Join us for a special screening of Soufra, an award-winning film that follows the inspirational story of a team of refugee women in Lebanon that defy all odds and launch a successful catering company and food truck they call Soufra. In discussing the role that food and cooking play in the lives of displaced communities, we will also be featuring Vancouver’s own equivalent of Soufra–a social enterprise called Tayybeh that employs Syrian newcomer women chefs which is now a full service catering company, a seasonal food truck and specialty food producer. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion about healing through cooking and the role that agency and community play in helping refugees. The panel will be followed by a ticketed reception featuring delicious Syria dishes courtesy of Tayybeh.
Event sponsored by Woodward’s SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement; Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies; SFU International and SIETARBC
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 Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. The film follows Mariam as she sets out against all odds to change her fate by launching a successful 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.
Tayybeh is a social enterprise that began as a one-off pop-up dinner and turned into a growing community that embraces Syrian newcomer women in BC. Tayybeh supports Syrian women newcomer chefs by offering them a source of income and opportunities for social integration by connecting them with community through the preparation of delicious home-style Syrian culinary specialities. In two years, the company has grown by leaps and bounds, adding more Syrian chefs and their daughters to the operation and launching a seasonal food truck. Already one of the fastest-growing caterers in the Lower Mainland, Tayybeh has gotten rave reviews from most of Vancouver’s food critics and been awarded Western Living Magazine’s “Foodies of the Year” last year and the “Champion of Women” Award from Voices of Muslim Women this year. Today Tayybeh’s chefs sell their products in markets across the city and lead sold-out Syrian monthly cooking classes. Tayybeh is the subject of a recently released short film by Eva Brownstein.