Nov 19, 2015
6:30pm - 7:30pm    |    Tishman Auditorium, 40 Washington Square South

PrintJoin us for a screening of short films featuring women activists living in rebel-held parts of Syria and panel discussion with the film maker and Syrian activists, moderated by IWPR Board member and the New Yorker staff writer George Packer.

RSVP by November 16 to Cat Favorite.

Rebellious Women: A series of short films by Zaina Erhaim

Zaina Erhaim is the Syria project coordinator for the Institute of War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), and the recipient of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous & Ethical Journalism. These films were made with support from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.

Zaina Erhaim is the Syria project coordinator for the Institute of War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), and the recipient of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous & Ethical Journalism. These films were made with support from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.

Female activists who remain in rebel-held parts of Syria face numerous complex challenges. As well as facing the constant danger of bombing by the Assad government’s air force, these women have to battle the conservative traditions of a male-dominated society, aggravated by a militarized environment from which many civilians have fled.

Facing restrictions on their movements, dress and behavior, and often disapproval from their families, they nonetheless continue to work both to document the war and to help people who suffer injury, displacement and poverty.

In a series of short documentaries made over 18 months in northern Syria, filmmaker Zaina Erhaim introduces five women from different backgrounds but with the common goal of helping their fellow-citizens.

Waed and Manar both left their families in government-controlled areas to move to rebel-held areas of Aleppo, working as paramedics in field hospitals and on the front lines.

When civilians started returning to Aleppo, Manar went back to her former job as a midwife, while Waed pursued her work as the only female citizen journalist in northern Syria.

Zein was released from 14 months in a government prison to find her home completely destroyed and her family displaced. She too became a paramedic, working in the Dar Shifaa field hospital alongside her friend Ahed.

Known as “the troublemaker” by her friends, Ahed was at the vanguard of demonstrations in Aleppo, against both Assad’s government and Islamic State. Despite beatings and humiliation meted out by both forces, she continues to do relief work.

Community activist Ghalia has faced repeated attack in her hometown in Idlib province. Undeterred, she has founded a series of centers that provide vocational training to local women, and remains committed to trying to improve their lives.

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