A portrait of a young Iraqi who left everything behind at 15, in a solo quest for a more peaceable future; Hameed’s salvation is education in the US bound by a big altruistic dream.


A modern hero’s journey; a child of war runs the race of his life, for days cross-country, and knocks on the door of refuge. Supplicating for entrance, and turned-away twice in Turkey, finally, Hameed is granted United Nations-guaranteed safe passage, to the USA — a solo journey, leaving his home for refuge, hope and dreams. He lands in Seattle where, after 8 years of no education in Iraq, he gains speed with access to resources and the classroom. It seems insurmountable, he’s dedicated and learns a third language, he encounters adversity and challenge, a foster family steps forward, and he accelerates towards higher education and loftier altruistic dreams...

This being survival. This being resilience.

This being immigrant. This being free.

This being our American Dream.



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We are very excited to collaborate with Welcoming Week and the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition (ERIC) as well the the First Congregational Church of Bellevue, who are working on what it would mean to officially name themselves as an Immigrant Welcoming congregation for the Eastside.

Isatou Jallow, featured in Little Rebel and Hameed Makttoof, featured in This Being Human will be participating in a lively discussion and we will be screening of both films. We hope you can join us.

September 14th | 7-8:30 | Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th Street, Bellevue, WA


Aimie Vallat’s compassionate doc, THIS BEING HUMAN, tells an immigrant’s story artfully, transcending politics by focusing on the individual. Hameed is an Iraqi refugee, initially reluctant to come to the States, but who has blossomed here since, thanks to his own academic tenacity and the kindness of strangers. Ms. Vallat’s skill is evidenced by the candor and vulnerability with which Hameed shares his experiences and by DP and co-director Guido Ronge’s lush, yet no nonsense visual storytelling which, in tandem, create an unbiased portrait of just one of the many who come to America and benefit the country in return. Together, Vallat and Ronge craft immigrant profiles that spark our reconsideration of governmental policies and personal opinions.
— Warren Etheredge

Reel Witness humbly presents a concentrated sliver of humanity in our documentary, This Being Human, and invites viewers to glimpse into the life of a young refugee. We offer our gratitude to everyone holding space in this country of immigrants for new guests/citizens. We thank Hameed for his graciousness, endurance and bravery in sharing his story.


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

Jellaludin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks