The Light In Her Eyes: Film Update

In November 2015, Enas gave filmmaker Julia Meltzer another update on her world since the war in Syria erupted.

What has happened in your life since the film was completed in 2012?

A lot of things happened since then. The mosque was closed, my mom and the other teachers realized that they had to either further the government’s propaganda or close the mosque and of course they did not want to do the former. In 2012, we were afraid that my mom would get called by the security when she closed the mosque. She didn’t want my brother Muhammad or me to go back to Syria. So the plan was that my mom and my dad would leave the country for the UAE for a couple of months and then go back but then things kept deteriorating up until today.

How has the war affected your family?

Well, I think the people whose lives were most affected were my mom and dad. They have lost everything they built in Syria. For us, the children, we are still following our dreams and ambitions as much as possible. I got married to the person I love and started my masters degree and I have a whole future awaiting me. My brother Mohammad is continuing his studies at university in Jordan and also planning for his life. My youngest brother Ahmad is still at school and things are relatively good. We are very lucky. But mom had her dream in her hands and all she wanted was to keep caring and developing Al-Zahra to become better everyday. Unfortunately, she lost all of that in a blink of an eye. She is feeling huge emptiness right now.

Where are the women and girls who attended the mosque with you?

Many of the girls and women have left Syria are trying to put the teachings of Al-Zahra into practice wherever they can. For example, some are working with the refugees in Turkey and Jordan trying to run courses for those who cannot afford to go school, among other activities.

What is your mother, Houda al Habash, doing?

Mom is now mainly caring for my grandmother. There isn’t much to be done in the UAE in terms of work. Recently, she has been considering to join some Islamic organizations in the US or Europe, so if you come across anything let us know!

How did the program at al-Zahra Mosque shape who you are today?

That is the big question really!! I believe al-Zahra is in the background of anything I do or say. It’s true that I have learned many things outside of the mosque and after I left Syria, but the teachings I learned at al-Zahra were present in all of that. It gave my life not just a direction, but also a meaning.


In July 2012, The Light In Her Eyes subject Enas gave POV an update on her life since the start of the Syrian uprising.