Iraqi-Born Chicago Filmmaker Attacked In Iowa

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (CBS) — A documentary-maker for a Chicago-based film production company says he was attacked in Iowa while making a film about the treatment of Arabs in the United States.

Usama Alshaibi says in multiple published reports that he was repeatedly punched and kicked by four men who hurled racial epithets at him after he wandered into a Fairfield, Iowa, house party uninvited.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s David Roe reports

Police are treating the beating as a hate crime after officers found him with a bloody face.

Alshaibi tells the Des Moines Register that his first name and its resemblance to “Osama” were what sparked the beating.

Alshaibi, who was born in Baghdad but grew up in Iowa City, is currently producing a film called “American Arab” for Chicago-based Kartemquin Films, focusing on discrimination against Arabs in the United States.

Alshaibi, 41, first gained widespread recognition with the documentary “Nice Bombs,” for which he returned to his birthplace in Iraq. The documentary was released in theaters in 2007, and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel in 2008, according to Alshaibi’s Web site.

Alshaibi has also produced the dramatic feature “Muhammad and Jane,” more than 40 short films, and music videos. Together with his wife, he was also director of the now-defunct Z Film Festival, and hosted screenings of his films at the Odd Obsession video store’s old Halsted Street location.

He lived in Chicago for 16 years before moving back to Iowa last year, according to the Chicago Reader.

Police continue to search for Alshaibi’s assailants.

  • Sgt. York


  • Jim E

    Shame on all of you.You have no idea what being an American citizen entails.
    This country was founded on the IDEALS that all men are created equal regardless of race, creed or religion.What you are doing is pepetuating hate.
    Also, if you were born here, you should have taken advantage of your educational opportunities afforded you and learned how to spell.

  • zelvis

    I just want to know more about the phrase “wandered into a house party uninvited”. Did he walk into someone’s home? I’m sorry for the racism, and I’m sorry about what happened to him, but I’d like to know more facts about how he got himself into the situation.

    • KE

      Exactly? Wandered uninvited into a house party — I call that trespassing and an uninvited person who enters a private home is risking his life — in many neighborhoods he could have easily been shot dead — regardless of color, religion or any other reason

  • Aaron

    Do you know what irony means? That’s when people like you misspell the word stupid. I “congratulate” you on your ignorance.

  • CHivi

    Mary Mitchell is proof that anyone can misspell fluently!!!

  • Mary MItchell's Not Funny

    You know, the whole “Mary Mitchell” doppleganger bit could have been a really good idea if it wasn’t wasted by the author who just seems to have not one iota of comedic talent in him/her.
    Just because you throw in a couple of “ya’s” and “you go girls” doesn’t make it funny. You just come off sounding like a racist baffoon.
    Please do us all a favor and just STOP!

    • Mary mitchell

      how dare you !
      she’s a journalist of color !

  • Gee-reg

    BIG DEAL !!!!!! When an American had his head cut off when he was alive there was not one word about it from the Arab world. So why should we care if one Arab gets punched

  • KE

    Deb is correct

  • Butt Kicking In Iowa

    I wont be waiting for the release of this blockbuster. If your not invited or most importantly not wanted stay away from what could become a bad situation. In this world everyone has the right to have his ass kicked if called for and this one sounds like he wanted it done to prove his point, it has nothing to do with color.

  • swizzle

    Republicans are the worst kind of traitor, and i’m willing to bet that those who attacked this man were republicans

  • radio bikini | atomic bomb | Bikini | Radio | atomic bomb footage

    […] Related Atomic Bomb Footage Products On the same topic: For more on this topic you can read: […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live