Ain Ebel Holds Third Farmer’s Market and Hundredth Hiking Trip Thanks to CSP Support
Located in the region of Nabatieh, the town of Ain Ebel has suffered significant economic hardships due to its proximity to Lebanon’s southern border and contentious relations with surrounding villages. Dwindling economic opportunities, especially among the youth, has forced many to move away in search of better futures; only 1,800 of its 10,800 registered residents live there permanently. In response, during the summer of 2021, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) supported Ain Ebel to develop local tourism activities by establishing a cultural hiking trail and upgrading the town’s market and festival grounds. Parallel to this in-kind assistance, CSP trained the municipality and members of Ain Ebel Association (AWFA) on the trail’s maintenance, first aid, the planning of market and festival events, and facilitated the signing of an MOU between the town and the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association, which resulted in the trail being officially placed on Lebanon’s map of hiking trails.
On August 11 and 12, 2022, around 2,000 people from Ain Ebel, neighboring villages, and diaspora attended the town’s third farmer’s market featuring 22 local vendors. The level of attendance was a significant increase from the approximately 100 visitors in October 2021 and 600 in April 2022. The event equally celebrated the hundredth official hiking trip, which was featured on No Garlic No Onions, a popular touristic YouTube channel.
“The high sales of products prepared by mothers and young women will support hundreds of families in the community,” stated Bahaa Sader, one of the market organizers.