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CAI contest 1st Place winner Karim Zouak - “Three Arabs Walk Into a Bar”

We sat down with CAI contest 1st Place winner Karim Zouak to discuss “Three Arabs Walk Into a Bar”

“Three Arabs Walk into a Bar” by Karim Zouak is an ambitious script that incorporates elements of traditional stories along with relevant political commentary. While it is an enjoyable script on its own merits, closer examination reveals that it bears far greater significance than one might expect. Through  a script that combines familiar stories with well placed satire, “Three Arabs Walk Into a Bar” challenges stereotypes of Arabs characters in cinema. 

When asked about his inspiration for his script,  Zouak described wanting to place the setting of the story, in an environment that would allow him to explore the theme of Arabian characters on the big screen. 

“I thought about Hollywood arabian tropes that have been around for decades, such as the slimy jerk like Jafar in Aladdin or the thief or the noble prince…I thought what’s an environment I could explore these themes, then it came to me: 3 Arabs walk into a bar.” 

In an act that seems to challenge these cinematic standards, Zouak places his main characters who are appropriately named, Prince and Jafar, in the bar setting where they share a conversation that speaks to these issues in a comedic fashion. In a subtle way, Zouak script helps screenwriters see these characters from an entirely new perspective. 

Throughout his 20 years in the film industry Karim Zouak has worked on numerous projects in both Canada and the United Kingdom. His dynamic skill set has enabled him to take on a number of roles including writer, director, executive/supervising producer, editor and visual effects artist. Some of his most notable works include Crime Lessons: The Muggening (2019), and King Kaboom (2008). 


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