Between Heaven and Earth: A tête-à-tête with the renowned Palestinian film director Najwa Najjar

Published: 9 Nov 2021

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At this year’s Dive In Festival, IGI’s PR and Marketing AVP and Diversity and Inclusion Leader Aaida Abu Jaber, spoke with Jordanian/Palestinian Writer and Director Najwa Najjar Najwa about this year’s Dive In theme, active allyship, exploring the importance of teamwork, allies and a support network in succeeding in the workplace.

A key topic discussed within the interview was the value of a supportive culture within the work environment. The importance of having allies that encourage and strengthen career progress, no matter your industry, is integral to the overall success of the team, Najwa said. She also talked about the active allies in her own life, specifically her husband and generally society as a whole, and how they collectively supported her successful journey in moviemaking.

During their interview, Aaida and Najwa also discussed the future of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Najwa described the younger generations as major change-makers in the world who are becoming more important and influential because of technology and alternative media. “They speak the language that needs to be heard,” remarked Najwa. They also discussed the importance of adequate and fair representation of women in the workplace, with the essential belief that a woman’s role can be infinite: Najwa herself stated, “I’m a writer, director, and I’m a Mum”.

The enlightening interview concluded with Najwa’s parting wisdom for the aspiring professional in any industry to, “take the plunge, hold your breath, and you will come out on the other side” and, “if the door is closed, take the window.” Najwa shared that you must be “absolutely sure, determined and persistent. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do it, because you can.” Courage is needed to reach goals to create opportunities for the next person, and therefore the next generation. This in turn will result in inclusivity for all.

The takeaway message from this event was that the allies that surround you can create a successful culture for you to thrive. Active allyship should be a responsibility that every person should employ, to construct the supportive cultures and diverse and inclusive working environments of the future.

Access the full event recording via the Dive In YouTube: