Heard on the Hill

Lieu Screens Film On Human Saga of Syrian Refugee Crisis

Documentary Focuses on Lives of 5 Refugees

"Salam Neighbor" tells the story of the refugee crisis caused by Syria's civil war. (Courtesy Living on One and 1001 Media)

Tuesday marks a grim anniversary, but members of Congress and the makers of the film "Salam Neighbor" want to make sure people don't forget it.  

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., is hosting a screening of the documentary about the Syrian civil war and its humanitarian crisis on Monday at the Capitol Visitor Center, one day before the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is a special guest at the event, which includes a panel discussion with directors Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, and producers Salam Darwaza and Mohab Khattab.  

To make the film, Temple and Ingrasci lived for four weeks in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp, focusing their narrative on five refugees: a 10-year-old Syrian boy, Raouf; Ghoussoon, a former nurse and mother of three in her 30s; Ghassem, an international relief worker in his 40s; Um Ali, a grandmother in her 50s; and Ismail, student in his late 20s. All fled Syria and have resided in Za'atari for years.  

Lieu has hosted screenings of the film before, including one back home in California at the Arena Cinema Hollywood. "Salam Neighbor" was also an official selection at last year's AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington.  

"On a subject too often discussed in terms of numbers, Zach and Chris capture the human element of one of the greatest refugee crises of this generation," Lieu said in a statement.  

In addition to the screening and panel discussion, the event will feature a virtual reality exhibit that places people in the midst of life in the camps. It all starts at 5:30 on Monday at the CVC. It's free, but those going should please register on Eventbrite .  

Contact Dick at jasondick@rollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @jasonjdick.

Related:
AFI Docs Highlights Old School, New School Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.