By Leila Jarman
On April 7, 2017, my documentary feature film, Voice of the Valley, was screened before an audience of students in the School of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Voice of the Valley tells the story of two Muslim women from very tribal and traditional backgrounds and with no formal journalistic training who produce and broadcast a groundbreaking socio-political radio program.Their radio program calls attention to the issues facing this neglected area such as the water shortage, poverty, corruption within the local government, and neglect—problems which have not yet been addressed by governmental officials in Amman. Despite societal and cultural pressure to succumb to traditional patriarchal customs, Asma and Munira continue to fight for the neglected people of the Jordan Valley.
After the screening, I Skyped into the auditorium to do a Q&A with the students. The questions were insightful and inspiring and reminded me of the relevance and importance of showing films like this one for different communities and educational institutions.