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East County Yalla

Andrea Meller, Marisa Pearl
Andrea Meller, Marisa Pearl
Mark Kabban watches a soccer game next to his coach.

Drawing on his own childhood struggles adjusting to life in the US, Lebanese-American Mark Kabban uses soccer to help kids like Yousif Khummi, a recent refugee from Iraq, emerge from the shadow of war and develop a sense of identity and possibility in the United States. East County Yalla follows the journey of Mark and Yousif and their soccer club of refugees to expose the challenges and struggles of refugees from the Middle East as they rebuild their lives in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego. Reinterpreting the bleak stories of headline news, the film offers an intimate look at the sacrifices parents make and the weighty inheritance children must navigate as lives are transposed onto a new land.