The Light In Her Eyes - Discussion

Light in Her Eyes, The
Voertaal: Engels

When & where?

zaterdag 24 maart 2012 - 19:45

The discussion following the film The Light In Her Eyes is about ‘Islamic feminism’. Are highly educated women taking advantage of the political changes in their homeland of Syria to demand more liberties? What role do the women in the film play in the current developments in Syria? Can we actually refer to it as ‘feminism’? The veil may give them more freedom to move around, but what boundaries do these women encounter?


Laila al-Zwaini is a Dutch-Iraqi Arabologist and jurist. She spent several years living and working in Iraq, Egypt and Yemen on scientific research and state-building initiatives, and has travelled to the Middle East frequently since that time. She recently spent time in Afghanistan on staff for the United Nations. Laila specialises in such themes as sharia, development of law, tribal law and (Islamic) women’s rights. She shares her knowledge and expertise in academic publications, various media, guest lectures, and policy recommendations in the Netherlands and abroad. Over the past few years, she has also been advising leaders in the ‘Arab Spring’ movement in their pursuit of liberty, democratisation and equal rights.


Syrian activist Alaa Abdulfatah has not lost faith in the Syrian spring and the ultimate fall of Assad’s regime. From her home here, she initiates protests, supports her fellow compatriots and works to contact influential figures in the international community. She left at the end of February for Damascus with a caravan to show her solidarity with the Syrian protesters. She organises the Meet the Middle East film festival and established the Ya Hella foundation, a group of young professionals who volunteer for projects focusing on knowledge-sharing and cultural exchange between the Netherlands and the Middle East.


Hassnae Bouazza will be moderating the panel discussion. She is a Moroccan-Dutch journalist, columnist and programme maker. She writes columns for Vrij Nederland and Frontaal Naakt, and makes TV shows for the VPRO broadcasting company.