Soufra follows the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burl El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. The film follows Mariam as she sets out to change her fate by launching a catering company, “Soufra,” and then expand it into a food truck business with a diverse team of fellow refugee woman who now share this camp as their home. Together, they heal the wounds of war through the unifying power of food while taking their future into their own hands through an unrelenting belief in Mariam, and in each other. In the process, Mariam is breaking barriers, pulling together Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese women to work side by side and form beautiful friendships while running this thriving business.
Soufra will shine a new and revealing light on people inside of the largest refugee crisis in human history, but ultimately this film is about hope, grit, passion and the common bonds created by bringing people together around food as a bridge to overcome all barriers. Though Mariam is officially considered “stateless” she is a beacon of hope and home for thousands upon thousands of women in the most unlikely of places. Mariam and her team will be just that for thousands more once her story is told through Soufra.
Thomas Morgan is a film producer and director. His award-winning work includes Storied Streets and Waiting for Mamu. Thomas was also executive producer for India’s Daughter, which received the Peabody award for journalism, and the Emmy-nominated film Silenced. His latest film, Soufra, will be released this fall. Based in Beirut, Lebanon, the film is about an enterprising group of female refugees who are trying to make history with a food truck.
Morgan has spoken before the US Congress, the PPL Forum at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, for the United Nations on disruptive innovations and numerous TEDx talks.
He is the co-founder of Rebelhouse, a Los Angeles-based film production company. He received his honorary Doctorate degree from his alma mater Central Michigan University and teaches documentary filmmaking to young students.
Morgan is a father of four and is in the process of relocating back to the United States after living three years in Singapore.