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Opening Doors

Fall Grant 2014 - Development Stage

Nora Al-Subai / Short Narrative / Qatar, Canada / 15 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Based on a True Story


‘Opening Doors’ tells the true story of Amna Mahmoud who, from her early childhood, dreamed of teaching the Holy Qur’an to Qatari girls. A devout Muslim, she began her teaching career when still a girl, holding informal classes in her home, teaching girls to memorise the Qur’an. Later, she began a struggle to open a formal school for girls. In the face of strong opposition from some voices in the community, she persevered, until a fatwa was issued by the country’s leading Imam, declaring that education for girls and women was not prohibited by the Qur’an. The Emir of Qatar supported Mahmoud, and her school for girls became an important breakthrough in the education of women in Qatar.


Nora Al Subai
Annemarie Jacir
Juan Andy Hodgson
Production Company
Red Castle Films
Production Company
Red Castle Films

About the Director

Born and raised in France, Nora Al-Subai is a Qatari writer and director. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar with a degree in Computer Science. Her short film, ‘My Hero’ (2013), was named Best Short Film at the Ajyal Film Festival and appeared in the markets of the Festival de Cannes and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. ‘Al-Johara’ premiered at Ajyal, where it received the Special Jury Award. It also made its way to Cannes and the Sarajevo Film Festival.


  • Main Contact

    Martha Villagomez

    Red Castle Films

Questions regarding this project?


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