The Annual Mideast Focus Film Series

2019 First Friday Films

The loss of home is often complicated by long years as refugees. What does it mean to lose one’s home? What is involved in finding home? Families must often separate to thrive at all. Some face the danger of never belonging anywhere, once they are safe. Such elements of refugee-hood complicate other real issues of unemployment and isolation under another people’s sky.

Refugees are at our southern border, and living in countries not their own, trapped at the border in Gaza and living in refugee camps in the West Bank. Refugees can be found around the globe today.

In this year’s series, we join families engaged in complicated struggles. We discover what creates community and what is essential for finding home!

Join Us for:

  • Friday February 1: First Friday’s Opening Night Reception at 6:15 p.m. Screening of “SOUFRA” at 7 p.m.
  • February 10 March 17: The Sunday Forum at 10:10 a.m. in Bloedel Hall. Speaker: Rania Qawasma-Dana, Palestinian-American Architect and Author of This is Home, an award winning neighborhood guide for refugees in Seattle. (NB: This event was rescheduled due to weather.)
  • A selection of films that educate, move, and inspire new ways of thinking.
  • Special guest speakers who lead discussions after each film.

All films are shown on Friday evenings from 7–9:30 p.m. in Bloedel Hall. Parking and Admission are free. There will be a free-will offering.



Palestinian architect, Shadi, living in Rome, returns home to Nazareth to help his father deliver his sister’s wedding invitations. As they struggle to bridge the gap between their different lives, the two men discover the importance of “home”. This film quietly explores the complex relationship of a practical Palestinian survivor, who has forfeit his idealist son, to provide a home, even under occupation.



Previous films in the series:


SOUFRA (Dining Table)

Special reception with Middle East food beginning at 6:15 p.m. This award-winning film is an inspiring story set in the world’s oldest refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut. A group of women, refugees from various middle eastern countries, collaborate to create a catering company. As they deal with myriad obstacles we watch the community grow. We witness the unifying power of food, while they take their future into their own hands.



Sky and Ground

Sky and Ground is a compelling, ground-level, immersion into the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. Sky and Ground accompanies the Kurdish Nabi clan as they make their way from their home in Aleppo, bombed out in war. They travel through Greece and Macedonia. Their goal is Berlin where they hope to reunite with family members and seek asylum. First, they must make the difficult journey through Serbia, Hungary and Austria.



This is Home

This film follows four families sent to resettle in Baltimore in 2016. They have only eight months to learn English, find jobs, and become self-sufficient. The clock starts right when they land. A vast cultural divide hinders new arrivals and Americans trying to help them. Part way through the process, the President issues a travel ban. Suddenly their lives are all the more perilous.



Naila and the Uprising

This film inventively chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh—a woman who must choose between love, family and freedom. She chooses all three. In the late 1980s she joins a clandestine movement of Palestinian women who play a pivotal role in the First Intifada, forcing the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination through the vibrant, nonviolent, mobilization of the people.


More about the series:

Mideast Focus Ministry Mission:
This ministry works through prayer, education and action with Saint Mark’s and the greater Seattle community, to educate and promote understanding about the struggle for peace and justice in the Holy Land.

Mideast Focus Film Series Goal:
Our concern is to help balance the limited and confusing media coverage of the Holy Land. We use compelling films as an entry point for reflection and discussion. As Christians, we respond to Christ’s call to seek justice and love the oppressed. As Americans, we ask: Can we reconcile this calling with our government’s massive financial support of Israel’s military operations? We hope the time will come when Jews, Muslims and Christians will again come together in harmony in the Holy Land.

Why These Films?
As our country presents less than humane greetings for refugees at our border, we want to recommit ourselves to a more conscious, caring and Godly response—to recognize and serve our brothers and sisters who are, for a difficult time, homeless. In this series we explore what it is to be a refugee.