Womedia Interview: Mariam Shaar, Founder of Soufra

On World Refugee Day, we look at the inspiring story of Soufra, the catering company turned food truck business founded by Mariam Shaar in a refugee camp located in the south of Lebanon.

Mariam’s family has been living in Burj Al-Barajneh, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, for 70 years. This is where she was born and raised, and this is where she saw an opportunity to employ and empower women who have scarce opportunities within the camp.
“When we say empower, we don’t only mean financially. We also want to see the social impact on refugee families,” she tells us in this #womedia interview.

In 2013, she founded Soufra, a catering company that is more than just a business. It has become more about the community built around it and the social impact it drives by empowering refugee women on a financial, personal and social front.

After a successful kickstarter campaign allowed the company to expand into a food truck business, Mariam now wants to open up a café in the camp that will serve as a space for the community she has fostered.