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The Levantine Institute of Tripoli – unique in its location and core mission – welcomed the local community and potential students to a rooftop event last weekend in anticipation of the center's opening later this month.Khouri originally came up with the idea for the institute while working in humanitarian organizations in France, where he grew up. At the heart of his concept was local engagement: bringing foreigners to Tripoli to contribute positively to the city's community, and particularly to assist underprivileged and refugee youth.While registering for Arabic courses, foreign students at the institute have the opportunity to offer English or French support to disadvantaged youth in the Tripoli area.Harfouche says that all of the foreign students who have enrolled in the institute have also signed up for the optional volunteer component.The institute's location is somewhat remarkable, but Tripoli is both a strategic choice linguistically and a deeply personal one. Harfouche grew up close to where the institute now stands, while Khouri spent every summer in a village north of the city, near the Syrian border.
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