“Souk El Tayeb” Partners with UNICEF to launch “AHLAN”: A new approach to create opportunities for youth in Lebanon

01 July 2022
Youth with UNICEF and Anera staff posing for the picture during the launch of “AHLAN”
UNICEF2022/Lebanon

Beirut June 30, 2022 – UNICEF, in partnership with “Souk El Tayeb”, launched “AHLAN”, a network of community-based social enterprises that aims at creating sustainable and local businesses and providing opportunities for vulnerable youth, females and families within their communities to meet the increasing demand in the agro-tourism sector. Ahlan will include 4 small scale restaurants “Ahlan bel matbakh”, 2 guest homes “Ahlan bel beit” and 4 farmers' shops “Ahlan bel deken”.

Since 2017 and through its social entrepreneurship programme, seed-funding, incubation and coaching, UNICEF has supported more than 3,000 vulnerable youth in setting up a total of 1,982 social enterprises, out of which 49% were female. 33% per cent of those enterprises were in the food and agriculture sector while 7% were in the hospitality and tourism sector.

“During this unprecedented crisis that Lebanon is undergoing, it is critical to find innovative solutions to encourage the young generation to stay in the country and become active agents of change in their own communities,” said Edouard Beidgbeder UNICEF Representative to Lebanon. “AHLAN creates a new business model in the agro-tourism sector, adapted for Lebanon's youth and families to create quality jobs and work opportunities for vulnerable youth, women and unprivileged communities”.

AHLAN is set to create an alternative model of sustainable domestic tourism whereby low to medium income families can afford leisure and internal tourism; eating in a small-scale rural restaurant, buying traditional agricultural produce or enjoying a nice escape at a local guest home. Moreover, more than 150 vulnerable young man and women from across Lebanon will benefit from technical and vocational trainings and subsequently employed in the enterprises.

With AHLAN, Souk El Tayeb sets a new vision of local tourism that celebrates the best that Lebanon has to offer: its hospitality. Kamal Mozawak, Souk al-Tayyeb founder, addresses youth saying: “Adapt to the change. And create new projects that fit the new reality”.

With the generous funding from the Australian government, UNICEF and “Souk El Tayeb” will support the establishment of those 10 social enterprises while building capacity and employing Lebanese and non-Lebanese youth.

Media contacts

Amira Alameddine
Communication Officer
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon
Najwa Yassine
Media Relations Assistant
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/lebanon/.

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