The Light in their Eyes (2011) Documentary


The Light in Her Eyes
Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway — women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams

Language :Arabic Subtitle Spanish

Trailer (English Language Subtitle)

In Damascus, the capital of Syria, the mosque is a place for men; women practice their faith at home. On TV, conservative clerics stress that women belong at home – reproducing and taking care of their families. Are these religious rules or simply a cultural tradition? Under the direction of Houda al-Habash, the inspiring and contradictory female principal of the Al-Zahra Koran School, women are trying to find the answer to that question. As a spiritual leader in this Islamic women’s movement, Al-Habash advocates a thorough knowledge of the Koran, a good education, and women thinking and being responsible for themselves. She drives a car, supervises other mosques, and counsels women in domestic conflicts. By teaching her students to interpret the Koran, she gives them strength and self-respect. In small groups, women and girls debate their place in society. They include Al-Habash’s daughter, who says, “You can’t just tell us it’s a religious rule. Let us interpret it!” We follow Houda Al-Habash and her students over the three-month summer course, as she guides her girls with a firm hand, tells them the difference between religion and extremism, and shows how she can balance family life with the pressure of running a busy school. A rare look into why women are choosing Islam in today’s modern world. – See more at: