Simple as Water
Date(s) - 09/10/2023
2:00 pm - 3:45 pm
National Gallery of Art East Building
Join us for this screening followed by a discussion with Omar Sabha, whose resettlement story is featured in the film, Oscar-winning filmmaker Megan Mylan, and Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US.
This stirring and poignant non-fiction narrative presents portraits of several Syrian families filmed across five countries as they reveal the impact of war, separation, and displacement. The specific stories in the lives of these displaced persons paint a wider picture of the emotional and psychological toil that accompanies forced relocation, family rupture, and state violence. (Megan Mylan, 2021, Arabic and English with English subtitles, DCP, 98 minutes)
Omar Sabha, Simple as Water
Omar Sabha was born in Albab, Aleppo, Syria. He studied telecommunications engineering at the University of Aleppo. Omar is currently a QA engineer II at Comcast and is launching an e-commerce start-up. Omar founded ZenithQA to train refugees in the latest QA technology, giving them real-world experience and helping to connect them with employers. Omar lives in Houston and is married with three children. Omar’s journey resettling in the United States with his brother Abed is featured in Simple as Water.
Academy Award-winner Megan Mylan creates observational documentary films. Her films include Simple as Water, Lost Boys of Sudan, and Smile Pinki. She has been recognized with an Oscar, an Independent Spirit Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Peabody, PGA, and Emmy nominations. Her films have screened throughout the world and been part of various social action campaigns, helping to raise millions of dollars for charitable causes, recruit thousands of volunteers, and inform public policy. Megan served for several years on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Executive Committee for Documentary. Before beginning in documentary, Megan worked with Ashoka, an international development non-profit, in the US and Brazil. She has a BA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and MAs in Journalism and Latin American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was also guest director of the Graduate Documentary program.
Nazanin Ash, Welcome.Us
Nazanin Ash is CEO of Welcome.US, a national initiative to inspire and mobilize Americans to help resettle refugees and newcomers. She has served as vice president of global policy and advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, and as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff, among other roles. Nazanin was also named one of Washingtonian Magazine’s most influential people in Washington.