Film, Documentary
11 min
Aug. 2019
English & Arabic / English Subtitles
The Syrian conflict caused a rapid and intense human migration. In early 2016, the Jordanian government announced that it would pursue a unique refugee hosting model in hopes to transform its largest refugee camp, Zaatari, into a self-sufficient and sustainable semi-permanent city. Exposure to sustained conflict impacts the psychological capital and long term performance of entrepreneurial ventures. The investigators embed themselves into the Zaatari community to spend time with entrepreneurs who fled crisis and decided to start a new business. Through the collection of personal narratives and field surveys, the PI, Dr. Gleason and the Co-PI, Ms. Beamer investigate the impact of the psychological capital of refugees in the Zaatari camp on the performance of entrepreneurial ventures indicating a process of transformation from aid-dependence to self-sufficiency. The goal of highlighting “transformative entrepreneuring” is to benefit camp residents, the host community, and nation. Interviews and surveys with these refugees expose the narratives that can indicate the influence of policy, aid, and outsiders on the specialized refugee Zaatari camp.

  • Becky Beamer
  • Dr. Kim Gleason
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Social Justice, independant
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Arab Emirates
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Becky Beamer, Dr. Kim Gleason

Becky Beamer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, book artist, and Fulbright Fellow. Her area of expertise is international social justice storytelling that encourages public discourse on personal identity, inequity investigations, and cross-cultural communication. For over 15 years, Ms.Beamer worked on documentary television for companies including National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discovery, and PBS. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from the University of Alabama. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the United Arab Emirates at the American University of Sharjah in the Department of Art & Design. “I believe in the immortality of art & collaboration. Every adventure supplies new inspiration for artistic expression, content, and process. With so many stories to tell, there’s no reason to stay in one place.”

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Director Statement

Thank you for considering PSYCAP as part of your documentary short programming. The two filmmakers, Dr.Kim Gleason and Becky Beamer believe that sharing the “transformative entrepreneuring” practiced by refugees in Zaatari camp benefits the host community, residents, and the world. Interviews and surveys with these refugees expose the narratives that can indicate the positive or negative influence of policy, aid, and outsiders on the success of the camp. This is the first time that a Professor in the School of Business at American University of Sharjah has teamed up with a Professor in the Art School to produce creative output that is collaborative and impactful. We look forward to continuing our journey.