In Mexico, no child’s birthday party is complete without a piñata. Piñatas made by the Piñata King, along with his family, friends and most of his fellow townspeople, are unique pieces of crafted artisanship. For some kids, the beauty of the piñata is worth more than the sweet goodies hidden inside. For others, it’s still all about the goodies.
SNEAK PEEK PREVIEW
Nebraska is known largely for its corn production, sprawling farmlands and Midwestern values. But here’s a little-touted fact about the state: it resettled the most refugees per capita in 2016, welcoming a rush that included Syrians fleeing ISIS, Afghani interpreters who saved American lives, Iraqi families and more. As one refugee says: “America is the land of immigrants, and Omaha is the land of welcoming immigrants.” This preview of a film in progress by Telluride filmmakers Beth and George Gage offers a glimpse into a story of hope, struggle, hospitality and new beginnings.
Just south of Beirut, Lebanon, lies the Burl El Barajneh Refugee Camp, a 65-year-old mazelike settlement of crowded apartments. It’s home to victims of war from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and beyond, fathers who struggle to find employment and mothers who spend their days cooking for their families. Mariam Shaar, a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the camp, recognizes an opportunity in the oppression. She enlists a group of women and harnesses their impressive culinary skills to launch a catering company. With gorgeous plates of studded pilafs, enticing freekeh dishes and stuffed grape leaves, the women of Soufra build a loyal clientele. But when Shaar decides to grow the business beyond the boundaries of the camp, she is faced with a host of hurdles. Soufra elucidates the myriad challenges that stand between refugees and success, as well as what it takes to overcome them.