FOR SAMA is an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war.
A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.
Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice – whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.
Wisdom House Project, our Arkansas-supported school for orphans and women's center in Idlib, Syria.The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) started this initiative in 2016 after Mouaz visited UCA, his alma mater, for a TedX talk on Syria. Jerry Adams and several other members of the Conway community approached Mouaz and asked how they could help- something more than a one-time gift.
SETF identified a school in Idlib, Syria where 5 teachers were having Kindergarten every day for over 100 children, internally displaced, and most of whom have lost one or both parents. The community in Arkansas, the Wisdom House working group, began supporting this school with a bus, teacher salaries, rent for an underground space, school supplies, equipment and everything they needed. We committed to care for this school for years to come.
One year after we started the Kindergarten, in 2017, we began a woman's center in Idlib, and supported a superwoman named Rasha to bring it to life. "Tomorrow's Dawn" women's center offers vocational courses to women, many widowed by war, such as sewing, nursing, cosmetology, computer science, etc.
Today, we have celebrated 3 graduating classes of Kindergarteners. Our fourth year of school was interrupted in early January 2020 when the Assad regime and Russian warplanes bombarded their village and ground troops took the town. All of our teachers and students are currently displaced closer to the border of Turkey and Syria.
Since the start of the Wisdom House Project, I have worked as the liaison between our teachers in Syria and our community here in Arkansas and beyond. Our friends in Syria have sent thousands of pictures, videos, and stories from the ground. We have partnered with schools and houses of worship across Central Arkansas who have grown to know and love the Wisdom House. Consequently, our community has learned all about Syria and the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold. We are constantly connecting students and adults here to the community we support in Syria.
We started Letters of Hope campaign in 2016 when Aleppo was being taken brutally by the Syrian government and their allies. We have received and delivered thousands of these letters from around the world to internally displaced Syrians in Idlib, including the Wisdom House who decorates the walls of their school with our letters!