tv Sino Tv Early Evening News PBS January 21, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
>> this is the "journal" on dw- tv. i am heather delisle. the headlines. the debates on withdrawing bundeswehr troops from afghanistan but treatable killed in anti-government riots in albania. >> and in the shadow of the germany dioxin scare, the green food fare gets underway in berlin. ♪ >> the german government says that it is on course to start withdrawing troops from afghanistan. the issue came up during the debate in the bundeswehr to discuss extending germany's
mission in afghanistan for another year. the overseas deployment of troops must be given parliamentary approval. >> the foreign minister pushed for approval of the new afghanistan mandate. he emphasized the importance of germany's military presence, vowing that representatives would be kept up-to-date. he also emphasized that while it seemed there was discord in recent weeks, the government has taken a united stance on germany's withdrawal from afghanistan. >> we want to reduce the presence of the german armed forces at the end of 2011. but it is clear that certain conditions must be fulfilled. it will depend on the situation at the time. our highest priority is that the reduction will not pose a threat to those soldiers to remain. >> he has pledged germany's long-term involvement in afghanistan, even after security responsibilities are handed over to local forces in 2014.
the opposition social democrats have signaled support for the mandate extension but object to this they are purely military goals. >> we intend to scrutinize your plans in the coming days to determine whether they have connected the political goals with the mandatory troop withdrawal plan in a convincing way. only then can you count on broad support from the spd. >> the debate has provoked the usual concerns about germany's role in afghanistan is as germany's to defend its own security but that the deployment must end as some point. >> the number of german development workers in afghanistan aims to be boosted by 50%. the development minister announced a major increase over a number of german aid workers in afghanistan and called for close -- closer cooperation between aid agencies and the bundeswehr. it is to insure the country's social and economic development. the defense minister, karl- theodor zu guttenberg, has denied the german armed forces
deliberately will hit -- withheld information over death over a soldier and afghanistan. the soldier was felled in the german town during the summer. the first reports said the accident shot himself while cleaning his gun. it is said he was shot by a fellow soldier who was abating irresponsibly with his weapon. there will change information policies if necessary. the defense minister has faced strong opposition criticism over his handling of the affair. at least three people killed and dozens injured in anti- government classes in the albanian capital of tirana. protesters demanding early elections. >> tension has been building for months in albania. and it came to this, a massive rally outside the office of the prime minister. protesters accused the government of corruption, abuse of power, and reading the last election. and they are demanding that the
government be dissolved and call for new elections. this, just a week after the deputy resigned over allegations of bribery. the situation reportedly got out of hand when protesters and dug up paving stones and threw them at police. security forces responded with tear gas and water cannons. dozens were injured and authorities have yet to explain the deaths of several protesters. after three hours of a violent confrontation, police dispersed the crowd, and both government and opposition leaders appealed for calm. > >> they fourth term as president of belarus, elected in december. most observers say the election was a sham. eu and u.s. officials stayed away from the ceremony, and brussels is considering imposing sanctions on belarus for the government's suppression of opposition groups.
>> president look at shankar, celebrating the start of a fourth term in office, after an election widely viewed by the west as fraudulent. since then, he is cracked down on the opposition. now he is casting himself as a victor over dark forces that saw to destabilize the country. >> our people have resisted economic pressure and political provocations. and have refused to be influenced by corrupt politicians and journalists. together we have preserved what is most important, peace in belarus. >> ambassadors plan a boycott of the inauguration. but russian representatives were in attendance. the kremlin sees its chance to link minsk more closely with moscow. it is a precarious situation for the opposition and human rights activists who face severe repression. >> only one thing that held the political prisoners. all european countries must show
solidarity, and europe has to take a hard line in response. >> the eu has already threatened to impose sanctions on belarus. look fishing -- the president warned his country will reply with measures of his own. >> the former british prime minister tony blair has expressed his deep and profound regret over the victims of the iraq war. he made the statement at the end of four and a half hours of testimony before the iraq war inquiry in london. in a written statement, he acknowledged he had discounted advice from his attorney general in 2003 that the invasion of iraq may not be legal without the backing of the u.n.. the former prime minister said he viewed that advice as provisional. so berlin is hopping. fashion week in green week. >> double the amount of visitors expected for the world's biggest food fair. i do not know the two go hand- in-hand. but i would not mind eating my
way through this. food prices have been one topic that consumers are concerned about. dioxin has been another. the government has made moves to make sure the dioxin scandal does not occur again. producers of announced plans to introduce controls. high levels of cancer causing dioxin found in northern germany, prompting some consumers to steer clear of eggs and pork. many have started buying organic food instead. it is a boon for the organic farmers, but it is costing conventional farmers a lot of money. >> bread and salt for on the menu as this year's partner country poland welcomed the agricultural minister to its display. it was a welcome distraction perhaps for a minister still mired in the dioxin scandal. and managing a crisis that has all sides of in arms. >> the mood amongst farmers is aggressive. they're disappointed and very
angry that because of criminal acts, an entire sector has lost money in senate's reputation ruined. >> german farmers want to be talking about their efficiency, not food scarce. they said they can grow pigs to slaughter weight in just five months and that they can make bread so cheaply that a low-fat costs the average german in 10 minutes of work. but now, restoring confidence is the government's top priority. contaminated animal feed was the source of the current scare. berlin has announced tough new controls to look warm procession of the industry. >> these measures are something of a knee-jerk reaction. we have to make sure that regulations are established on the european level. if we just go it alone here in germany, we will achieve much less than you would expect in terms of consumer protection. >> organic farmers have a more
