Sunday, August 9, 2020

1:00pm to 2:30pm EST

Join us for a virtual screening of Silence After the Storm (2016) followed by a panel discussion: As ISIS ripped through Iraq and Syria, the ancestral homeland of the Assyrian people, filmmaker Sargon Saadi returned to his hometown to capture the impact on local populations and the implications for their future. More information available at




SARGON SAADI is the director of Silence After the Storm. He is a Syrian-born Assyrian cinematographer living in Los Angeles. He graduated with a film degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2011, and has worked in the film industry ever since. After the turmoil in the Middle East, he shifted his attention to documentaries, making several in Turkey, Iraq, and his native Syria, committed to raising awareness about the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. Sargon received several awards for his films, including "Best Director" at the Fine Arts Film Festival Venice for his work on Silence After the Storm, and "Best Short Documentary" at the NewFilmmakers LA Film Festival for his 2014 film The Last Plight.

DR. NICHOLAS AL-JELOO is a socio-cultural historian with expertise in indigenous Middle Eastern minorities, Eastern Christianity, the history of the Middle East and Islamic World, as well as interfaith and intercultural relations. His speciality is in Syriac language, literature and epigraphy. In 2013, he completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Sydney, focusing on the socio-cultural history and heritage of ethnic Assyrians in Iran. He also has an MA in World Religions (Eastern Christianity) from Leiden University, and a BA in Semetic Languages from the University of Sydney. Much of his research has relied on data from manuscripts and inscriptions collected firsthand in the field, over numerous trips he has made since 2002. He is currently an English Language Instructor at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. He was previously a lecturer at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney, specializing in Syriac Studies. His work has largetly been in the fields of research and teaching at the tertiary level, in addition to translation and transliteration. He has previously worked as a research assistant at the Peshitta Institute (Leiden University), the University of Sydney, as well as the Syriac Language Research Centre (Whitley College, University of Divinity, Melbourne). Since 2015, he has also conducted two educational tours of the Assyrian homeland in Turkey and plans on more in the future.

SAVINA DAWOOD is the co-founder and president of Etuti Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educational and humanitarian projects aimed at empowering Assyrian youth, women, and children in the Homeland and nearby regions. Savina started volunteering at the age of 13 in various youth, political, social, and humanitarian organizations. She has led numerous projects benefiting Assyrians and specifically internally-displaced peoples in Iraq and Syria. Savina is a widely-respected Assyrian activist, and she has been a strong advocate for human rights, with a focus on Assyrian indigenous rights. She has represented Assyrians in many international forums and interviews, both on television and in print. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management Science at the University of Kurdistan Hawler in Erbil, Iraq and her Master's Degree in Human Rights from Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany.


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