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The film “For Sama” was screened in front of hundreds of influencers in Turkish public opinion

Harmony Project Presents “For Sama” to a Large and Influential Turkish Audience

On Tuesday evening, December 20, 2022, the Harmony Project, one of the projects of the Civil Society Organizations Platform, organized a screening of the film “For Sama” for a large and influential Turkish audience. The screening was held at the historic Atlas Cinema in Taksim/Istanbul, and was attended by the film’s director, Waad Al-Kateab, and her family.

The screening was attended by a large Turkish audience of nearly 500 people, most of whom were influential Turkish figures in politics, media, civil society, and academia. A small number of influential Syrian figures interested in Turkish-Syrian affairs were also in attendance.

The Harmony Project had previously screened the same film nearly ten times for hundreds of Turks, and each time, viewers emerged in a state of great emotion and empathy. Some of them even changed their views of Syrians in a fundamental way after the film (as evidenced by a simple survey conducted with attendees before and after the film to measure change). The film’s narrative, supported by real-life footage, confirms that Syrians did not easily abandon their homeland, but rather struggled, sacrificed, and held on to their land until the last breath. This is where the idea of organizing the screening in front of influential figures in Turkish society came from in order to achieve the greatest possible impact.

The audience’s reaction, composed of “important figures,” was no different from previous experiences. The sound of crying could be heard amid the silence of shock from the shocking scenes. At the end of the film, when the director and her family took to the stage, the audience, which had stood up in respect, continued to applaud for a long time.

After a conversation with the family led by the director of the Harmony Project, Yavuz Yeter, the ceremony for the presentation of the Harmony International Award for 2022 began. Waad Al-Kateab received the Harmony Award, which she earned for her efforts to promote social harmony and coexistence, on behalf of the Syrian people. The General Director of the Civil Society Organizations Platform, Mehmet Aktay, then presented the award on behalf of the Turkish people after the audience agreed.

The Platform expressed its sincere thanks to the director, Waad Al-Kateab, Dr. Hamza Al-Kateab, and the Action for Sama team for their trust and partnership, as well as to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture for its great support in organizing the event. It also thanked everyone who attended the event from the Turkish and Syrian communities for their support and interest.

Event Analysis

The organization of a screening of the film “For Sama” for a large and influential Turkish audience is a significant step in raising awareness of the issues of refugees and supporting their social integration in Turkey. This event shows that Turkish society is interested in learning about the suffering of Syrians and standing in solidarity with them.

The awarding of the Harmony International Award for 2022 to director Waad Al-Kateab is also a recognition of her efforts to promote social harmony and coexistence between Syrians and Turks. Waad Al-Kateab is a role model for resistance and solidarity, and her film “To the Stars” tells a moving human story that deserves recognition.

Event Outcomes

It is expected that this event will contribute to the following outcomes:

  • Increased awareness of refugee issues in Turkey.
  • Enhanced social solidarity between Syrians and Turks.
  • Support for Waad Al-Kateab’s efforts to promote social harmony and coexistence.

Recommendations

In order to achieve more positive outcomes, it is recommended to take the following actions:

  • Organize more events that highlight the issues of refugees in Turkey.
  • Support the efforts of civil society organizations working to promote social harmony and coexistence.
  • Encourage dialogue and communication between Syrians and Turks.

Conclusion

The organization of a screening of the film “For Sama” for a large and influential Turkish audience is a significant step in raising awareness of the issues of refugees and supporting their social integration in Turkey. This event shows that Turkish society is interested in learning about the suffering of Syrians and standing in solidarity with them.

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