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Cooking Lessons-A Palestinian American Story (working title) turns an intimate lens on what it means to be Palestinian in America through the story of the Hakim family, who were among the first Palestinian refugees granted immigrant visas to America in the 1950s.

Elias and Josephine Hakim raised five children and achieved the American dream. But as their son photographer Joe reveals, his parents were so anxious to fit in that they never told their children they were Palestinian. Fifty years later, Josephine is silenced by a brain tumor. Joe must take over her kitchen and find his own voice to tell the family story.

Drawing on universal themes of identity, love and loss, Cooking Lessons turns an intimate lens on the historic narrative of the Palestinian refugee problem and its complex legacy today.

A feature documentary narrated by firstborn son, photographer Najib Joe Hakim

In development

Photo © Elias Hakim

Cooking Lessons was featured at Independent Film Week’s Spotlight on Documentaries