Film screening: For Sama

For Sama

For Sama is both 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.

The event will begin with the film screening followed by the panel discussion. 

The Panel

Waad al-Kateab (Director) - In January 2016 Waad al-Kateab started documenting the horrors of Aleppo for Channel 4 News in a series of devastating films simply titled Inside Aleppo. The reports she made for Channel 4 News on the conflict in Syria, and the most complex humanitarian crisis in the world, became the most watched pieces on the UK news programme – and received almost half a billion views online and won 24 awards – including the 2016 International Emmy for breaking news coverage. Waad was a marketing student at the University of Aleppo when protests against the Assad regime swept the country in 2011. She taught herself how to film and started filming the human suffering around her as Assad forces battled rebels for control of Aleppo.  

Dr. Hamza Al Kateab (Director’s husband) is a Syrian doctor and human rights activist. From 2012 until December 2016, he worked as a doctor in Eastern Aleppo, an area controlled by the Syrian opposition—serving as the director of Al Quds hospital, the last remaining medical facility in the rebel-held zone. After being forcibly displaced out of Aleppo in 2016, he moved to Turkey, where he worked for an NGO called Syria Relief & Development as a health coordinator. As part of his role, he represented the organization in the Sexual and Reproductive Health working group conducted by the United Nations Population Fund, preparing and reviewing reproductive health policies and protocols in Syrian facilities.  

Dr. Aula Abbara is a consultant in Infectious Diseases/ General Internal Medicine at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London.  She has volunteered in different humanitarian and refugee settings including direct clinical work, teaching healthcare workers and building capacity. Since 2012, this has been predominantly with Syrian non-governmental organisations. Other humanitarian work includes refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria (pre-conflict), the Rohingya crisis and in Sierra Leone with MDM for the Ebola response in 2015. She chairs Health Professionals for Global Health ( and has been a collaborator on the Lancet Commission on Syria. Her research interests include attacks on healthcare (funded by R2HC), AMR in conflict, refugee healthcare workers and, more broadly relating to global and humanitarian health. She leads the research committee of the Syrian American Medical Society.




Please note that the main entrance of our Keppel Street building will close from Saturday 5 October until Monday 28 October for essential repairs. Alternative access will be provided on Malet Street, including an accessible route for visitors with a disability and wheelchair users. There will be signage to guide you to these



Open to all on a first come, first served basis