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Source: Vimeo/Rebelhouse Studios

How A Group Of Refugee Women Started Their Own Organic Rooftop Garden

By Kristin Hunt

The Burj al-Barajneh Refugee Camp in Lebanon just got its own organic rooftop garden, thanks to the work of women living on the camp site. The garden will allow these women to produce vegetables and herbs for their growing catering company, Soufra.

Soufra was founded by Miriam Shaar, a generational refugee who grew up and lives in the camp, located near Beirut. She was the subject of the 2017 documentary Soufra, which chronicles her efforts to expand her catering business into a food truck entreprise — all with the help of other female refugees living in Burj al-Barajneh.

Shaar’s company was founded with the help of the Women’s Program Association (WPA), an NGO that supports women and children at nine of Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps. The WPA seeks to promote independence, empowerment, and a better quality of life among the millions of young and/or female Palestinian refugees in the country. As Soufra’s sponsor, it has already helped employ the company’s roughly 45 workers, who are mostly female.