A naïve Palestinian teen gradually awakens to her people's plight after being raised in an orphanage opened to care for children rendered homeless following the partitioning of Palestine in 1948. Shortly after the state of Israel was created, Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbass) was on her way to work when she noticed more than 50 Palestinian children wandering aimlessly through the streets. Concerned for their well-being, she vowed to ensure that the children were sheltered and well-fed. By the time six months had passed, Husseini had taken in nearly 2,000 orphaned children, and created the Dar Al-Tifel Institute, which operated under the philosophy that peace can only be achieved through education. Enter seven-year-old Miral (Freida Pinto), who was sent by her father to live in the Dar Al-Tifel Institute following her mother's death in 1978. Far too young to comprehend the ongoing struggle between the Jews and Palestinians at the time she entered the institute, Miral remained blissfully ignorant of the conflict taking place just outside her walls until she accepted a teacher's position at a refugee camp at the age of 17. As the reality of the ongoing conflict comes into focus for Miral, she enters into a romance with Hani (Omar Metwally), an outspoken political activist intent on taking back Palestine by force. Seduced by Hani's passion yet uncertain that violence is the answer, Miral begins to weigh the benefits of direct action against the more peaceful and deliberate approach to independence favored by her longtime mentor.