Presented in its first-ever hybrid edition, the Doha Film Institute’s eighth Ajyal Film Festival hosted its annual Kids’ Special Screening with an open-air event at the new Lusail Drive-In Cinema last night.
The festival’s cinematic and cultural programme for audiences of all ages also featured Libyan international humanitarian hero Dr Alaa Murabit as part of this year’s virtual Ajyal Talks showcase.
Bringing together children in their favourite prince and princess costumes, this year’s Kids’ Special Screening celebrated the 70th year of Disney’s beloved animated classic Cinderella (US/1950) by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske.
The nostalgically-enduring family favourite follows Cinderella’s life as it is forever changed when her fairy godmother appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true.
In Conversation with Dr Alaa Murabit gave audiences insights into the definition and articulation of change and success in today’s world.
In the virtual discussion, she touched on how her move to Libya as a 15-year-old presented a new challenge and helped her grow through discomfort to ultimately redefine her own understanding of success.
Celebrated as a “Forbes 30 Under 30” and one of Canada’s 100 most impactful women in history, Dr Murabit serves as an adviser to organisations such as the UN Women Global Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations.
She is one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocates appointed by the UN secretary-general.
Addressing the online audience, Dr Murabit said: “I highly recommend placing yourself in uncomfortable positions in life – where you are not always heard or acknowledged – as they can be incredibly powerful for your own leadership.
“Through these situations, you will learn how to negotiate with people and how to recognise their diversity.”
On the search for one’s personal goals, she said: “Whether you want to pursue academic research, speak out on important issues or teach – it’s important to ask yourself: Where do you feel the most effective to change the world?
“No matter which path you choose, you need a genuine sense of compassion in the way you communicate with others.”
Speaking on today’s unprecedented access to digital information, Dr Murabit added: “Maybe success is putting yourself on the line to give people who are not in the room a voice, looking at stories that haven’t been told yet, or empowering people who are generally powerless.
“Maybe success looks different in today’s world because the world has changed from the one our parents grew up in.”
“It would be a shame to live in a time of incredible access and not change our own definition of success – and of ourselves,” she said.
Nicknamed “The Libyan Doogie Howser” by Jon Stewart for attending medical school at 15, in 2019 Dr Murabit was selected as one of the Top 20 of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy”, alongside the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and former US first lady Michelle Obama, and has spoken at some of the most prestigious events and institutions around the world, including SXSW, Oxford, and TED.
Through its special screenings and the Ajyal Talks showcase, Ajyal 2020 brings together audiences at home and at select venues across Qatar to inspire and unite the community through the Festival’s innovative multidisciplinary creative programmes.
One can find out more and stream the full selection of Ajyal short and feature films at ajyalfilm.com.
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