On the beautiful island of Lamu on the eastern coast of Kenya, three young footballers have just graduated from school summa cum laude, but cannot get hold of the school certificates they need for university or to find jobs until they pay their hefty school fees arrears. Until then, the certificates remain locked in a rusting filing cabinet in the headmaster's office.
"In my judgement, the Edge of Islam should be used in a range of different social science courses in years to come." Nels Paulson, University of Wisconsin-Stoudt, Teaching Sociology
They could get work in Lamu's booming tourist industry, which has brought an influx of pop stars, models and glitterati - and much needed income - to the island over the past 15 years. But tourism has also introduced alcoholism, drugs and soaring house prices that are threatening the local Islamic culture and way of life.
One of our young protagonists, Arafat, isn't worried. His faith is strong enough, he claims, to withstand the lure of the West, and he's happy to earn money providing boat services for tourists on the dhows that ply their trade along Lamu's coast. But his schoolmates, and fellow footballers, Adbulkarim and Abubakar, are reluctant to get involved with the tourists whose dress and habits they regard as corrupting and opposed to Islam.
But how else will they earn enough to secure their precious certificates - and their future? And can the West really offer a model of globalization that will win over Lamu's young men? What future will our three young protagonists choose?
The other titles in the series are:
2. Castro Or Quit - Two young doctors in Venezuela have to decide whether to leave the country or stay with their patients.
3. No Country For Young Girls? - A young Indian woman has to choose - stay with a husband who doesn't want female children, or make it on her own.
4. The Unforgiven - Should General Butt Naked (née Joshua Blahyi) - now a Christian pastor - be forgiven for his role in Liberia's horrific civil war?
5. Looking For My Gypsy Roots - Hungarian film director Arpad faces a dilemma - should he track down his Roma father?
6. The Dilemma Of The White Ant - Dominic Ongwen is both a victim and alleged perpetrator of LRA war crimes. Should he face an international court?
7. Three Sisters - Eritrea's women fought in the war; should they now liberate themselves from harmful traditional practices?
8. The Pied Piper Of Eyasi - The Hadza are among Africa's last hunter gatherers - should they follow charismatic Baallow into the modern world?
9. The Prince - A young Pakistani landowner chooses between trying to implement the MDGs in the village that his family owns, and a quiet life.
10. Running On Empty - Highlights the plight of two young mothers - one in South Wales and the other in Northern Ethiopia.
11. Collision Course - Reviews the positive steps being taken in India and Brazil to confront the serious public health issue presented by traffic accidents.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2008
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-804-X
"The Edge of Islam DVD is a wonderful example of the kind of demonstrative tools available to undergraduate instructors of sociology, as well as for instructors in other social science disciplines (e.g., political science, anthropology, geography, economics, religious studies, or global studies)...Provides an empirical anchor for discussing Emile Durkheim's theorization on religion and ritual, Samuel Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis, George Ritzer's conception of McDonaldization, and Immanuel Wallerstein's world systems theory, among other topics frequently covered...In my judgment, the Edge of Islam should be used in a range of different social science courses in years to come."
Nels Paulson, University of Wisconsin-Stoudt, Teaching Sociology
"What is the 'right' way to live in the modern world? Education is essential to access the myriad opportunities in the global village, however, this documentary illustrates that for the youth of Lamu, Kenya, success often requires that they must balance their westernized aspirations and their religious principles on a veritable razor's edge."
Dr. Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University, Pueblo