Entrepreneur and generational refugee Mariam Shaar knows a thing or two about changing the world. Born and raised in the Burj el Barajneh camp outside of Beirut, Lebanon, Shaar was determined to steer the course of fate for herself and her community. To do so, she looked most steadfast way people so often connect: gathered around the table for a delicious, home-cooked meal. Her efforts have been captured in a documentary sharing the name of her catering company, “Soufra.”
The Burj el Barajneh camp was founded in 1948 and is home to some 30,000 refugees, many who fled since the civil war in Syria broke out in 2011. The camp was originally intended to accommodate up to 10,000 refugees. Shaar took note of the limited job opportunities challenging those around her and founded Soufra to bring people together, both at the table and within her business. She employs women from Syria, Iraq, Palestinine and Lebanon, who together have formed beautiful relationships while breaking down cultural barriers. All in all, as the film portrays, Soufra has had a profound impact on these women in addition to providing opportunities for these women to become leaders in their own communities.
Habitas Rise will present this stirring documentary at our clubhouse in NYC followed by a panel with the film’s director and producer Thomas Morgan. The film, which has been featured as an official selection at Cannes and the Berlin Film Festival, shines a light on one of the largest refugee crises in history while celebrating the hope and resilience of these women.