radical solution. they say small farms making their own animals. the only way to prevent more scarce in the future. >> on a brighter note, german business confidence has stormed into the new year at record highs. the indexes risen for the eighth month in a row. sentiment on the management level has not been this good since reunification 20 years ago. >> industrial firms in germany are already running at full capacity, and managers are finding it hard to keep up with the surge in orders but the companies are finding it of a cold to fill vacancies. export-driven firms are betting on even more work over the next six months, and that, despite the dire economic situation, in many of germany's european neighbors. >> right now, the european debt crisis has no major bearing on the german economy. this is because of the affected states like greece and portugal
are not among germany's most important trading partners. >> but france does count among them, and its economy is also enjoying the times. >> the meet has caught up. siemens shares traded upwards this friday. here is the report from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> next week, the siemens is going to hold its general shareholders meeting, and it is going to present a new quarterly earnings report. and apparently, investors are bracing for good news, because this friday they bought lots of seaman's shares. they have reasons. the large seamen's competitor, general electric, delivered quarterly earnings report that topped analysts' expectations by far. more reasons to be optimistic delivered the business climate
index. not only for the siemens. among the big gainers were shares of the stock exchange, the banks, and insurance companies. >> let's take a look at the numbers now, closing in. the blue-chip dax index was up 0.5% higher. the euro stoxx 50 surged even higher. and new york is also up 0.5%. the euro is currently trade for $1.36. british airways in spain's iberia completed their merger friday. it is hoped the move will save almost 400 million euros a year in five years' time of the two carriers will retain their separate brands, falling to around 200 destinations around the world. there'll be europe's third largest airline by market value, after lufthansa and air force klm.
but trouble looming for british airways with staff of voting for strike action. the union named a new date for the walkout. a major holdup on germany's main waterways starting to affect business across europe. authorities had to close the rhine river after a sulfuric acid tanker capsized. the barge has not lead, but the incident has caused a massive traffic -- traffic jam. the chemical giant has had to cut production. >> as scrap metal has been stuck on this and barge on the mine at ryan's for days. it is not the only cargo caught in the log jam. a whole array of raw materials have been held up. and chemicals giant are already experiencing shortages. >> if we do not enough supplies, we cannot keep our facilities going at the capacity needed to keep up with demand. but unless some product lines
are affected and if you visitors. we can compensate with our integrated systems. >> if a boat is held up, it could cost the owner upwards of 2000 euros a day. the ban on traffic has affected several container ships from the myspace logistics company. and not all carter can be redirected onto lorries or trains. >> of course, it is very bad economically because we have about 1000 containers stuck here in mines. 1000 containers as well. some of the carter can be transported by road or rail each way, but it means more costs for us and our customers. >> work will begin to salvage this capsized tanker on saturday, but it could be weeks before rhine shipping is back to normal. >> as you can see, if you small boats that got through, but there hundred still in line.
>> we will see how that develops. representatives from iran and powers have begun a new round of talks on tehran's nuclear program. leaders want iran to stop enriching uranium. but representatives from iran repeated that they have a right to get the civilian nuclear energy. the west believes iran is trying to develop a new killer weapons program, a charge tehran denies. the people of southern sudan have voted overwhelmingly to split from the north. with most of the votes counted in the referendum, results show 99% of the people are in favor of separation. final results from last week's referendum will not be announced before next month. but with more than two-thirds of the ballots counted, the outcome is not in doubt. the u.n. described the vote as free and fair. it the result is confirmed, southern sudan is expected to declare its independence this summer. geneva is observing three days of official mourning for the
people lost their lives in the protests that toppled the president. the u.s. is almost 100 people were killed in the unrest flags flew at half mast and state television's broadcast prayers. remembrance is not stop the protests. they're calling for a new government of national salvation, stripped of key figures who served under the old regime. >> a data is not pass without protest in the tunisian capital. the demonstrators in tunisia do not want to give up until they achieve their core demand. >> we will calm down and all the members of the former regime are gone. >> the pressures on the streets are having an impact. the former party has now dissolved the political secretariat. the interim government has announced a general amnesty for political prisoners. >> i am waiting for my son, who is a political prisoner.
he was arrested in july 2008. >> many families are being united with their jailed relatives after years of separation. but the country is also in morning. flags are flying at half mast throughout to any ship for three days, in memory of those who lost their lives in the struggle for democracy and freedom. >> u.s. congresswoman gabrielle giffords has left in arizona hospital to begin a further treatment less than two weeks after being shot in the head. as the ambulance pulled away to transport her to a rehabilitation center in houston, hundreds of well- wishers lined the route, cheering and clapping. giffords continues to make remarkable progress, but doctors caution that she faces months of intensive therapy. the congresswoman was shot in an attack at a constituency meeting that left six others dead. you're watching the the "journal"on dw-tv.
i will be back after a short break "in depth ." ♪ ♪ >> you invest time, ideas, and energy. you always give your very best, and you are mobile. just like us. dw-tv, on your iphone. >> from the motorized carriage, to the car of the future. germany's auto industry is celebrating its 125th anniversary. the makers, the visions, and the challenges.
