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  • The sky's the limit for the female solar engineering students at India's Barefoot College.

    The sky's the limit for the female solar engineering students at India's Barefoot College.

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  • Female engineers from Jordan

    Female engineers from Jordan

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  • Rafea in the village with her husband Alian in the background

    Rafea in the village with her husband Alian in the background

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  • Rafea in the village with her son

    Rafea in the village with her son

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  • Rafea in the village with her son and daughter

    Rafea in the village with her son and daughter

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  • Rafea in the classroom at Barefoot College with a fellow student looking at what she's writing

    Rafea in the classroom at Barefoot College with a fellow student looking at what she's writing

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  • Rafea at Barefoot College talking on the phone with her husband Alian

    Rafea at Barefoot College talking on the phone with her husband Alian

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  • Rafea, Badr, and Umm Badr at a village meeting after returning from India

    Rafea, Badr, and Umm Badr at a village meeting after returning from India

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  • The students are "learning-by-doing" in the classroom at Barefoot College.

    The students are "learning-by-doing" in the classroom at Barefoot College.

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  • Rafea dances with seven African women

    Rafea dances with seven African women

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  • Arial view of the old campus

    Arial view of the old campus

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The Film

Rafea is 30 years old with four children and a husband who is eager to take a third wife. She is a Bedouin woman living in a small Jordanian village close to the desert. With encouragement from the country's Ministry of Environment, she leaves her village for the first time to go to the Barefoot College in India to train to become a solar-energy engineer.

The Barefoot College in India was founded by Bunker Roy to provide knowledge and training to the rural poor to empower them to make their communities self-reliant and sustainable. The solar course at Barefoot College has women from Kenya, Burkina Faso, Columbia, and Guatemala.

And now Rafea from Jordan. She is the first Jordanian woman ever to attend such a program, and she dreams of returning to bring much-needed income and talents to support her family and village.

But two months into the program, Rafea’s husband insists that she return home or he will divorce her and take her children. With no real choice in the matter, Rafea goes back to her village and sets out to persuade her husband and other family members that her studies in India benefit everyone.

In her journey away from home, back, and then away once more, Rafea goes through a profound transformation, returning as an educated woman with the skills to earn an income and achieve for her community what others could not.

The Filmmakers

  1. Mona EldaiefDirector
  2. Jehane NoujaimDirector
  3. Mette HeideProducer