Tarek and His Idea

»When something comes to you as a calling and you feel it deep in your heart and you do it, you know it’s right…«

Tarek Mounib, creator/producer of Free Trip to Egypt

What would happen if you brought together two groups of people from two different cultures, often presented by politicians and mass media as mutually hostile?

When this question occurred to Canadian-Egyptian Tarek Mounib, it marked the start of a quest to find out if kindness and connection could overcome division. The drive to find an answer to this question would take Tarek from his home in Switzerland to the United States, with a unique offer for willing Americans who were fearful of Islam: an all-expenses-paid vacation to Egypt.

He brought along his friend Adam Saleh, an American Muslim YouTube celebrity and comedian to lighten things up. The intrepid duo set out across America searching for potential travelers with different backgrounds, beliefs and opinions, leading them to some unusual places — a small town in the heart of Georgia, a Trump Rally in Kentucky, Union Square in New York City and many other fascinating locations in between.

Eventually, a group of Americans willing to confront their own prejudices were chosen to come to Egypt and explore the land, its people and their way of life. When each of the travelers was matched up with their welcoming Egyptian counterparts, an astonishing new set of adventures began to unfold.

Five separate camera and sound crews filmed the five journeys, capturing all the eye-opening interchanges, unexpected events and breakthrough moments of each emotional expedition.

True to Tarek Mounib’s vision, Free Trip to Egypt is a remarkable cinematic sojourn of revelation and self-discovery for the participants, the filmmakers and the viewer alike.

But Tarek’s project isn’t over. The experience of making the film provoked a new desire to bring more listening to the world. As a result, the #PledgeToListen campaign was born. This provides everyone with the opportunity to reflect the values captured in the film and by bringing more listening to a world where it is too often overlooked.

For more information about Tarek Mounib and #PledgeToListen, watch these videos: