Park 51 Community Center

Building Babel

American History, Government, Islam, Middle East, Spirituality, Religion, World Affairs, Business, Civil Rights

58 minutes


Official Selection DOC NYC

Official Selection Big Sky Documentary Festival

Official Selection Thin Line Film Festival

"Building Babel powerfully illustrates why that practice [of being good Americans] is so hard. High recommended. " - Video Librarian



Building Babel tells the story of Sharif El-Gamal, developer of the 'Ground Zero Mosque' in Lower Manhattan. With unfettered and exclusive access to Sharif's life and family over the course of two years, the film tracks Sharif's struggle to bring his project, a controversial Muslim community center two blocks from the site of Ground Zero, to fruition. Told in observational style, Building Babel is a portrait of American identity ten years on from September 11th - who are Muslims, and who are Americans? Where does the line get drawn, and who gets to draw it?



David Osit is a commercial and documentary film director, editor and composer based in New York. David attended the acclaimed Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan and studied Refugee Law at the American University in Cairo with fieldwork Kenya and Uganda as a Raoul Wallenberg Fellow. David received his Masters in Fine Arts in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Building Babel - EDU Use


Suggested Films

      New Muslim Cool                 Mom, Dad, I'm Muslim


Host A Screening

Frequently Asked Questions


Get the 7th Art Newsletter