Cherine Bou Rached stands by Jezzine Bikes kiosk promoting ecotourism in the area, May 18, 2018.(The Daily Star/Victoria Yan)
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Throughout Lebanon, young people are being lured from the peripheries to lucrative opportunities in the capital or the prosperous Gulf, but in south Lebanon's Jezzine, a bold initiative is offering graduates employment right in their own hometown. About 30 kilometers east of the port city of Sidon, Jezzine is tucked into the mountains, surrounded by lush greenery. On a hill overlooking Jezzine's quaint downtown, a youth-led community space and business incubator called Jezzine Hub has established itself in an old coffee shop destroyed during the Civil War that was left to ruin.The hub was launched in July 2016 as a multi-faceted organization for young people.Oxfam, the Lebanese NGO Development for People and Nature Association, the Jezzine municipality, and the Union of Municipalities of Jezzine also collaborate to support the Hub's projects.At Jezzine Hub's launch nearly two years ago, a budget was set aside to facilitate the launch of four projects pertaining to social entrepreneurship and economic development in Jezzine.Two ongoing and successful initiatives from the first round are Pometto and Jezzine Bikes. It seemed evident that there would be little to no opportunities in Jezzine or nearby.
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