In 2011, when protests against the Assad regime swept the country, Waad taught herself how to film and became a citizen journalist. The reports she made for Channel 4 News on the conflict in Syria, and the most complex humanitarian crisis in the world, became the most watched pieces on the UK news programme.
Waad documented her whole life over five years in Aleppo, as she falls in love with Hamza – her friend-turned-husband, a doctor – and gives birth to their first daughter, Sama ("Sky") in 2015, which became the basis of For Sama.
For Sama, directed with Edward Watts, won the Prix L'Œil d'or for best documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, receiving a six-minute standing ovation. At the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, For Sama became the most nominated documentary in the history of the British Academy Film Awards winning for Best Documentary.
After fleeing Aleppo in December 2016, Waad, her husband, and their two daughters now reside in London, United Kingdom. Waad continues to work with Channel 4 and dedicates time to her advocacy campaign, Action For Sama, which focuses on raising awareness on the situation in Syria and seeks accountability for the war crimes committed there.
Waad Al-Kateab on the story of 'For Sama', an epic journey into the female experience of war | 5x15
In 2011, when protests against the Assad regime swept the country, Waad taught herself how to film and became a citizen journalist, determined to document the horrors of the war. During this time, Waad began