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On a summer day in 1965, five teenage boys in Beirut were introduced to "the first surfboard" in Lebanon. Anwar Rayes, the only member of the group who still lives in Beirut, affectionately remembers the surf crew as the "Original Five" to bring surfing to Lebanon.Many surfers favor Jiyyeh for its consistent waves, where Ali Elamine, a pioneer of Lebanon's surfing industry, opened his surf shop and certified surf school in 2012 .Elamine, who is also the President of the Surfing Association in Lebanon, says there is currently a team representing Lebanon in the final stages of the Olympic trials.Despite being a male-dominated sport, Elamine says that there are some "hardcore" female surfers in Lebanon who show up regularly.Thirty-year-old Lebanese-American Hannah Mazkour was embraced by the surf community when she moved to Lebanon four years ago.The burgeoning surf culture notwithstanding, one of the biggest hurdles facing the sport is the privatization of Lebanon's beaches, according to Elamine.
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