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Unconditional Care a documentary about a free clinic run by Muslims

The Muslim doctors and volunteers at this free clinic are healing more than just their patients.

They're healing a community.

In 2010, their mosque in the southern city of Jacksonville was bombed in a hate crime. Six months later, they founded a clinic and opened its doors to anyone who is uninsured and living below the poverty line.

Unconditional Care is a short documentary film about the Muslim American Social Services Clinic (MASS), the volunteers who run it, and the uninsured patients whose lives they change.

"I realized that with our network of doctors in the Muslim community, we could help to close the care gap in our city. And then I couldn't stop until we opened a clinic." —Faisal Sayed, MASS executive director

“We are immigrants and we wanted to give back to the country that has given us so much." —Dr. Mobeen Rathore, MASS board chair

"There is nowhere I would rather be. I volunteer twice a week and get to help hundreds of patients get the care they need. " —Danish, volunteer

"Volunteering at the clinic has opened my eyes to the dire need we have in America to provide all people with access to medicine." —Hanna, volunteer

The volunteers at MASS don't just talk the talk. They walk the walk. They've gotten me the care I need, including from specialists. —Christopher, patient

"If it weren't for this clinic there's no telling what state I would be in. I'm so grateful for what they've done for me." —Isedra, patient

"I didn't understand what it's like not having insurance. Then I lost my job and needed double bypass surgery. The doctors at MASS saved my life." —Jeffrey, patient

About the Film

Across the United States, Muslims are opening free clinics that increase access to care and exemplify the values of their faith.

Unconditional Care highlights this national movement through the story of one clinic and the community it serves. The Muslim American Social Services (MASS) Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida has served over 3,300 patients in seven years. Anyone who does not have insurance and earns below the federal poverty line can receive 100% free care at the clinic. Patients represent a cross section of America's uninsured—every race and religion, citizens and non-citizens, young and old.

A vital story of Americans working together across race, class, and religion to care for people in need.

Unconditional Care follows Faisal Sayed, the clinic's founder, Laura Abney, a Southern Baptist nurse who joined the clinic's full time staff, a young volunteer, and several uninsured patients on their journeys from diagnosis, to treatment, to recovery.

The National Study

In addition to producing the film, The Global Workshop has partnered with researchers from the medical schools at Boston University and Harvard to conduct a comprehensive, nationwide study of Muslim-run free healthcare clinics. Their research will shed light on the national movement of Muslim Americans increasing access to care in their communities. The study will provide quantitative context to the stories included in Unconditional Care.

Outreach

Set to release in fall 2018, Unconditional Care will tour the United States to inspire students, medical professionals, policymakers, and people of all faiths to advocate and collaborate on behalf of their uninsured, impoverished, and underrepresented fellow citizens. As such, our team will work with campus organizations, faith communities, and healthcare professionals to show the film, catalyze conversation, and embolden advocacy.

The Production Team

Matt Colaciello, Filmmaker

Photo: Seth Langner

Matt is a digital storyteller and international educator. His company, The Global Workshop, produces film and photography, live performances, and workshops that amplify the voices of everyday changemakers from around the globe. In 2017, his work on indigenous peoples and environmental conservation was featured at an official event of the United Nations COP23 climate summit in Bonn, Germany.

Jacob Lewis, Filmmaker

Jake is a freelance writer and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. He trained in cinematography at the film school of UCLA. Specializing in the stories that Hollywood leaves behind, Jake empowers creators of all backgrounds and experience levels to realize their vision.

Asghar Syed, Executive Producer

Photo: Francesco Salomoni

Asghar’s family is from Pakistan and he was born and raised in Kuwait. Asghar got his law degree and MBA at the University of Florida. He practices labor and employment law and complex commercial litigation. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Jacksonville Bar Association and on the Board of Directors of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville.

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All photos by Matt Colaciello.

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