A former mayor says few of the youth who left to study in Turkey have returned to the town. (The Daily Star/Bilal Jawich )
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Noura Khodor, 28, sits in her pink robe on a Saturday as a throng of siblings buzz in and out of the room.For over 400 years, the Turkmen community of Kaweishra, in Lebanon's northern Akkar province, has orally passed on a language that is not taught in any Lebanese schools and has even become obsolete in modern-day Turkey.However, since 2008 the town has employed Turkish teachers to teach reading and writing in modern Turkish. The project has been organized and paid for by the Turkish government free of charge for this small community. From the 1990s through to today, Asaad continues to liaise with Turkish ambassadors, officials and delegations to introduce them to his community and other Turkmen people in Lebanon.One of the most important projects was the building of a temporary high school, as the town did not have one, while the Turkish government supported the construction of a proper school building.The Turkish government dug a well and connected all the homes of the town to the drinking water.In retirement, Asaad has made it his mission to connect NGOs, Turkish delegations and diplomats, and Turkish and Lebanese media with his small community.
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