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May 26, 2017

World premiere of NHS student documentary, "I am Syria", is June 10

Accomplished Niskayuna student filmmaker jad jacob is set to showcase new documentary at the GE Theatre @ Proctors on June 10th.

I am Syria posterSeventeen year-old Jad Jacob will be presenting his newest film project to an audience at 7pm on June 10th at the GE Theatre @ Proctors. A short reception will follow the screening. Tickets for the screening are $12 and are available at the Proctors Box Office, and on their website. All of the event's proceeds will go to New York for Syrian Refugees, a local charity organization committed to aiding resettling Syrian families in the Capital Region.

I AM SYRIA is a documentary capturing the lives of Syrian refugees living in Stuttgart, Germany. The film explores the stories and struggles of families, mothers, fathers, and children as they are forced to leave their beloved country behind and start life again in Europe. The true and horrific stories of the Syrians' plight were captured by filmmaker Jad Jacob, in a one-week trip to Germany. With his camera, he captured the state of the refugee shelter; the homes of the refugees; the opinions of the Germans caring for them; and the life a refugee lives in Europe, comparing it to the life they can have here, in America. I AM SYRIA is a documentary meant for an American audience to glimpse the true nature of the Syrian Crisis.

The summer trip was managed by Jad's father - an immigration lawyer - and his father's childhood friend Joseph Khoury, who left his family behind and escaped Aleppo in 2014, eventually arriving in Stuttgart, Germany, to live in a refugee shelter, and later, finding a way to bring his wife and two kids to join him in Germany. Mr. Khoury arranged meetings and interviews with about a dozen refugees and German social workers over the course of only a few days; Jad and his father Joseph went with him to refugees' homes, as well as the shelter where Mr. Khoury once lived and a second one in a town nearby. Communicating in Arabic, German, and English, the trio came across families and children from across Syria. Some had family still waiting for them in their homeland; some sat with their daughters as they spoke of the horrors the journey away from home brought to them. A strong personal conviction in the documentary's message - that the refugees' stories need to be told to an American audience-is captured and affirmed by a filmmaker who marks the first generation in his family to be born a Syrian-American. Mr. Khoury and the friends he made in Germany tell the Syrian narrative from a human perspective not shown enough in the West today.

Jad Jacob is a Syrian-American filmmaker from Upstate New York, best known for his ten-episode web series Opus 12, its prequel film Belwatch, award-winning short film It's Not What It Looks Like, and his new web series OFFICE. Jad is the co-President of the Niskayuna High School Drama Club and has participated in over two dozen theatrical productions as actor, director, and musical director, most recently performing in the Honors Performance Series Choir at Carnegie Hall, being nominated for Proctors' HSMTA Best Actor Award for his role as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at his school, and co-directing his school's spring play, The Man Who Came to Dinner. Jad and his mother, a Syrian-American physician and poet, have participated in four Benefit Cabarets and Concerts for Syrian refugees—at Niskayuna High School; New York City; and Vermont - creating, hosting, and organizing two of them. Combined, they have raised thousands of dollars to benefit displaced Syrians and Syrian children through half a dozen different volunteer programs and support organizations. Jad has been nominated for the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition's "Ralph F. Boyd, Sr. Award" for his dedication and commitment in the spirit of excellence in the field of Human & Civil Rights in Schenectady County. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Jad will be attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts to continue his studies in film.

To purchase tickets and find more information on the movie screening, visit

Jad's work can be viewed at, or at