PRESS RELEASE: Premiere of Humanity Rising

Inspiring new documentary exploring the human side of the refugee crisis
(debuts May 23, 2017)

Humanity Rising, a 60-minute documentary film, focuses in-depth on the humanitarian stories behind the current refugee crisis, which is often lacking from related news headlines, detached statistics and procedural politics. Set to premiere in London the film details a journey to the heart of what makes us human, touchingly explored through the personal stories of those deeply caught up in the emergency. 

View the trailer:

Humanity Rising is a film by Humanity’s Heart, an initiative set up by broadcast journalist and filmmaker Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad to raise money for charities working on the front lines. It follows Ahmad’s journey through refugee camps in Calais, Lebanon and Greece, as well as relational spaces where refugees meet locals in the UK. The film highlights the narratives of individuals fleeing wars and oppression (refugees), volunteers, aid agencies, ordinary members of the public, government officials, academics and spiritual leaders who offer us holistic reflection on humanity’s response to the largest crisis since WWII. It also profiles the outstanding initiatives working hard on the ground, reaching out to humanity, providing inspiration over what can be done to remedy the situation.

“Humanity’s Heart involved 11 months of intense trauma, disbelief and inspiration.” Said Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad “Through this project I’ve come to realise that in tandem with the extreme challenges faced by those fleeing wars and tyranny, the refugee crisis is also giving birth to extraordinary examples of humanity with thousands turning up to help refugees irrespective of media, religious and political biases. They are choosing to believe in the power of humanity above all else.”

This relevant and timely documentary will premiere on Tuesday 23rd May at 7pm at The Courthouse Hotel, Soho, London.

At the screening the film’s Director and Producer Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad will be joined by Syrians Rahaf Al Ghalyoun, Dr Karim Hussein and Dina Ariss who will detail their personal stories and journeys in the crisis of our time. The event will also feature panel discussions with prominent volunteer and faith organisations exploring the rise in global activism. 

Interfaith panel on spiritual activism include:

Mahmoud Mostafa Threshold Society, Jo Winsloe Slater St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg New North London Synagogue.

We will also hear from Sara Conway Unity on how a grass-roots local initiative came together comprising predominantly of Jewish and Muslim women to support a range of refugee charities and initiatives. 

Volunteer activists panel include:

Lisa Campbell Do Your Part, Tamsyn Brewster & Anna Jones RefuAid, Iman Mortagy & Maria Wilby Refugee Action Colchester, and Josie Norton Help Refugees.

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Note to editors

1.    Contact details: 
For all press enquiries, Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad 07980 997947.

2.    Event enquiries:
Fohzia Ahmed 07825 447820 

3.    Launch details: 
Tuesday 23rd May, from 5.30pm at The Courthouse Hotel, London. Register early here.
To register for a press pass contact: Mariam Hakim,

4.    About Humanity’s Heart initiative:
Humanity’s Heart is an online platform that was created to witness, share and inspire. It profiles the excellent work of established initiatives supporting displaced refugees. Through a series of documentary’s and short videos, Humanity Rising in the Refugee Crisis being the first, the platform aims to educate about the reality on the ground, provide a space to improve connections between charities and initiatives supporting the 20m+ displaced today. On May 23rd, Humanity’s Heart will be launching a crowdfund campaign to support the initiatives and charities Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad met with that are getting a range of services from sanitation, housing to Education through to refugees. 

4.    About Tazeen Dhunna Ahmad:
“As a daughter of a migrant, a British Citizen, a mother of two and a believer in the power of humanity, I continue to be deeply moved by both the tragedies and the inspirations in this world.
The shocking images of the washed up body of Aylun Kurdi touched a deep sense of disbelief and powerlessness in me. The images triggered a decision to head to volunteer in Calais (The Jungle) with my brother and friends with an intention to serve and help in the crisis of our time. 
On return, I dedicated myself to witnessing and sharing on the alternative narrative focused on the humanisation of this crisis (lacking in mainstream media). 

With the shock Brexit vote and observing the rising trend in racism and the Far Right across Europe and beyond, I reflected on curiosities such as “How are the arrival by refugees to the shores of Europe linked to the rise in Xenophobia?”, “What motivates volunteers to turn up and serve refugees in this crisis?”, “Will washed up bodies like Aylun Kurdi become a new social norm?” and “what spiritual lessons to humanity are emerging in the largest crisis since WWII?” 

It was at that moment, I realised my background in broadcast journalism, finance, fundraising and philanthropy could be put to use. 

Through our films we bring you the voices of refugees, volunteers, ordinary citizens, government officials, academics and spiritual leaders and bring to light the complexities of what this crisis brings humanity.  

With a deep longing for my children and my children's children to be part of a world where the unity within humanity is encouraged we share with you what we witnessed on our travels through Calais, Lebanon, Greece and parts of the UK and bring you inspirational humanitarian examples through the crisis of our time. 

We also hold a space connecting those wishing to help in this crisis with those already helping on the ground and offer heartfelt gratitude to the team of volunteers and professional who have supported this project. 

The film is dedicated to humanity especially those that have suffered extreme loss in the largest humanitarian crisis since WWII.”