Internationally acclaimed Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass made her film debut in the French comedy "When the Cat's Away" (1996). Her breakthrough came six years later, her portrayal of a love-starved widow in the musical drama "Red Satin" (or "Satin rouge") drawing international attention. She continued to build her worldwide reputation with a string of daring portrayals; in 2007, she earned the attention of American audiences with her role as the devoted mother of a soon-to-be deported immigrant in Thomas McCarthy's indie drama "The Visitor". That next year, she drew notice in the East with her performance in "Lemon Tree", portraying a strong-willed Palestinian woman who refuses to let her government destroy her lemon orchard. She won an Asia Pacific Screen Award for her work. Establishing herself as an excellent leading lady, Abbass has juggled films from a wide range of countries, spreading her views on social politics through her work. In 2009, she gave a voice to those Arab-Americans who feel scorned in post-9/11 America, portraying the beleaguered first generation Palestinian Raghda in "Amreeka".