International House presents a special evening in conversation with Ala’a Basatneh, the Syrian-American political activist best known for her involvement in the Syrian Revolution, and Amanda Bailly, an American independent filmmaker based in Beirut, who will discuss activism and how each defines moral courage.
On March 15, 2011 Alaa’s life as a 19-year old changed forever. She returned home from school to see the TV reporting the news that the oppressive Syrian regime had imprisoned, tortured and killed students from a school just outside of Damascus, in Daraa. The students had revolted against the regime by writing “Down with the regime” on the school wall. Syrians took to the streets in Daraa in a “Day of Rage” and the regime responded with deadly force. Alaa, shocked that this kind of horror could happen to students her age, was catapulted in to action. She took to her laptop—the only tool she had available—and her life as an activist began.
In 2015, Amanda followed a single Syrian mother and her children from Beirut to Berlin when they fled with smugglers. The film, “8 Borders, 8 Days,” premiered in April 2017 and is currently touring the country in film festivals and community screenings. She also produces documentaries and web videos for human rights organizations, primarily Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and the United Nations. Previously, she was a producer for Human Rights Watch’s multimedia team in New York. She studied journalism and Middle East history at Boston University.
This event is exclusive to I-House Residents.