Aleppo Lullaby (04:24)
Waad al-Kateab sings to her daughter Sama. Their apartment is above a hospital. They run downstairs to their building basement during a tank strike; smoke fills the corridor.
A Letter to Sama (02:12)
In July 2016, Waad films the war to retain a sense of purpose and to explain to her daughter what she and her husband are fighting for. She fears losing Sama more than dying herself. Russian war planes fly overhead.
Syrian Revolution (02:45)
In 2012, Waad is a fourth year economics student. She films Aleppo University students protesting the Assad regime. Mobile phone footage provides evidence of armed forces beating protesters.
Activist Doctor (04:16)
Waad's friend Hamza helps people injured in protests. In January 2013, Waad films the bodies of execution victims recovered from a river; many have torture marks and lived in regions opposing the regime. The massacre sparks new protests.
Revolutionary Hospital (03:26)
Waad's parents fear for her life but she stays in Aleppo. When rebels free the east, the regime increases attacks; Hamza is among 32 doctors helping civilians. Together with volunteer nurses Omar and Gaith, they set up medical services.
Losing Friends (05:23)
Gaith is killed in an air strike and Omar by a tank shell. Waad and Hamza are more determined to continue fighting for freedom. Their friendship turns to love and they marry.
Living in a War Zone (02:47)
In September 2016, Aleppo has been under siege for three months. Hamza cannot leave the hospital, so Waad and Sama live there. An air strike begins; Waad goes downstairs to the hospital.
Killing Innocents (03:33)
A young boy is brought to the hospital after a missile attack; Hamza is unable to save him. His older brothers mourn him and his mother comes to take him home. Waad fears she will lose Sama.
Starting a Family (04:25)
Citizens celebrate free Aleppo in March 2015. Waad and Hamza purchase a home and become pregnant. They are happy but fearful for their baby's future.
Desire to Live (02:45)
Islam extremists try to take over the rebellion, but Assad's regime is more destructive. Waad and Hamza's neighboring building is shelled. Waad prays for her unborn baby and for Hamza.
An Impossible Choice (02:52)
Waad and Hamza's friends Afraa and Salem must decide whether to leave and become refugees or stay and watch their three children suffer. Their son is upset because his friend's family has fled Aleppo.
Sama's Birth (02:10)
Waad and Hamza have their baby at Hamza's hospital. Waad feels new hope for the future.
Attempts at Normalcy (02:35)
In October 2016, Sama plays in the emergency room after an air strike; a dead child lies nearby. Waad takes her to the street after an attack to witness living people.
Search for Childhood (02:16)
Salem organizes a painting party for children to decorate a burned out bus. Afraa runs a school in a basement and tries to keep students safe.
Miracle Birth (03:34)
Civilians disperse after an air strike, anticipating a second attack. An injured woman nine months pregnant is brought to the hospital; Hamza performs an emergency cesarean. After a few minutes of CPR, the baby begins to breathe.
Breaking Spirits (04:23)
In February 2016, Waad introduces Sama, meaning "sky." Russian war planes disrupt her reverie. The hospital is bombed one night while she and Hamza are away, killing staff and patients. Hamza founds a new hospital in an unmarked building.
Entering a Besieged City (04:06)
In July 2016, Waad and Hamza visit an ailing relative in Turkey. Upon returning to Aleppo, they sneak past the front lines with Sama—risking death to continue the struggle for freedom. Hospital staff members are happy to see them.
Children of the Siege (05:03)
In November 2016, citizens burn tires to obstruct Russian air strikes. Supplies are running low; Afraa cooks spoiled rice. Her son has made paper dolls representing friends that have died or fled Aleppo. Salem brings her a persimmon.
Waad is pregnant again. Hamza's is the only remaining hospital in eastern Aleppo; nearly 300 patients are treated daily. The water is cut off. Waad continues filming casualties, including a distraught mother and her dead son.
A Rare Family Moment (04:09)
Waad and Hamza rest for the first time in four days. Regime forces advance into Aleppo's rebel area, even targeting refugees attempting to escape to the regime side. Families arrive in the emergency room.
Traumatized by War (03:17)
Waad sees blood everywhere. Regime forces are retaking Aleppo; the hospital is hit. Waad, Hamza, and Sama take refuge in the basement. Waad believes that Sama is aware of the siege.
Appealing to the International Community (03:00)
Hamza speaks to the press about the regime's use of weapons on Aleppo citizens, including chlorine gas. Waad uploads her reports to YouTube, which receive millions of views. They share stories with Afraa's family while sheltering from air strikes.
Regime forces are one street away from the hospital. Hamza urges Waad to abandon Sama; she has better survival chances if her parents' identities are unknown. The Russians offer to spare their lives if they go into exile.
Preparing for Exile (03:09)
In December 2016, Aleppo civilians pack their belongings. Waad feels leaving her city is worse than death. A family leaves for the front line, but is turned back by snipers. Hamza will stay until the last wounded patients leave the hospital.
Saying Goodbye (02:32)
Waad films the hospital and her house before leaving Aleppo. Hamza becomes emotional at the prospect of never seeing his colleagues again.
Leaving Aleppo (03:58)
Waad wonders if Sama will remember Aleppo. After waiting several days, Hamza receives orders to leave. They are anxious while passing regime checkpoints; Hamza is known as a rebel doctor. They make it to safety.
New Beginnings (02:26)
In exile, Waad gives birth to Taima, a baby girl. She has her footage of the siege in Aleppo. She wants Sama to understand that she and Hamza were fighting for freedom and for her future.
Credits: For Sama (02:48)
Credits: For Sama
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