The Light in Her Eyes

Laura Nix and Julia Meltzer
2012 | 82 mins | Syria

At her Qur’an school for girls in Damascus, the conservative Muslim preacher Houda al-Habash immerses her students in rigorous study, challenging them to live according to Islam without giving up their dreams. This profile of al-Habash reveals an extraordinary leader who is breaking barriers and working to reform the role of women in Islam while holding fast to her conservative beliefs. Shot just before the recent uprising in Syria, The Light in Her Eyes is both a timely examination of a cultural shift under way as women claim more space within the mosque and a deft study of an inspiring hero who galvanizes young women in her community to reconcile faith and personal empowerment.