Boy from War

Boy from War is a coming of age story of a young Arab American punk ricocheting between a war-torn Middle East and 1980s American Midwest. This film will use documentary interviews, memories and hallucinations, in order to create a stylized animated narrative, navigating through trauma and eventual reconciliation.

We are in the early stages of development on this project and are putting together a demo to use for grants and fundraising.

Help support Boy from War by clicking the donate button. Thank you.

Short Summary

Usama Alshaibi, Director of such films as Nice Bombs, Profane, and American Arab is embarking upon a new animated feature about coming of age while being tossed between cultures against a background of almost constant war.

Animated documentary is a fairly new genre of film, but leaves a lasting impression.  Films such as Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir have had a huge impact on audiences everywhere.

We are in the earliest development stages of the project, with the goal of creating a short demo to use for grant applications and fund raising.  We hope you can help!

What We Need 

Our first goal is to crowdfund $4000 to pay our animator to begin the demo, as well as pay costs related to grant submissions and meetings with investors.  It’s critical that we produce a good quality short clip (two to three minute) in order to move forward and to have the opportunity to get investors and grantors on board.  Visual impact is everything, and we want to show that we have the style and feel of the project thought out and are capable of completing the final project.

The Impact

Every day in the news, we are seeing the impact of civil wars, uprisings and outside bombings on populations forced to emigrate, creating hordes of refugees.  As the crisis in the Middle East grows, it becomes more and more important to keep a human face on those most affected.  This is part of the goal of Boy from War – to be a reminder that those whose lives are rocked by constant danger, especially children, are just trying to live life and get through the challenges of growing up.

The Story

We watch as Usama navigates his tumultuous youth while moving around – Iraq, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi.  Woven throughout the narrative is the boy’s dog that gets left behind in Basra, and at one point is abandoned in the war torn streets.

The protagonist’s road to adulthood has some of the usual bumps and wrong turns of most young people.  There are sex, drugs, bullying, family tensions and finding ways to make friends. However, this coming of age story is repeatedly shaken by war and steered through a myriad of geographical and cultural turns.

By using animation, while extracting the stories from interviews with family members and the director’s own recollection, this film is attempting to make sense and find meaning in a scattered childhood filled with war, migration and the struggles of finding oneself in the world.


Boy from War
has received a developmental grant from AFAC the Arab Fund For Arts and Culture.