»We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.«
Free Trip to Egypt takes audiences on a remarkable journey, in which an unlikely group of travelers to the Middle East find themselves transformed by the power of human connection.
Tarek Mounib, a Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur living in Switzerland, is troubled by a world that seems ever more divided and polarised. In response to increasing levels of anger and hatred towards “the other” on American social and broadcast media, he resolves to reach out to the very people who fear his culture, with an intriguing idea.
With the aim of trying to build mutual understanding, Tarek travels across the United States in order to find Americans who feel threatened by Islam and offer them a Free Trip to Egypt.
The initial reactions range from disbelief to hostility, but eventually, a diverse group is selected. These characters are a cross-section of contemporary America: including a teacher, a police officer, a Marine veteran, a single mom, a preacher and a beauty pageant queen. All have their preconceptions but all are receptive and courageous enough to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
On arrival in Egypt the Americans are paired with locals just as diverse as they are. A retired school teacher and her husband are united with a young Egyptian revolutionary. Two photojournalists from different countries must confront their different experiences. A Christian missionary and a former Miss Kentucky from his congregation are paired with an orthodox Muslim family.
The stories that emerge from these improbable connections are provocative, surprising, funny, magical, emotional, revealing, enlightening, and ultimately life-changing. Free Trip to Egypt is a profoundly original and inspirational feature-length documentary that invites us to leave our baggage behind consider the world anew.
But the journey doesn’t stop there. Free Trip to Egypt has gone on to inspire the global initiative #PledgeToListen which everyone can be a part of.