“Waiting in the Midfield” highlights the life of Omar Alhamwi, a Syrian refugee and former professional soccer player, as he makes a new life for himself in Greensboro. The film will air on Wednesday, May 29, at 9 p.m., with replays the following day.
Assistant Professor Sana Haq’s new documentary, “Waiting in the Midfield,” will air on UNC-TV, a public television network serving North Carolina, on Wednesday, May 29, at 9 p.m. The film will also be replayed on Thursday, May 30, at 2 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The 24-minute film features Omar Alhamwi, a Syrian refugee and former professional soccer player, as he makes a new life for himself in Greensboro. It is an in-depth look at a 24-year-old on his own, waiting for a chance to reconnect with his family and play professional soccer again.
Sandy Marshall, assistant professor of geography, is also featured in the film and offers insights about the resettlement process for refugees in the United States.
To watch a trailer for the film, click here.
While “Waiting in the Midfield” has had limited screenings – including on Elon University’s campus and the 2018 University Film and Video Association conference – the May 29 broadcast is the film’s first widespread public premiere.
“I believe UNC-TV is the perfect broadcaster for this film as it deals with a local topic that affects the residents of central North Carolina and is of relevance from a policy standpoint for North Carolinians as a whole,” Haq said. “I hope this film inspires understanding and empathy amongst the viewers for our newest neighbors and friends.”
A native of Pakistan, Haq has worked extensively in documentary filmmaking and her area of research interest is post-colonial cultural and political narratives related to Middle East and South Asia. In addition to earning an MFA at Wake Forest, she received a bachelor’s degree in Pakistan and an MBA at the Lahore School of Economics before working two years in Islamabad, including as a marketing executive for Dawn Media Group.
At Wake Forest, Haq completed an MFA in Documentary Film with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Her advanced project, titled “The Other Army,” won second place for documentary in the 2014 collegiate Emmys (College Television Awards). The documentary about Pakistanis fighting terrorism in their home country also won the jury award from the Directors Guild of America in New York for her work as a student filmmaker.
Other documentary shorts by Haq have been selected for the Neuro Film Festival of the American Academy of Neurology, Cape Fear Independent Film Festival, Real to Reel Film Festival, River Run International Film Festival and South Asia film festivals.
Before joining Elon’s faculty as an assistant professor in 2016, she previously taught at Wake Forest and Greensboro College.