Award-winning and Academy Award nominated Waad Al Kateab shut down the Oscars' red carpet wearing a statement gown with an Arabic quote embroidered on it. The phrase read, “We dared to dream, we don’t regret asking for our dignity,” which is a line from a poem that she holds dear to her heart.
The creative mind behind Al Kateab ’s full-blown appearance is none other than Syrian designer Reem Masri who joined forces with the filmmaker to make her vision come to life in the best way possible. "I bought my pens and papers and started with lots of samples, shared them with Waad, and started building the dress idea with all the specific details. We selected the color of the dress that matches her skin color, and the calligraphy color the same as the plant she left behind in her house in Aleppo before they were forcibly displaced," she told Vogue Arabia.
Her documentary, “For Sama”, spans over 5 years of war in Syria and follows her own story of pregnancy in war-torn Aleppo. In the film, her husband was one of the rare doctors left in the city during the war and faced the dilemma whether to continue to save lives at the hospital or escape from the city for the family's sake.
For Sama has won several awards since its release, including the Best Documentary Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and also took home a BAFTA in January this year.
The Syrian Oscar nominee continues to strive to share the plight of Syrian people, and spoke up again as she walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards this year, "It's not a civil war, it's a revolution, and unfortunately, we the Syrian people are the ones paying the price.”