Since the program’s launch, over 50 individuals of different nationalities have matriculated in the professional hairdressing courses that “Beauty for a Better Life” offers. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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"I would love to open a salon abroad," 21-year-old Michael Assaf said, clutching his newly earned hairdressing diploma.Since the program's launch in 2014, over 50 individuals of different ages and nationalities – but all hailing from underprivileged backgrounds – have matriculated in the professional hairdressing courses that "Beauty for a Better Life" offers.For communities barred many professions in Lebanon and where unemployment is cripplingly high, which includes almost all Palestinian and Syrian graduates, in-house salons are a viable alternative. The Norwegian Refugee Council has for three years also offered beautician courses for Syrian and Palestinian refugees. The training is part of NRC's larger initiative to provide vocational courses.For Hounaida al-Jurdi, a professor at the American University of Beirut's Olayan School of Business, these courses also constitute an avenue of hope.Time was invested in taking sewing classes, beauty courses or tutorials on preserve-making with the aspiration that the knowledge acquired could then be used to provide for the family.
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