Tony Shalhoub (Monk) has been cast as the lead character in "AmericanEast," an Arab-American drama, says Variety. The film will also star Kais Nashif (Paradise Now) and Egyptian-American actor Sayed Badreya.

Hesham Issawi will direct the movie which examines misunderstandings about Arab culture, highlighting the pressures under which many Arab-Americans live today.

"Our goal was really to show other people that we are no different from them," said Issawi. "To do that we focused on one normal guy, who just happens to be a Muslim, and we show what kind of pressure these external forces can have on a person who's simply trying to carry on."

The film begins shooting this July in Los Angeles.