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Corner Store

See a preview of this Truly CA episode.

To many of the customers who frequent San Francisco's Church Street corner store, the man behind the counter was a friendly neighbor without a past. But Yousef Elhaj was more than a beloved shop owner -- he was also a Palestinian immigrant and long-distance father working tirelessly to make a better life for his family in America. His story of struggles and triumphs is told Corner Store.

Caught in a desperate financial situation during the Second Intifada, Elhaj made the difficult decision to leave his wife and three small children in Palestine to start a new life for them all in San Francisco. For the next decade he worked day and night to build a small business, save money, and become part of his adopted Church Street community while still trying to stay connected from afar.

Corner Store documents Elhaj's resoundingly universal tale of hard won choices for a better life. Viewers see Elhaj's life in San Francisco and the challenges of the immigration process for his family, and follow his journey back to his fractured homeland to finally reunite with his wife and kids. But a lot has changed in a decade, and Elhaj must confront the current realities in both his family and his country and decide if a new life in America is really still the right path for them to take.

Upcoming Broadcasts:

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Filmmaker Profiles:

Katherine Bruens

Read more about Katherine Bruens, filmmaker of Corner Store.

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Acknowledgments

Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with Cal Humanities.

Cal HumanitiesCal Humanities produces and supports cultural experiences through media, literature, discussion and more, to promote a greater understanding of the human condition.


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