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‘For Sama’ Embroided Oscar dress reminds the world of Syrians’ struggles

Written by FDM

Natalie Portman was not the only one using fashion as a means to command an audience at the 2020 edition of the Oscars. Syrian filmmaker Waad al-Kateab also made a statement on the red carpet.  

The director behind Oscar-nominated documentary ‘For Sama‘, Waad al-Kateab had one goal – to make sure that Syria was not forgotten.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Waad al-Kateab, the Syrian filmmaker from Aleppo who made the heartbreaking “For Sama”, has shown up at the Oscars tonight wearing a dress embroidered with the words: “we dared to dream.” And, “we don’t regret asking for our dignity”. Incredible movie, deserves to win <a href=”https://t.co/oiCiH0Sk54″>pic.twitter.com/oiCiH0Sk54</a></p>&mdash; Liz Sly (@LizSly) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LizSly/status/1226643210686128134?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>February 9, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Nominated for best documentary feature for her coverage of five years during Syria’s battle for Aleppo, stunned on the red carpet in a rose-tinted dress, embroidered with the words from an Arabic poem: “We dared to dream and we will not regret dignity” – the central message of the film, which she co-created with Edward Watts.

The dress was designed by Syrian Reem Masri whom she maintains a good relationship with al-Kateab couple since 2013. According to Vogue Arabia, the dress was made in one week with the calligraphy sent to Akeel, a calligrapher in London. “We thought we could draw the quote directly but we couldn’t due to logistic and timing reasons,” Masri told the magazine.

Meanwhile, this year’s best documentary award went to American Factory, which was produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company and follows the story of a Chinese billionaire opening a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant and hiring 2,000 Americans.

For Sama‘ is a personal film, which Kateab describes as “a love letter from a young mother to her daughter”.

It documents Kateab’s life over a span of five years, beginning with the uprising in 2011, to her falling in love, getting married, giving birth to her daughter Sama, and ending with her escaping the horrors of the besieged Aleppo.

The documentary gained worldwide recognition after being nominated for both the BAFTAs and the Oscars, with many celebrities encouraging their followers on social media to watch the film and help raise awareness of the heartbreaking situation in Syria.

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