125 years of automobiles. made in germany. next week on dw-tv. >> welcome back to the united nations has designated 2011 the international year of forests. the aim is to raise awareness about how to better manage and conserve our forests. they are an apparent economic resource but also vital for the well-being of our planet. the world bank estimates the one-fifth of carbon dioxide emissions result from deforestation. we take a look at some forestry projects, starting with indonesia, where illegal logging is a huge problem. >> of the timber on this ship was once part of a tropical forest in indonesia. most of the trees were taken down by illegal loggers. they can earn some 20 years of keep it matter what, so they do not shy away from trees in
nature reserves. the staff of this joint german- indonesian forestry projects are powerless to stop them. one of them asks this man why he is not afraid of the police. >> of course, we're scared. everybody here knows the police take bribes. >> they hope to help put a stop to it before station. the government has assigned him 24,000 hectares of swampy rain forest to protect. >> if we know how much carbon we have and how much carbon potentially used a fire, illegal logging, or from drying out, we can see how much carbon we can save, we can sell it back for carbon credit. >> the idea is to sell the
credits to big industry so they can help offset their co2 emissions. the money is plowed back into the project in for testing actions. many of the colleagues used to earn a living as illegal loggers themselves. nowadays they collect saplings and take them back to their village for nurturing. 150 people live in this area. the villages run a tree nursery here. they replant the saplings for three years and then return them to the forest. it is a system that can and does work in many other countries, especially where natural habitats are dying out. in some watcher, there's also deforestation in canada. every year, an area the size of jamaica is logged, laying bare sways of land. but canada has introduced some of the toughest forest
protection laws in the world. for every tree felled, a new one has to be planted. professionals can plant as many as 1600 trees a day. >> us as a company and other companies are able to take the technology and into the tropical areas where there has been a lot of deforestation and degradation of the landscape. through introduction of different native species to the area, we are working to reintroduce more natural landscapes to these degraded lands. >> ambitious project like this one are now a worldwide phenomenon. they help preserve the forests and so help to slow down global warming. >> a third of germany's covered by forests. more than 1 million jobs depend directly or indirectly on the trees they are made up of. although germany has a high reputation for its environmental policies, only 20% of forests meet the strict ecological
guidelines that enable them to be called truly sustainable. one of them is a near the city of cologne in western germany. >> this forrester had eight truckloads of spruce today. each tree trunk is about 120 years old. >> several generations have been at work before me. we fell timber here, but we also planned new trees and take care of them so that future generations can also cut would. >> carving this with us make it the third largest forest in germany. located east of cologne, it covers an area equivalent to 20,000 football pitchers. this is one of the customers. demand for spruce has been rising in recent years, especially in the construction industry. >> the way things are going, we will have supply shortages in the near future. because the forests just cannot grow fast enough to keep up with
demand. >> in the past, adjourn -- german forster's tried to increase output on efficiencies. but they're vulnerable to pests and natural disasters. this part of the forest was practically wiped out by a severe storm in 2007. >> quit profits from forestry will never be sustainable. the only benefit a single generation. we have to think in terms of several generations and the storm damage simply confirm that the direction we have to take. we have to stick with that direction. >> that means forests with a variety of species. selling is more laborious, but the forest is more resistant. >> once we have harvested this patch up spurs, which is about 120 years old, a force made up of about six, seven, or eight species will grow in its place. spurs will supply a role, but it will not be as dominant. -- spruce will supply a role,
but it will not be as dominant. >> it is not only timber sales. he also rents out holiday homes, and he makes money through hunting in meat sales. 120 people from the region work on his estate. his latest business is heat generation. these heating plants are filled with wood chips from the forest, a waste product that does not go to waste and boosts the local economy. >> quite simply, if we spend one year on heating with wood chips, 85 cents stays in the region. if we use oil, only 15 cents stay in the region. >> as the example shows, sustainable forestry makes both economic and ecological sense. >> down through the centuries, the forests have played a significant role in the german national identity. the oak tree purveys german culture, from religion to the cards, from coins to military
nixing yeah. we end with a light-hearted look at the role of the forest in germany, past and present. >> trees, trees, and more trees, as far as the eye can see. about a third of germany is covered with thick forests. there used to be more. much more. ♪ the romans in claim that the germanic tribes they encountered lived in the trees. the day that they finally came down from the trees marked the real beginning of german history. that was when the original home of the german, known as are many as to the romans, route to the invaders at the battle of the forest. the forest has always played a key role in german culture. without it, there were no hansel and grendell and no german romanticism. and then escape painter turned the oak tree into a national symbol.
