A dilapidated swing in the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood in Tripoli, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (The Daily Star/Finbar Anderson)
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The phrase "during the war" means different things to different people.When Ahmad Khanati, a motorcycle mechanic in Jabal Mohsen, says the economic situation in the Tripoli suburb was "better during the war," he's referring to the armed clashes that have erupted sporadically between his neighborhood and adjacent Bab al-Tabbaneh, most recently in 2014 .It's clear that international donors haven't overlooked the area around Jabal Mohsen.Whole neighborhoods of nearby Qibbeh remain destroyed, without receiving the same attention as its neighbors that were the high-profile epicenters of the armed clashes.The 2014 conflict drew the attention of the international community. "There's a lot of money that was put into Tripoli over the years and probably not enough impact," concedes Lea Baroudi, president of NGO March Lebanon, which has carried out projects in both Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.She doesn't believe, however, that local NGOs are at fault, but highlights the lack of attention paid to the local infrastructure as indicative of "the huge government negligence in the area.Recently the municipality began a project to open a youth office to give young people a resource for acquiring information, making complaints and generally helping them feel more engaged. However, it needs further funds to complete the project.
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