aliara

Fellows Blog Posts by aliara

Jul 8, 2009 LB Lebanon

I think most of the other fellows will agree – the best (and the most rewarding, most inspiring and sometimes, the most awkward) part of this fellowship is going out into the field to meet the borrowers. Though each of my field experiences has been unique, there are a few things I have come to expect.

I’ve traveled up to the mountains, down to the valley and along the coast to meet borrowers. The scenery at each place has been drastically different: the northern Bekaa valley is flat and somewhat arid; Mount Lebanon – lush and green; and the Southern coast – flaxen and dotted...

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Jun 12, 2009 LB Lebanon

Over 7,000 miles away from San Francisco, I’ve finally arrived in Lebanon to start my fellowship with Al Majmoua , a microfinance institution based in Beirut but with mulitiple branches around the country. Flying from my last connection in Dubai to Beirut, we cross over an endless expanse of desert as we pass over Saudi Arabia and Jordan.  The desert starts to make way to rocky mountain peaks as we fly over Syria and finally I start to see specs of green -al-arz (the cedars) – I’ve arrived.

The noise from the screaming kids (in-flight entertainment system was broken-lovely) and...

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