portrayed as tough, resilient, and durable. in other words, a typical german. ♪ inc. the forced into their ideology, and their ideology into the forests. they took anti-fascists and democrats decades to notice but perhaps they were unable to see the trees through the woods. ♪ indeed, germany has not always been kind to this focus of national identity. acid rain killed off huge swiss and german forests. fortunately, they are now growing back. ♪ half of all germans like the woods to relax or to get back to their roots. and bring the forest back into their own home. purely romantic and typically german. ♪
>> hinojosa: more often than not, when we see arab actors on screen they're playing terrorists, but our guest today rose to fame with his stereotype defying role in the oscar nominated film the visitor-- rising star haaz sleiman. i'm maria hinojosa, this is one on one. haaz sleiman, everybody knows you because they're going to say, "i know that actor, he's got such a memorable face. he's on that show..." nurse jackie, where you play a gay nurse, but... >> gay muslim nurse. >> hinojosa: ...a lot-- gay muslim nurse. we're going to get into that, okay, gay muslim nurse. >> by the way, maria hinojosa... >> hinojosa: hinojosa. >> did i say it right? >> hinojosa: you're working on it. you're a gay muslim nurse on the
show nurse jackie on showtime... >> yes. >> hinojosa: ...could also be puerto rican. >> yes. >> hinojosa: so we're going to put that aside, come back to it, because we're going to start off by talking about the movie the visitor, which was an oscar nominated film. just to clue people in-- because the visitor is an amazing film, but it wasn't a blockbuster-- so what is the story of the movie the visitor? >> well, actually, you know, for a small budget film, it was a blockbuster. >> hinojosa: really? >> you know, because it's... you have... you can't like, look at it in terms of like, the big studio films. small budget films... it did really well in the box office. it was actually one of the best reviewed films, and did amazingly in the box office, so everyone was really happy about that. >> hinojosa: that's wonderful. >> and it almost sort of gave hope back to hollywood, because it was sort of losing that sort of belief or faith in like, small budget films in terms of if they're profitable and whatnot. >> hinojosa: but small budget films that also take on an issue that maybe other people just don't want to think about. >> absolutely. >> hinojosa: because the premise of this film is about immigration detention...
>> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and a post-9/11 reality... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...for immigrants, and in this particular case, a young man from syria. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and the show... i mean, the film stars also the actor from six feet under... >> richard jenkins. >> hinojosa: ...who everybody, again, don't know his name, but you remember him. >> i'm the new richard jenkins. you were saying like, nobody, like... >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> ...recognized me-- it's like, "i know this guy." that's how richard jenkins is. for 40 years, he's had this amazing career where he played these beautiful supporting roles. i mean, did a phenomenal job with everything, and that was his first lead role. and it was just... >> hinojosa: so because people are going to be like, "wait a second," they don't know richard jenkins. so richard jenkins on six feet under played the... >> he played the husband who was a ghost. he died and then he was like the ghost, he keeps coming back. >> hinojosa: but everybody knows his face. like you, there are a lot of... you know, when i saw your name i was like, "haaz sleiman-- don't know the name," but the second i read what you were doing, i was like, "oh, i know exactly who it is." you have got an incredibly memorable face. >> mm, hopefully, that's good.
>> hinojosa: that was like, a set up for you to say, "yes, and i knew that as a child." >> ah! >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> actually, i did, but i didn't want to like, brag. my folks are very... you know, have also like, very specific faces, so maybe i take after that. >> hinojosa: so... just so people know, you grew up... you're lebanese born? >> lebanese... well, yes. i was actually born in the uae... >> hinojosa: in the united arab emirates. >> yes, and then i moved to lebanon when i as ten, and i grew up there until i was 21. then i moved to michigan, michigan to new york, new york to la. >> hinojosa: okay, and why did you decide to leave your country and say, "i'm going to move to michigan"? what was the dream for you? i mean, was it... because you hadn't spent time in the united states, right? >> no, well, actually, i was in the states when i was two years old. my mom... you know, my folks traveled a lot. we were like, really well off, initially, and then my father lost everything. so it's a very interesting story. i hadn't seen my dad like, 20 years, and then eight years ago, i finally got to see him. so it was like, a really profound sort of experience. but on that note, it was... for me, it was that time when we were like, really young and my
folks had the money we would travel a lot, and one of the countries was america. my mom spent like, three months in florida, took us to walt disney every day, and i don't remember any of that. we have pictures, though. >> hinojosa: what did symbolize? like, coming to the united states from that part of the world... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...symbolized what? and this is 1997, so this is pre-september 11. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: what was... you know, you were like, "i'm going to make it there; i'm moving there; this is my new country; i'm going to try..." what was the dream? >> you know, i... you know, growing up in lebanon... i mean, lebanon is a very... it's a little bit of a... it stands out in other arab countries, in a way, because we're really exposed to so many different cultures. we love to explore; we're curious about people from different worlds, and... >> hinojosa: so it's a very open... >> very open. you know, we have half christians, half muslims. we have a 51% christians... i'm sorry, muslims, and the 49% christians, and even though there were... a lot of the conflict was because of the diversity of it, yet the beauty of it is that and how contradicting it is. i think there's something really
