Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
Ages 14 to 18
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Warning: Some profanity in Arabic; subtitled in English. Mentions of guns and violence, violent imagery.
Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:
Documentary profiling the life of a teenager living in a refugee camp in Palestine, whose mother was imprisoned for eight years, and how she deals with the situation as well as her own rebellious spirit. Walaa remains steadfast in her goal to join the Palestinian National Authority. To what extent do you think her life experience and circumstances have influenced her to pursue this goal? Research the role of the Palestinian National Authority. What is the history of the group? What are their main goals? Explain how the Israeli and Palestinian law enforcement agencies interact. As Walaa begins her work with the group, how does her job begin to interfere with her family life? How does military presence within a country affect the severity and frequency of encounters with law enforcement?