019
  • Union College, Barbourville, KY. Monday 9/16/2019
  • Gateway Regional Arts Center, Mt. Sterling, KY. Tuesday 9/17/2019
  • University of Pikeville, Pikeville, KY. Wednesday 9/18/2019
  • Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL. Thursday 9/19/2019
  • Fuquay-Varina Arts Center, Fuquay-Varina, NC. Saturday 9/21/2019