poetic about that whenever i go to lebanon. >> hinojosa: and you were... you were raised as a muslim. >> i am, i am... >> hinojosa: you're still... >> yeah, i was raised and i'm still a muslim, yeah. >> hinojosa: you said at one point that you were a very devout muslim. you used to pray five times a day. >> i used to pray five times a day, and then i decided to be a bad muslim for a little bit. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> i have my red wine and like, a good time. you know, i grew up in... >> hinojosa: wait a second. wait, wait-- you can just decide like, okay... >> i know, and they put the bourbon in here. they know very well. >> hinojosa: so you can just decide to be... because this is a part of... because you're... what you do as an actor is you push the boundaries so much... >> mm-hmm... >> hinojosa: ...in the... >> i don't believe in boundaries, though. that's the thing. as an actor, i think that's the beauty. that's what was really attractive to me as being an actor-- no passports, no visas, no boundaries. you can't... you know, you don't have that reality as an actor, because you end up playing so many different characters from different cultures. you know, like whether it be spanish, puerto rican, and all of that... biracial. there's something that is beautiful to me about that. that i never actually thought of the world in that way, so that
was definitely one of the reasons why i became an actor. >> hinojosa: hmm. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: so i think that when i go back to thinking about the movie the visitor... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...when you put it in kind of a human context, that movie is all about people being open-- open to change, open to difference... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...the character of this white man who basically allows you into his life-- you as a syrian, undocumented immigrant... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and you are the arab in the movie, and yet you are so open and loving. it really just defies the stereotypes of characters that you've also played. because you've also played arab terrorists. >> once. once, and for satire-- american dreamz, where i was playing... >> hinojosa: what about 24? >> no, i was... that was good, because i was a suspect-- a terrorist suspect-- but at the end of the... the three arc episode, i was proven to be innocent. and i liked that, because i liked the sort of idea that
people judge someone for where they are or their religion, and then they have all these preconceived ideas about them. and the fact that, you know, this proves that you could be wrong just by looking at someone just because they're from somewhere and assume that they're that, and then when they're proven wrong, i thought there was something really great about that-- a statement to be made. >> hinojosa: so as an actor, you're making these choices and you have to decide when they approach you and people know that you're lebanese, arab, muslim. >> lebanese american now, now that i have a citizenship. >> hinojosa: congratulations! >> thank you. no more deportation. >> hinojosa: no more fear. >> no... well, i never was afraid. >> hinojosa: well, but you just said that you... no more deportation. so you... >> no, no... >> hinojosa: it's a joke? >> i mean, it's a joke, really. i was making a joke because of the film and you know, with the whole deportation. and actually, the officer or the gentleman that interviewed me to get admitted or to get, you know, the citizenship, after all of the things was like, "well, you know, you're admitted and got the approval for the
citizenship." i'm like, "great, so now i can say i'm citizen." he's like, "no, if you say that you might be deported." i'm like, "oh," that was really interesting to me. like, there is a chance that if i say i'm a citizen before getting sworn in that they would deport you. and i just thought it was really fascinating. >> hinojosa: so has it been hard after september 11 to be an arab... an arab american, openly identified muslim actor? has it been hard, or has it been... well, look, our countries, you know, our lives are becoming more intersected; more intertwined? >> you know, there's a lot of good and bad in this. i mean, life is not black and white in every situation, in every event, in a crisis like this. but i think what's happened is there's beauty in this and there's also sort of a lot of other stuff that comes out, whether it's prejudice or self judgment or judging others because of fear from both sides. it's, you know, fear is what really has been moving people for the most part in our generation, i think. and... >> hinojosa: and the people who we're supposed to fear are
people like you, right? >> the people who are supposed to be feared of? yeah... yeah, well, now. i mean, before that, it was like, the black people, and before that it was... you know what i mean? >> hinojosa: the chinese... >> the chinese, yeah. so there's always like, a... yeah. we're like, now the "it" people, but i think there's that aspect of it. the other aspect of it as well is the visibility that it created in terms of consciousness-- a new level of consciousness in the world, looking at arabs in a different way. because there is now this new sort of possibilities and opportunities to come with projects in movies or people who are from that culture to be more visible and speak their minds. >> hinojosa: big change post 9/11. post september 11, you were trying to make it as a musician in new york... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and it was hard for you. >> it was. i mean, here's the thing. i mean, everyone... i'm sure every... every... as an arab american or lebanese american, you know, i had my own sort of
