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Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her 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.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, with special support from The Fledgling Fund.
Riham, a young girl in Syria, dreams of furthering her education and becoming a pediatrician. She hopes that even after marriage, she can continue her studies and reach her goals. However, her family wishes her education to end with high school so that she can marry young and become a good wife as theirs customs dictate.
Dr. Iman Al-Jabi, a dentist in Syria, lives a pious life, obeying religious laws, while shrugging off the typical gender roles assigned to women by cultural norms rather than the faith of Islam itself.
Hind Tabab, one of the teachers at Houda al-Habash's school, explains how her extensive education led her to being a teacher. Holding degrees in various subjects, she works as an English teacher at a public school in addition to teaching the memorization of the Qur'an.
Houda al-Habash, featured in The Light in Her Eyes, is just one example of a prominent female leader from Syria. The activism of strong, change-minded women has shaped the country since the early 20th century and continues to do so today.
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