Salaam Dunk


With plenty of pop music and ‘girl power’, Salaam Dunk delivers a tale of hope and inspiration, courtesy of one winning group of Iraqi women basketball players at the American University in Sulaimani, Iraq. The women come from all over the country to attend this prestigious university, but many cannot tell family back home that they go to an ‘American’ college. The team itself is a ‘mini Iraq’—comprised of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Christians. Through interviews and personal video diaries, we learn about the women, their families and their experiences since the US invasion in 2003. Their narratives provide a rare look at recent events in Iraq with stories of loss and choices that have to be made. Education is the difference between the past and the future for these women and basketball becomes a key part of that education. Their team is like a family and the game is like life. And as their coach Ryan says: sports teaches fight and resilience, but who knows fight and resilience better than these women?