like, version of how it all went for me, but you know, everyone is different. i mean, i was in new york when that happened. you know, i had family in michigan. they were fine. no one ever, like, bothered them, but you've heard stories that others were. so i mean, you know, from my experience, it never really... i mean, of course, it was heartbreaking to see the whole thing. i mean, of course, i reacted with compassion towards all sides. and... but you know, in terms of creatively speaking with the music, my music was like, pop r&b with like, a little bit of middle eastern like, flavor in there. it was sort of my like, way of just standing out and it was what i believed in as my creative expression. and you know, the record labels were like, "oh, we like this, it's different," but after september 11, they were like, "we don't know how to market it," and it was discouraging. >> hinojosa: what did that... what did that do to you as an artist, when they were like, "just at this particular moment in history, our country's not going to be so open to marketing a musician who looks and sounds like you"? >> people are afraid. people are afraid because they want to make money, and they
don't look at the bigger picture, and so i understand that. so i don't take it personally-- that's the one thing. the other thing is when i'm aware of that, then i function from a different place where i'm like, "i'm not going to compromise the integrity of my artistic creative expression." so what i end up doing is that acting has always been something that i wanted to do. i've studied acting in lebanon at the lebanese american university, i had the acting bug even growing up as a kid, i watched star wars to hamlet to whatever you want to say. and you don't realize growing up how influential hollywood is and the movie industry is and the world, and... and there was something really magical about going into the theater and just escaping for two hours, and just... you know what i mean? there's... i loved that, and then on top of it was just intriguing to me, because when i started doing it, it was like putting a mirror and looking at all your flaws, and it was frightening, and it was like i didn't want to do it, and that's what made me want to do it. i thought it was like, intriguing to go into that. it became therapeutic for me, and i have to say, it made me a
better person. i mean, that sounds like, you know... >> hinojosa: so now, you did this movie the visitor-- extraordinary-- and i hope that a lot of people get a chance to see it, because it really is about challenging how you percept... your perception of certain stereotypes.. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and how we put boundaries up around ourselves. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: let's talk a little bit about breaking down those boundaries with nurse jackie, the showtime... the showtime series now with edie falco. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: okay, so honestly... >> well, not to cut you off, actually, you said something really... >> hinojosa: but cut me off, anyway. >> i'm going to cut you off. ( laughter ) it's your show, but i'm cutting you off. that's great, we're going on the right track. i... you know, with the visitor, what i thought was great about was great about tarek, the character that i played, is i wanted to show the essence of the arab culture-- very loving, they're compassionate, they are inviting... >> hinojosa: open? >> ...open, inviting, and i tell you, if you go to lebanon and you visit that country and you go to my home and my mom's home,
i mean, the generosity, hospitality-- it's just really touching. i'm proud of that about my inheritance. it's a lovely, lovely quality that i... i mean, sometimes it can get too much, because they can be nosey in your business... >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> ...and they're like, "when are you going to get married? when are you going to have kids?" i'm like, "just leave me alone; i don't want to talk about it." but i mean, there's good and ba? >> hinojosa: but we don't see that. >> no. >> hinojosa: that part of the arab culture, which i know a little bit because i've traveled there, you just... you know, you see hardened faces of brown skinned men... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...you know, with deep eyes and just scary. >> ( laughing ) >> hinojosa: i mean, you haven't... i mean, besides... >> do i look scary to you? >> hinojosa: no, not at all. >> oh, okay, good. >> hinojosa: but you could. >> i could... yeah, i could. i could. i could switch to my other side. you know, we've all got shadows, right? >> hinojosa: and you're okay taking like... >> latino, jewish, whatever-- we all got bad sides. >> hinojosa: we all have bad... >> you know, i mean... >> hinojosa: we all got bad sides. >> well, and i agree, we've got to love our bad sides, as long as we don't judge them, i think, and that's the idea, but yeah. >> hinojosa: so you... are you
being judged? you know, when, for example, you have... whether it's the arab community in this country or the muslim community, because you're so kind of public about who you are, do they judge you? do they say, "you know what, that haaz"-- and your full name again is... >> ( speaking in lebanese ) >> hinojosa: ah. >> now you got to say it. >> hinojosa: okay. hasan... >> ...ali... >> hinojosa: ...ali... >> ...lahage... >> hinojosa: ...lahage... >> ...sleiman. >> hinojosa: ...sleiman. >> perfect. >> hinojosa: but you changed it because... >> i think you're arabic and you don't know it. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) possibly. so what they say in hollywood, you know, name... four different names, not going to work so much on the... >> no, you know, it's more because of the airport. i mean, they keep stopping them. it's like, oh, jesus. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) it's more because of the airport? >> yes, it's like, i mean... and i just became a citizen, and it's like ever since i've become a citizen, i go to the airport and now they stop me, and they look at me like, "you're on the d list." i'm like, "well, in hollywood or on the terrorist list?" >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) >> i was like, trying to make sense of that. and funny enough... >> hinojosa: what's the d list? >> you know, i don't know. i mean like, some other guy's name who's maybe a "suspect,"
