The Syrian architect Mohamad Hafez received a one-way ticket to the United States. Missing his homeland, he decided to create a stand-in, sculpting life-like miniatures of the Damascus cityscape he had left behind. Using materials found in nature, thrift stores, flea markets and trash, Hafez creates miniature worlds that remind him of that home. After 9/11, he was unable to return to Syria and as an architecture student, he transformed his homesickness into creativity. This process has helped him to make peace with the separation from his family and homeland, and to remember what it is that makes all of us human no matter what trauma we have experienced or where we live. Winner of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Documentary Short, "A Broken House" is among the most celebrated documentaries of 2022.


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  • Learn more about Mohamad Hafez' artwork and architecture.
  • Read more about the plight of refugees across the world who have been displaced by war.
  • Can you imagine what it would be like to be forced to flee your home because of war in your own hometown? Allow this empathy to touch your heart with compassion for your fellow humans.

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