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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary The Light in Her Eyes and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

The Light in Her Eyes: Discussion Guide

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Thirty years ago, at the age of 17, Houda al- Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Quran school for girls in Damascus, Syria. Every summer since then, her female students have supplemented their secular schooling with a rigorous study of Islam.

Houda’s efforts illustrate a complex — and for some audiences, unexpected — aspect of the current Islamic revival. Under the banner of restoring Islamic traditions in modern life, women are claiming space within the mosque, a place historically dominated by men. Using Quranic teachings, Houda encourages her students to pursue higher education, jobs and public lives, while remaining committed to an interpretation of Islam that includes cultural traditions that encourage some traditional gender roles, such as marrying young and serving one’s husband.

Shot just before the eruption of Syria’s current uprising, The Light in Her Eyes ventures into a world rarely seen by Westerners, yet echoes other faith-based movements throughout the Arab world. It offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their autonomy. In the process, it confronts viewers with questions about the meaning of women’s empowerment within the parameters of different cultures and experiences.

Download the discussion guide for The Light in Her Eyes:

Full-color PDF | Printer-friendly PDF

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Film Information

The Light in Her Eyes (60 min.)

Premiere Date: July 19, 2012

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmakers: Julia Meltzer, Laura Nix Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Fact Sheet | Critical Acclaim

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Julia Meltzer
Julia Meltzer
Laura Nix
Laura Nix
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