and then i changed my name from ( speaking in lebanese ) on my passport-- the american passport-- to haaz sleiman to make it simpler, you know, for whatever-- credit cards, everything. i mean, it just makes it easier. people kept messing up with my name, you know? whenever i'm shooting a movie they're putting my name on the ticket and they put it wrong, and it's like, "you know what? just haaz sleiman." my stage name is haaz sleiman. i like it because my ex-wife called me haaz for like, years, and i as like, "that's actually kind of cool." i mean, it's... it's... you know, it stuck. >> hinojosa: all right, so let's talk about nurse jackie, because i really love this character. and going back to where you interrupted me-- remember that? >> about the judgment? >> hinojosa: yeah. >> yes. >> hinojosa: no, no, no. about the fact that when i was watching the show... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...i didn't know what your background was. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: love the character, but i was like, "where is he from? is he puerto rican?" >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: "is he muslim, really?" because that's just so... a gay muslim nurse. >> yeah. well, i think that's... what you
just said right now is beautiful, because i think that's what is the reality. like, in new york, in this country, how blended we are. you don't know who this person is. you look at this person, "is he this? is he that?" and that is one thing i believe what was genius about approaching this character, and the writers and the creators of this show, is to do something like that. >> hinojosa: well, when you went in for the audition... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...did they say to you, "this is a char..." what did they say about the character? what did you know? >> nothing. they said, "just do whatever you want," and i just did it. >> hinojosa: "create a character that is going to be edie falco's sidekick"? >> yeah, i mean, they gave me the name and everything, and it was up to me on coming up with the details and specificity in terms of creating a history of that guy and fleshing him out. and i love that, because again, it's the idea of, you know, already the name is enough to sort of like... >> hinojosa: what is his name? okay, his name is... >> mo-mo or mohammed de la cruz. >> hinojosa: mohammed de la cruz. >> de la cruz. and you know, i think you were mentioning to me earlier, which i think is really interesting and was very informing that in
puerto rico there's like... >> hinojosa: well, it's not so... it's not so much that in puerto rico, but there is a population of puerto rican muslims... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...that they have a community of puerto ricans. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: so for me, i was like... that's why i was like, "well, he could be a puerto rican muslim." i know puerto rican muslims, but it's not clear on the show. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: and it's also... his gayness is pretty wonderful. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: because... >> i did a lot of research. >> hinojosa: how... ( laughing) >> went out to gay bars, hung out with a lot of gay friends. >> hinojosa: but he's... but he's clearly... i had written down in one of my notes here, he's very understated... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...in his gayness, and yet incredibly powerful in his gayness. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: i mean, he's very "out." i'm resisting wanting to ask you to become mo mo right now, because i just love the way... >> ( laughing ) >> hinojosa: ...he is. i mean, he's so... he's got the whole snap thing going on. >> yeah, he's... yeah.
but that's owning up to who you are. i think, you know, in the gay community, you know, the struggle has been... as i was like, really looking it in depth, which was really wonderful to like, sort of... that's what's great about being an actor. i mean, like, in the visitor, i've never drummed in my life; i had to learn it from scratch. getting exposed to the senegalese culture, knowing that there's a big lebanese population, i mean, it's just fantastic to do things like that. and same thing with mo mo. going into this, you know, like going back in the 1960s and the 1970s and all of that, the struggle they've been through and the isolation and all of that, it's been like not being accepted in society, and what happens, you lose your sense of self and your worth. and i think that mo mo is from that generation now where they're becoming who they are-- owning who they are. and so even with snap when he like, responds and he's owning it and looking at her like, "what do you got to say, because it's me and that's who i am, and if you don't like, it's your problem, not me." >> hinojosa: so how is it in hollywood these days? i mean, now... so now you've got
an oscar nominated film, the visitor, kind of in your back pocket. you've got a series now that's continuing, nurse jackie. you've done bit parts on 24... what other... >> ncis, veronica mars... >> hinojosa: so you've done a... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: so... >> american dreamz... >> hinojosa: so is it a struggle for you? are you in hollywood saying, "okay, it's great right now, but i really need that next phone call for the next job" and you know, you're not... you're concerned? or are you thinking, "you know what? the fact that i've played," you know, "every possible character from a gay nurse to," you know, a syrian undocumented immigrant, people see the breadth of your performance? where are you now? kind of like... >> it's in... it's a very exciting time. it's as well... could be a little bit frustrating in some ways, and so it's again, there's a good and bad in this. i mean, there's been great things coming out for people from that culture, people who
are directors and storytellers that are telling wonderful stories about our people like, either moving here from like, whatever... like the movie... i'm so sorry... amreeka by cherien dabis, the director, for instance. it's a lovely story. this woman coming from the palestinian territories to america, to michigan, and sort of like... >> hinojosa: michigan. >> ...and then befriending this jewish guy. it's a beautiful sort of understated sort of way of approaching that. like the visitor, you know? things like the visitor, like amreeka, like those movies are happening now, and that's great, and there's more and more coming out of that, so i think that's fantastic. in other sort of like, other films, like, studio films, it's been a little bit, eh, so and so. because some of them, they want to make money and they're more concerned about that, and they were... they think that, you know, portraying what's expected here, and the people... what they think of people from that culture is what will sell, because that's what they want to see. it's that sort of excitement of it all. >> hinojosa: so for you,
