Hidden Beauty a short film by Olga Sapzhnikova

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hello from Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications!

Dubai filmmaker Olga Sapozhnikova’s short film “Hidden Beauty” is the story of four of her “heroes.” Her first heroine is Jamilya, who is the only woman in United Arab Emirates who works with four hundred men in an ambulance service, and who has saved many people from fires, accidents and collapsed buildings.

Her story was so inspiring, that the ruler of Dubai: His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, came to her home to personally express his gratitude for her service to their country. (An event depicted in the film.) As the single mother of five children, in “Hidden Beauty” Jamilya shares her opinions on the beauty of women, especially Arabian women.

You can see Olga explain in her own words why she made this film at:

You can download a copy of our current press release at:

Olga Sapozhnikova is currently available for interview by telephone from Dubai, and will be in the Los Angeles area next week and is available for telephone interview by request.

(As always, thanks for receiving these notices. To be removed from my list for this film just return this e-mail with “Remove” in the subject line.)

Best Regards,
Steve Thompson

Thompson Communications
580 Haddon Avenue
Collingswood, NJ 08108


For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Stephen C. Thompson
Thompson Communications

“Hidden Beauty” Profiles Four Fascinating, Determined Women:
Their Beauty, Their Accomplishments, and Their Aspirations
Within the Constraints of Contemporary Arab Society

June, 2009 — Dubai, United Arab Emirates — For anyone seeking genuine, first-hand insight into the role of women in today’s Arab society, and what Arabic women can truly accomplish within Arabic society, “Hidden Beauty”is a powerful, must-see film.

The film begins by portraying the outward beauty of Arab women, but then transcends their physical beauty and enters the very soul of today’s Arabic women.

In only twenty-six minutes, filmmaker Olga Sapozhnikova profiles the lives of four beautiful, strong, resilient women who have proven themselves on their own terms within the traditionally male dominated Arab society. Shot in Dubai, the film reveals the lives of Sapozhnikova’s “heroes.” The first three women profiled are Arab women who have created impressive lives for themselves. The story of the fourth woman begins with her reasons for her decision to leave her native Finland, and move to the Gulf to find an Arabic man to marry, adopting and embracing Arabic culture in the process.

Many Arab women are hesitant to discuss personal issues with anyone, much less a documentary filmmaker, but Sapozhnikova earned each woman’s trust, and helped them to open up and share their true, inner feelings. In the West, women have re-examined and questioned the role that marriage plays in their lives. But in traditional Arab culture, it is still most important for a woman to be married and have children. One of Sapozhnikova’s “heroes” has five children, yet she is recognized as one of the most respected people in the country in her field. Sapozhnikova notes “Being a mother does not stop her from being successful. On the contrary, she receives extraordinary career and personal support from her children.”

Hailing from Russia, Olga Sapozhnikova served as a Russian diplomat in Japan. After a six year stint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia, she developed an interest in filmmaking.

Her first film “Harem”was about famous UAE women and has been telecast on Russian television.

Sapozhnikova is intrigued by the roles of both men and women in contemporary Arab culture. “It is a privilege to be a woman in a society where the man assumes the responsibility of protecting the woman. So no matter how successful she becomes, she still knows she can fall back on someone.”

“Hidden Beauty” is a story she was compelled to tell. “My movie is an inspiration to those who feel they lack opportunities. My film will show them that anything is possible.”

“Hidden Beauty” is an engaging film on many levels, one which will enlighten both men and women, providing viewers with a truly extraordinary experience.

# # # #


Olga Sapozhnikova is available for interview by telephone

and will be in the Los Angeles area next week

from Suncay June 28th through Friday July 3.

Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications
580 Haddon Avenue; Collingswood, NJ 08108

This post has already been read 69 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com