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Emergency cash assistance helps reopen women-led business after Beirut blast

Fifty-year-old Sahar Dbouk and her five children live in the Basta al-Tahta neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. For over twenty years, Sahar has been managing a mini-mart and bakery in the area, the income from which helps support her household expenses and children’s tuition. 

Basta al-Tahta was one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the Beirut port explosion in 2020. Sahar’s business was nearly destroyed by the blast, and it left her and her family traumatized. The psychological, social, and financial support she received through CLWR partner Norwegian Church Aid helped restore Sahar’s confidence and strength. Emergency cash support allowed her to repair the doors, windows, furniture, and appliances of her shop, purchase new stock and reopen for business. 

People of the neighborhood fondly describe Sahar as a busy bee. Recently, her two daughters have also started working with her at the bakery. Sahar has many dreams for the future, including establishing an education center for people with learning difficulties and special needs.

“I advise every woman and girl, at any age, whether in her work or in her personal life, to never give up on her goals and to turn every challenge into an opportunity to reach her dreams,” Sahar says.