Suhaila Itani prepares meals for a delivery menu in her Mar Elias home in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Suhaila Itani is not a typical housewife. She is independent, makes her own money and aims to open her own business one day. The NGO strives to promote the belief that women of any age can be productive members of their society, according to Lama Diab, the NGO's other co-founder.Jabbour and Diab say many women, such as young mothers, prefer to work at night after putting their children to sleep.Research suggests that stay-at-home mothers work at least 90 hours per week, as they clean, cook and manage children and household – all for free. Fitting in a job, if the woman can even find one, can be incredibly difficult, yet the increasingly deteriorating economic situation and consequences for poorer families often necessitate it. Aside from a $11,000 USAID grant, Diab and Jabbour are looking for other means of monetary support.Diab and Jabbour – who came up with the idea while at a social entrepreneurship workshop together – work relentlessly to keep the project afloat, and they are currently seeking to expand into other fields, such as knitting.
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