To the Editor:
When civil war first gripped Syria in 2011, the country had a population roughly equivalent to New York State. Since then, the conflict has displaced more than half of its people and created the largest refugee population in the world. The fall of Aleppo coincided with a desperate exodus as millions of men, women and children fled the war. The United Nations last year recorded 6.7 million refugees from Syria, more than from any other country. Of those who fled Syria, the overwhelming majority stayed in the Middle East. The rest have migrated largely to Europe, with a fraction traveling to North America.
The Trump administration has drastically restricted the number of refugees the U.S. accepts annually. The federal government accepted nearly 85,000 refugees in 2016 — but less than 23,000 in the last year. The restrictions have particularly affected refugees from Syria. In 2018, the United States took in just 62 Syrian refugees.
During this time of conflict and darkness in her home in Aleppo, one young woman kept her camera rolling, fell in love, got married, had a baby and said goodbye as her city crumbled. “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 as the cataclysmic conflict rises around her. The film has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
On Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m., join the Franciscan Peace Center in viewing “For Sama” at The Canticle, home of the Sisters of St. Francis, 843 13th Ave. N., Clinton. All are welcome and reservations are not required. For more information, visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com or call (563) 242-7611.
Laura Anderson, director of marketing
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton