The Economist covered the Laudato Si' Challenge following the event at the Vatican. Mariam, founder of WPA and Soufra Catering, opened the summit and was quoted in the publication. Excerpt below!
The Laudato Si Challenge describes itself as an initiative inspired by the papal pronouncement. But it might be truer to say that, in a small way, it counter-balances or fills in some of that fine document’s lacunas. Based in the United States, it aims to provide expertise to small businesses that offer solutions to the problems created by climate change and forced migration. This week it marked its second year of operation with a meeting at the Vatican that brought together small-scale, socially minded entrepreneurs and people who might help them develop their businesses. There was a particular emphasis on ways to ease the burden of refugees.
One presenter, Mariam Shaar, told an arresting personal story. “I was born and grew up in a refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon,” she said. “Fifty thousand people live in one square kilometre. We are not allowed to buy property outside the camp or work in [many] professions.” She is the founder of Soufra, a catering service run by refugee women in the camp, which now also has a roaming food truck and has been the subject of a documentary.
You can bring Soufra to your community by hosting a screening! The screening in Rome was the first of 1000 screenings in 2019. Learn more here.