For Sama: reality of healthcare in conflict

Dr Hamza al-Kateab on what he learned in east Aleppo’s last remaining hospital

The World Today
3 minute READ

Sarah Whitehead

Former Assistant Editor, The World Today

At one point in the multi award-winning documentary For Sama, the film’s creator Waad al-Kataeb is videoing an attempt to save a boy’s life in the Al-Quds hospital, a makeshift clinic in the ruins of east Aleppo. She starts to cry and is sent out by her husband, ‘Dr Hamza’, who is the clinic’s manager.

‘You can’t cry in here – get out,’ he says after her.

After this experience, Waad talks to the camera. ‘He explained that people saw me as powerful because I was filming and believed in the revolution. If they saw me break down, however strong they might be, it would weaken them. And Hamza felt he had to have strength for everyone. He was a leader.’

What becomes clear in the video footage captured by Waad is how much the people of east Aleppo depend on her husband for treatment. Their faith that despite the seemingly endless destruction around them there are people there to help needs to be preserved.

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