Dhur Mash: An Escape from the Hustle and Bustle of City Life
City life can get really stressful, squeezing through the tight work schedules, heavy traffic, and dead concrete buildings. We all need that once in a while retreat in the heart of greenery. Contact Hiba from Dhur Mash; she’s got just what you need.
Sky-high walls, infuriating car horns, stale and brutalist structure, and lower back pain from sitting at your work desk all day: these are just a glimpse of what one experiences upon living in the city. Although the city is the birthplace of opportunities, it’s also the burial ground of one’s mental and physical well-being. The city provides you with many amenities, all is close within your reach. Nonetheless, it remains lacking in one aspect vital to all human nature that is, well, ‘nature’ itself. We all need some time in nature, a place where we can reconnect with ourselves and listen to our deepest thoughts, a place where we could ‘breathe.’
Hiba Kaddour, a 28-year-old architect from the village of Kfarbanin in the Denniyeh district, saw the need for such a space and mental outlet. Her back-breaking work as an architect only added to her drive to create such an initiative in her village where she opened a hostel that allows visitors to experience what it feels like to be surrounded by peace and quiet, and savor the authentic Lebanese village food; YUM! In a country whose village inhabitants make up a negligible portion of the overall population due to how tiny it is, Hiba saw it as an emergency to save villages from going into extinction and rejuvenate village life and traditions. “Although our village possesses great potential to grow and thrive, the villages’ populations are dwindling and they currently don’t exceed the 2% threshold. Add to that the young villagers’ migration to bigger cities in search of work,” explains Hiba.
Hiba’s project is called Dhur Mash, a new initiative spread over an area of 8000m2 and seated 1500m2 above sea level, allowing visitors to indulge in a first-hand experience of serenity and quiet while staying at rooms with an open view to the whole village and the eye-capturing Lebanese wildlife and nature. Through this project. Hiba aims to employ village youth and ladies by promoting their homemade products or “mouneh” as the Lebanese call it, not to mention their mouth- watering Manekish Saj whose taste are sure to take you down the nostalgia path to your days as a young child spending the weekends at grandma’s village homestead!
“The project targets youth and family, especially city residents who wish to spend some nice time in a place far away from the traffic and humid summer weather,” quotes Hiba.
Hiba came up with her idea when she participated with INJAZ Lebanon’s two programs, The Generation of Innovation Leaders (GIL)” - powered by UNICEF Lebanon and funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands - and Darb w Dar which is part of the Local Development Programme for Deprived Urban Areas in North Lebanon (UDP-NL) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with INJAZ Lebanon and the Ministry of Social Affairs, and co-financed by The European Union in Lebanon and the German Government. These programs aim to develop entrepreneurship skills and elevate these start ups’ abilities in the path of creating and initiating new ideas that serve the community. However, her big break came through when she joined the YAM program (Youth Agri Market) and got the attention she deserved from the Ahlan team, which is a partnership between UNICEF Lebanon and Souk El Tayeb. On this note, INJAZ Lebanon would like to express its honest gratitude for GIZ and UNICEF Lebanon for providing the space for these young entrepreneurs to create and flourish with ideas and blossom with success; thank you!
Currently, Dhur Mash houses 3 bungalows as well as a large outdoor space used for a multitude of activities. Also, they started developing their own nutritional dietary produce with the help of local farmers and workers from the area, helping the community flourish and gain a wider recognition.
INJAZ Lebanon would like to wish Dhur Mash the best of luck in their journey towards creating a sanctuary for those who seek a pause from this workaholic society.
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