Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi
(4 min) Somalia/USA
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Sunday 10/27, 3:15 PM (Session 32)

Director: Aaron Kisner
Producer: Cassie Hamilton


Dr. Hawa Abdi is Somalia's first female gynecologist. When the central government collapsed in 1989, Dr. Abdi's one-room clinic on her family farm began treating and housing local people fleeing the fighting. In time, the population living on her land reached 90,000 people. Dr. Abdi worked with international NGOs and her own resources to feed and house all who came to her with the caveats that, no one could bring clan fighting into the camp, and second, no man could beat his wife.


Aaron Kisner is an independent director and communications consultant based in New York. He works with extraordinary change-makers to tell the stories of the work they do in a compelling and accessible way. He has conducted interviews and trainings in public speaking, on-camera media and storytelling all over the world. In live theater, his work is focused on the exploration of classical texts in a modern context and on the development of new plays. Aaron is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television's directing program. His short film Ding! received the Best Writing and Best Acting awards in the Best of LA Film Festival, and his commercial for H&M garnered a nomination for the Young Director's Award at the Cannes Lions Festival in 2005.

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