Community Cinema Series: Solar Mamas

Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Every month between September and May, Community Cinema brings together leading organizations, community members and public television states to learn, discuss and get involved in today's critical social issues.  Each film is an hour long documentary, followed by a lead discussion.

For November the film is Solar Mamas. Rafea is 30 years old with four children and a husband who is eager to take a third wife. She is a Bedouin woman living in a small Jordanian village close to the desert.

With encouragement from the country's Ministry of Environment, she leaves her village for the first time to go to the Barefoot College in India to train to become a solar-energy engineer.  The Barefoot College in India was founded by Bunker Roy to provide knowledge and training to the rural poor to empower them to make their communities self-reliant and sustainable.The solar course at Barefoot College has women from Kenya, Burkina Faso, Columbia, and Guatemala. And now Rafea from Jordan. She is the first Jordanian woman ever to attend such a program, and she dreams of returning to bring much-needed income and talents to support her family and village.

Two months into the program, Rafea’s husband insists that she return home or he will divorce her and take her children. With no real choice in the matter, Rafea goes back to her village and sets out to persuade her husband and other family members that her studies in India benefit everyone.

In her journey away from home, back, and then away once more, Rafea goes through a profound transformation, returning as an educated woman with the skills to earn an income and achieve for her community what others could not.

This event takes place at the Mesa Arts Center Contemporary Arts Building in the Dobson Lecture Hall.  The film starts at 6:00 p.m.

We will meet inside the Mesa Arts Center, the Dobson Lecture Hall is small with only about[masked] seats, so finding each other will not be a problem.

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  • Lily

    Very inspiring documentary!

    November 15, 2012

  • Lily

    I am especially interested in this film as I have a friend who is from Jordan!

    October 19, 2012

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  • Lily
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  • A former member
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