Today marks the annual United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day, which honors people who devote their lives to helping others around the world.

World Humanitarian Day always falls on August 19th, since 22 aid workers died in the bombing of the UN HQ in Baghdad in 2003 on that date.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, “World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honor the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the front lines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk.”

  • At the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City, an event will be held commemorating the day which will feature guests Hala Kalim and her children, the subjects of the film “Watani – My Homeland.”
  • The documentary is directed by GLOBALO Co-Founder Marcel Mettelsiefen and co-produced by GLOBALO News Publishing and GLOBALO founder Dr Hubertus Hoffmann.
  • Mettelsiefen said that he hopes people come away from the film “moved by this family’s capacity for resilience and renewal. These children and their mother have shown me that human beings are very flexible to adapt to any kind of situation, even some of the most horrific ones you can imagine.”

See part of the film below:


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Through a set of four short excerpts of the film like the one above, Hala Kalim and her four children will tell the story at the event of how they survived as refugees going from war-torn Aleppo, Syria where the children’s father was kidnapped to a new life in Goslar, Germany.

At the end of the showing, Hala will speak, offering a message of hope to the world. She called for peace and an end to humanitarian crises around the world. She says, all she cares about “is that we are all humans.”

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“Watani – My Homeland” aims to add a new dimension to the five year war–the children’s perspective. It shows the rare, emotional side of the conflict and its effect on the family’s fate.

Mettelsiefen was interviewed on CNN by Christiane Amanpour, which you can watch below. Amanpour has described the documentary as “extraordinary” and said it gives, “a dramatically different dimension to what we think we know about this war.”

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FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath said, “We’re proud to have brought the unforgettable story of Hala and her children to the American public, and thrilled that the film and the family will have such a powerful presence before the U.N. General Assembly.”

The United Nations will live-stream the whole event. UN officials, foreign dignitaries, and various celebrities will be in attendance, including: Natalie Dormer of Game of Thrones, Alisan Porter winner of The Voice 2016, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie the Nigerian novelist.

Photo Credit: ZDF