Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017

Syrian-American Filmmaker Sam Kadi Meets PM Justin Trudeau during Screening of Little Gandhi Documentary at Canadian Parliament

  The Syrian-American Council, a grassroots Syrian-American community organization, extends its congratulations to Syrian-American filmmaker Sam Kadi who  recently met  with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and screened his film, Little Gandhi: The Lost Truth of the Syrian Uprising, to  parliamentarians in Ottawa .  The screening, held in the Sir John A. Macdonald Building of the Parliament, was hosted by Canadian MP Raj Grewal and the International Development Research Center (IDRC).
Kadi not only had the opportunity to address members of the Canadian Parliament about his film, but also presented an in-depth look into what is happening in Syria today. Born and raised in Aleppo, Kadi shared his first-hand experiences of oppression under the Assad regime. "Syria is not only my cause because I was born in Aleppo. It should be everybody's cause because Syria is where the alphabet was found, where the very first musical note was invented, where the first-ever church was built, where the oldest, inhabited city in the world existed. It's a treasure that needs to be protected because the Syrians deserve to live free and safe, and deserve to see their predators held accountable." he said in his opening speech.
                     Opening remarks by  MP Raj Grewal                          Kadi discusses the Syrian conflict with PM Trudeau   

The highlight of Kadi's visit to the Canadian Parliament was his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which he referred to as "a light in a dark tunnel."  The Canadian leader conversed with Kadi about Little Gandhi and the activists who remain in Syria today, steadfast on their path for freedom and democracy. Kadi in turn thanked Trudeau for his vital support for Syrian refugees and his exemplary leadership as a role model to all world leaders.

              Kadi and Radwan Ziadeh lead the panel                                        Ottawa public screening 

In January 2017, the Syrian-American Council and Rahma Relief Foundation, a humanitarian relief organization whose mission is to provide aid to the Syrian people, launched an  Exclusive Little Gandhi University Tour that takes the award-winning film to college campuses across the United States and shares the Syrian narrative with the broader American public.   The tour includes 2 screenings in Washington, D.C. during the 2017 Syrian revolution commemoration events in mid-March.
Little Gandhi tells the heart-wrenching and tragic tale of iconic Syrian peace activist Ghiyath Matar. The story of Matar, dubbed "Little Gandhi" for his strict code of nonviolent protest, takes viewers through the Syrian people's peaceful pursuit of freedom and democracy only to be met with live ammunition from the Syrian regime. While the documentary follows the journey of a young man dedicated to peaceful change, it also personifies the resilience and bravery of the Syrian people at large.
Little Gandhi has received the "Excellence in Filmmaking" Award at the 2016 European Independent Film Festival (Paris) and the "Best Foreign Documentary" Award at the 2016 International Family Film Festival in Hollywood, CA. It has been screened across the globe, from Washington, DC to Europe and the Mid-East.

The film is part of a broader IDRC-supported research on the Syrian conflict and the country's future, carried out by the Syrian Center for Political & Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C.
To support the Syrian American Council and Rahma Relief's Little Gandhi University Tour, please visit the campaign's  GoFundMe page.

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Bassam Rifai
Phone:  973-954-0982

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About Syrian American Council 
Founded in 2005 in Burr Ridge, Illinois, the Syrian American Council is the largest Syrian-American community organization in the United States. It serves to amplify the voice of the Syrian-American Community. SAC is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization that includes members from all segments of Syrian society, and has over 22 chapters nationwide with thousands of supporters. It is an organization devoted to community organizing, awareness-raising, youth empowerment, media outreach, advocacy, and support for Syrians seeking to build a free and democratic Syria.