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The beginning...

The beginning...

Friends - Meike and I have just finished our first week working for Basmeh & Zeitooneh. We are excited to be working here. May I share with you some highlights?

  • On my first day, Tuesday, I received an e-mail from Marieka Brosman - the CEO of the Asfari
    Foundation and one of our donors. She said and I quote: "Deep breath and smile - you are
    surrounded by very capable people in an organisation that is one of the most successful Syrian
    organisations in Lebanon so I am sure they will guide you".  She is right. You should all be very proud
    of what you have built - but I want to particularly praise Fadi Hallisso.

  • On Wednesday, Reem Al-Haswani, Arz Alam and myself went to visit the new school in Majdal
    Anjar. This is a spectacular building. I attach a photograph. The school will open for registration on
    October 29th.

  • On Friday we briefed the donors of the new school: the Germany-based Rotary Club. Roula Al-
    Homsi created a report about the summer school. One sentence stood out:"Even though the majority
    of the students enrolled as illiterate, by the end of the project, they were able to graduate with a
    minimum standard of reading and writing". What amazing impact!

  • And one low point. I am now driving Fadi's car. Nothing in my life has prepared me for driving in
    Beirut. The journey from Furn Al-Chebak to our flat should take 15 minutes. In my case it takes well
    over an hour because I get lost in the one-way streets. When I find a parking place it feels like a
    miracle. Sometimes I forget where I have parked the car and Meike and I spend half an hour walking
    around the streets looking for it. Things can only get better. 

In the next few weeks I would like to meet as many of you as I can. Thank you for the work that you
are doing.


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