ultimately it becomes an artist versus the business world. >> yeah. yeah, absolutely. it's... always been like that for hollywood. >> hinojosa: and the arab community in the united states? i mean, are you considered like, a big star? are they applauding you? are they saying, "haaz, go, haaz," or... >> yeah, actually. i got an award in michigan of the anti arab american discrimination. it was an honor, because i thought, wow, i mean, you know, i... i poured my heart and soul into visitor, but you know, just for the joy of that-- not expecting anything-- so for the... to get that it was like, really wonderful. and you know, the spirit award nomination was a great thing for me, because as an arab american, i don't know if someone else, maybe, have gotten that, so it's a good sign. it's sort of like people are being more open, really being more exposed. i this what's interesting like, someone like tom mccarthy who wrote and directed the visitor, he traveled to lebanon twice to screen his first feature film, the station agent, which was a fantastic movie, and he fell in
love. i mean, that's the thing. he's american, he grew up here, you know, he's the whitest guy, but he has this amazing openness about him. that's what shows about many americans. there's that beautiful quality about them, and they... you know, and he went there and he was so moved and that's what inspired him to start writing the visitor. and so it's that idea. if people can be more open, like going in and watching the visitor. just be open and let the story take you there. connect with the people without trying to hit them... hit you over the head with a message, because that's not what the movie is about. and i think that's what's important, is when movies like that are being told, it's important that not to go to the extreme sides and the black and white of it, but rather go and just human connection. strip away all of that stuff, our differences, and then let's connect that way, and then people will realize, "wow, are we missing a lot in terms of what... you know... in terms of..." >> hinojosa: what's going out there. you know... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...one of the things that you did-- and it's something that we... we are kind
of leaving to the end, but i think it's also really important. to prep for that film... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...the visitor, you ended up essentially putting yourself into a situation that you might not have to know about, which is private detention centers... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...in the middle of major urban areas like in new york city, where you have 300 to 400 mostly men-- undocumented immigrant men... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...in detention. and you actually went. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: what was that like for you when you found yourself there? it's not something that you see all the time. >> it's... it's really... i have to say, it's what makes me want to be an actor. because again, it's like... it makes me a better person. it like, exposes me to things that i was not aware of. i was not aware of that set up in the detention centers and what goes on with the detainees, and the fact that they can be detained there for an indefinite amount of time, not knowing what's going to happen, no legal access, have maybe family back home and they would be prosecuted if they went back...
>> hinojosa: they're invisible, right? >> they're invisible. they don't have a chance to voice their sort of fears or like, concerns, or get any answers to any questions they have. and... >> hinojosa: and no one really cares, because they're like, you know, they're undocumented, they're not supposed... they made a mistake coming to this country without legal papers, so who cares? >> and that... i'm not even like, condoning it. i'm not like, saying, "let"... you know, listen. there has to be laws, there has to be a legal sort of aspect to this whole thing, and it needs to be done in a way where you can control all of that, right. but when someone does come, they're... he's still a human being, and there's still a human way of approaching this, and i believe that's the thing. i think there's nothing wrong with looking at the system and trying to say, "well, what can we look at and fix?" but it's not about like, taking it all away and saying, "oh, it's all..." because it's not about who's bad and who's wrong. it's just more looking at it in a mature way and in a human way to just try to fix it so it's more humane towards those people, because some people die because they didn't get medical... i mean, it's... i mean, come on.
animals get treated better thank this, you know? >> hinojosa: all right, we have 30 seconds, and i just want to know... >> that's it? >> hinojosa: 30 seconds. your dream job-- haaz sleiman, what's next? >> i would love to work with daniel day-lewis. >> hinojosa: oh, daniel day-lewis, okay. >> yes, i mean, hopefully, if... i don't know if he watches this show... >> hinojosa: okay, we're going to try to get that to him. >> please, i would love that. >> hinojosa: all right, and besides daniel day-lewis? >> i... you know, i want to... for me, i want to work with directors that i respect, like quentin tarantino. he's crazy and i love that about him. he's just... >> hinojosa: so if you get any of these jobs you'll let us know. >> i will let you know, but i'm... here's the thing-- it never ends. i'm always excited about everything that comes my way and things that are different, things that are unusual, anything outside the box. anything that breaks stereotypes, anything that makes people talk. >> hinojosa: so it will be until the next time when haaz... >> well, i'll just drink more of my bourbon here. >> hinojosa: ( laughing ) haaz sleiman, thank you for coming. >> thank you so much. >> hinojosa: it was really a pleasure, good luck. >> pleasure, thank you so much. >> hinojosa: we'll see you on the small screen and on the big >> wonderful. >> hinojosa: a pleasure. >> thank you.