Moving to Lebanon, it’s official!

As I mentioned previously, I got accepted to the Kiva Fellows Program back in November of 2010. And today I finally found out where I will be going for the 3 months fellowship!

I’m moving to Beirut, Lebanon this summer! I have been to Lebanon twice in the past. Once back in 2000 and most recently this past winter (December of 2010).

View from my friend Edy's house in Jezzine - December 2010

I have a lot of deep emotional connections to Lebanon. My two sisters, and admittedly two of my favorite people in the whole wide world, are half Lebanese. Their father was born and raised in Tripoli, Lebanon and he met my mother when he was living in Egypt in the 1970’s. Although my sisters are half Lebanese, they have never visited Lebanon. Their father passed away in 1983, in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War, so they never got a chance to see their homecountry. In order to help them come to terms with this distant identity after the loss of their father, my mother decided to increase the Lebanese culture intake in our home while growing up. We ate Lebanese food (Tabouleh, Labneh, Ma’ne’, etc.), listened to Lebanese music (Fairuz, Wadih El Safi, etc.), and discussed Lebanese politics as if we were living in the country.

To say the least, I’m very excited about the opportunity to live in a country I feel so connected to! On another note, I’m really excited to be living in the Middle East during this historical time. Each Arab (and now even non-Arab) countries are rising up against inequality and dictatorial rule.

Now, the real details of this fellowship. I will be working with one of Kiva’s three Lebanese partners, Al Majmoua. They are based in Beirut in the Hamra district. Al Majmoua has been active as a Kiva partner for a few years and has issued over $3.5 million of Kiva loans. I’m super excited to meet the team.


About Heba Gamal

Passionate & Opinionated by nature. Travelever by addiction. Techie by association. Nerdy by choice. Activist by coincidence.

Posted on April 1, 2011, in Family, KF15, Kiva Fellowship, Lebanon, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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