**If you missed the screening on September 9, REGISTER HERE to view the event on demand**
Based on a true story, the dramatization follows Ifrah Ahmed’s perilous journey as a refugee. Forced into an abusive marriage as a teenager, Ifrah has fled from this bondage, only to be rejected by her family. In the midst of civil war, she makes her way back to her home in Mogadishu to try to attempt a reconciliation . Rejected by her father, her grandmother gives her some money and the telephone number of a relative in the U.S.
Bombs are falling amid complete chaos. Director Mary McGuckian portrays Ifrah’s escape from Mogadishu in frightening, documentary fashion: you are there, experiencing the terror Ifrah experiences. The viewer becomes firmly placed in Ifrah’s shoes as she makes a perilous journey to safety, with danger at every corner. Who can she trust to help her? At the edge of your seat each step of the way, deep insight is gained into the desperation and determination of refugees fleeing for their lives. It is a shock when Ifrah doesn’t wind up in the US, but she has luckily landed in a haven where she realizes the potential buried inside of her. Today, Ifrah is a leader in the campaign to end FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).
A recorded interview with Mary McGuckian and Ifrah Ahmed, moderated by Sarah Craven of the UNFPA, will air following the film.
Drama, Somalia, Republic of Ireland, (113 Minutes)
About the Filmmaker
McGuckian has been producing, writing and directing feature films independently for over twenty years. A Girl From Mogadishu is her twelfth film as an auteur – producer, writer and director. Born and raised in Northern Ireland during the ‘troubles’, McGuckian completed her education in the Republic of Ireland at Trinity College, Dublin, taking a degree in engineering. At the same time, she became deeply involved with “Trinity Players”, appearing in over 30 productions, as well as producing, designing and directing. Post graduation, she followed an autodidactic path in literature, theatre, acting and directing in London, Paris and Italy, including writing a number of avant-garde plays, the most acclaimed of which was a long-running stage adaption of Brian Merriman’s poem, The Midnight Corner. In the early 1990s, she set up her own company, Pembridge Productions, to develop and produce feature film projects. Active as a co-producer on many Irish feature films, the company also produced three pictures which McGuckian wrote and directed, Words Upon the Window Pane, This is the Sea, and Best. Other films include Man on the Train, with Donald Sutherland; The Bridge of San Luis Rey, with F Murray Abraham, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne, Geraldine Chapin, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel; and The Price of Desire, a dramatization of the inception of 20th century architecture.
About Ifrah Ahmed
Ahmed left Mogadishu at the age of 17, and was granted refugee status in Ireland in 2006. Ahmed has established the United Youth of Ireland in 2010, an NGO for young immigrants, and the Ifrah Foundation, which is devoted to eliminating Female Genital Mutilation. Since 2016, she has been a Gender Advisor to the Prime Minister of Somalia.
The United Youth of Ireland provides support to young immigrants in their business, artistic and creative pursuits. Through the Ifrah Foundation, Ahmed continues to advocate for the eradication of FGM in her native Somalia. Her work includes raising awareness through producing media content to highlight the negative impact of FGM. In July 2018, in collaboration with the Global Media Campaign to end FGM, Ahmed produced a short documentary on the death of a 10-year-old girl due to complications resulting from FGM.
Additionally, Ahmed has been involved in organizing various events, workshops, fundraisers and seminars. Ifrah Foundation has partnered on impactful projects with international NGOs, and has formed strategic partnerships with governmental agencies on policy and legislation. Her focus over the past four years has been to deliver programs in Somalia providing evidence-based results that inform Ifrah Foundation’s proposed national action plan for the abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia.
Ahmed was awarded with a People of the Year Award in 2018 for her work.