“The Light in Her Eyes” Filmmaker to Discuss Religious Change in Syria

September 25, 2013 at 9:29 am

Filmmakers Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix followed preacher Houda al-Habash in Syria from 2008 to 2010 as she taught and preached to Muslim women and girls about their rights and duties in Islam. Their unique documentary The Light in Her Eyes, was shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted and offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams.

Meltzer will visit the University of South Carolina Upstate for two screenings and discussions of this timely study of gender, religion, and change in contemporary Syria. She will be on the Spartanburg campus on Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Sansbury Campus Life Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and at the University Center of Greenville on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“The Light in Her Eyes is a remarkable look into society, culture, and religious change in a region on the edge of transformation,” said Dr. David Damrel, associate professor of religion at USC Upstate.

Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is under way—women are claiming space within the mosque.

To learn more about The Light in Her Eyes, visit www.thelightinhereyesmovie.com or

www.facebook.com/thelightinhereyes. To view a trailer of the documentary, visit


For more information, contact Dr. David Damrel at ddamrel@uscupstate.edu or (864) 503-5798.