Doha - The Rising Sun


Doha- The Rising Sun is the story of Mariam, a bold and hardheaded 21-year-old woman, who must re-assimilate to her homeland of the Western Sahara after being deported from Spain. Carrying the disappointment and guilt of her failure to amass wealth in Europe, she journeys home to a country that has been occupied by Morocco since the 1970s where there is little economic opportunity.

Mariam's closeness with her brother Alwaili--a hash dealer who also runs a small prostitution operation--initially provides an anchor for her. However, she struggles to feel a sense of belonging as she finds herself at odds again with the cultural traditions and gender norms enforced by her mother and sister.
Her encounter with her childhood friend Sidahmed further upsets her return. She discovers that he suffered mental and physical trauma while imprisoned for partaking in the Gdeim Izik protests of 2010 at the very beginning of the Arab Spring.

The guilt Mariam feels for having abandoned Sidahmed in jail when she left for Europe, compounded by the embarrassment she already feels toward her own failures, propels Mariam to do whatever it takes to become self-sufficient, sending her on a turbulent and isolating journey. Her rebellious nature drives her to get involved in Alwali's hash business, which only ends in more pain and alienation from her family and community.

When all of Mariam's attempts to define her independence become frustrated, she compulsively decides to escape back to Spain. Instead, her efforts are deterred at a small coastal fishing village where she unexpectedly comes to discover the meaning of belonging.


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