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Shot before the Syrian uprising of 2011, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam without giving up their dreams. At the heart of the documentary is Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher who founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus 30 years ago. The film captures the surprising cultural shift set in motion as these women claim their space within the historically male dominated mosque. Join local filmmakers Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix for a rare look into an alternative experience of contemporary Islam.

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Julia Meltzer

Julia Meltzer is a filmmaker and director of Clockshop, a non-profit arts organization. Her film and video work has been broadcast nationally on POV and exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial, The Toronto International Film Festival, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Over the past decade, she has worked extensively in Syria, teaching and producing and directing films. Meltzer is a recipient of the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and she was a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Damascus, Syria in 2005-2006.


Laura Nix

Laura Nix recently co-wrote California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown. Her non-fiction work has been shown on HBO and the History Channel, in addition to international DVD distribution. She is the writer/director of the narrative feature The Politics of Fur, which played in over 70 film festivals internationally, and won numerous awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. In 2001, Laura co-founded the production company Automat Pictures, where she directed the feature documentary Whether You Like It or Not. As producer, she made the festival hit The Yes Men Fix The World about the political activist duo, and is currently producing their next film, The Yes Men Are Revolting.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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