In the Month of Ramadan, We Honor Waad Al-Kateab

A Guiding Light of Courage and Humanity in Syrian Journalism

In the holy month of Ramadan dawns upon us, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the myriad contributions of the Muslim community to society. Among these remarkable individuals stands Syrian journalist and filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab, whose unwavering courage, storytelling prowess, and commitment to truth have illuminated the world’s understanding of the Syrian conflict.

Waad Al-Kateab’s journey from a student of economics at Aleppo University to an award-winning journalist and filmmaker is a testament to the power of individual bravery and resilience in the face of adversity. Born and raised in Aleppo, Waad found herself thrust into the heart of one of the most devastating conflicts of our time. Rather than succumbing to despair, she chose to wield her camera as a tool for documenting the harsh realities unfolding around her.

One of Waad’s most notable works is the documentary “For Sama,” which she co-directed with Edward Watts. Filmed over the course of five years, “For Sama” offers an intimate and harrowing portrayal of life during the siege of Aleppo. Through Waad’s lens, viewers are given access to the everyday struggles, joys, and sorrows of the people trapped in the midst of the conflict, including her own experiences as a mother raising her daughter, Sama, amidst the chaos of war.

What sets Waad Al-Kateab apart as a journalist and filmmaker is her ability to capture the human side of conflict with unflinching honesty and empathy. She doesn’t just report on the devastation; she amplifies the voices of those who are often marginalized and forgotten amidst the political rhetoric and military maneuvers. In doing so, she challenges audiences to confront their own complicity in the suffering of others and inspires them to take action in whatever capacity they can.

Beyond her documentary work, Waad has also been a vocal advocate for the rights of Syrians and refugees worldwide. She has used her platform to raise awareness about the plight of civilians caught in conflict zones and to call for greater international support for those in need. Her courage in speaking truth to power, even in the face of personal risk, serves as a beacon of hope for countless individuals who continue to struggle for justice and freedom in their own communities.

As we observe the month of Ramadan, let us take a moment to honor the contributions of individuals like Waad Al-Kateab, whose tireless efforts to document the human cost of war remind us of the importance of empathy, compassion, and solidarity in building a more just and peaceful world. In celebrating her bravery and resilience, we also reaffirm our commitment to standing with all those who seek to create a better future for themselves and their loved ones, no matter the obstacles they may face.