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Science in Exile: A documentary about the journey of refugee scientists  

NAS Building Auditorium | 2101 Constitution Avenue NW | Washington, DC 

December 7, 2017 @ 6pm

The new documentary film, Science in Exile­—directed by Italian filmmaker Nicole Leghissa in cooperation with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)­—focuses on the travels and the struggles of refugee and displaced scientists who are among the millions of people forced by conflict to leave their homes in the Middle East and North Africa. The film explores how recent conflict in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq has threatened the lives of four researchers, forcing them to suspend their work and flee their homelands.  Science in Exile takes viewers into the lives of women and men with years of training and experience who are struggling to find a place in new lands—a safe place where they can continue their research.  "The film presents a scientific story, but also a deeply human story," says Leghissa. "It is about men and women who have been dedicated to science even as they endure war, and even when they flee and arrive in a new land. They are seeking safety in this new world, but just as important, they want to continue to make valuable scientific contributions."  

The film will be introduced by Mustapha Jazar, who is featured in the film. Jazar is founder and president of the Lebanese Association for Scientific Research (LASeR) in Tripoli, Lebanon.  LASeR is the largest local non-governmental organization giving scholarships to Syrian refugees in the Middle East.   

Science in Exile

Zaid Alhajjaj of Iraq (right) is a PhD candidate in pharmaceutical biotechnology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. [Image: Nicole Leghissa for The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)]