(director/writer: Thomas A. Morgan; screenwriter: Mohammed el Manasterly; cinematographer: Johny Karam; editor: Mohammed el Manasterly; music: Alex Seaver, Ken Joseph; cast: Mariam AlShaar; Runtime: 73; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Thomas Morgan, Kathleen Glynn, Trevor Hall, Craig Piligian; Pilgrim Media Group; 2017-USA/Singapore/Lebanon-in Arabic with English subtitles)

Tells the uplifting story of the 68-year-old Palestinian woman, Mariam Alshaar.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The earnest, workmanlike documentary by Thomas A. Morgan (“Lucky Me”) tells the uplifting story of the 68-year-old Palestinian woman, Mariam Alshaar, born and raised in the Bourj al Barajneh refugee camp (housing refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq) in Lebanon, that was established in 1948. The always cheerful Mariam starts a catering business in the camp called Soufra with help from NGOs ( nongovernmental organizations). The thriving business run by Mariam and her fellow female camp refugees features enticing food, as it caters to parties, schools, markets and all kinds of local events, plus these amateur business people navigate the running of a business like professionals. The gist of this pleasant film follows the unlikely successful venture of these obsessed women who are operating under very difficult circumstances. The humanitarian drama uses interviews, observations of life in the refugee community and reflects on the discriminatory life of the refugees as it explores their dreams and desire for freedom.