If you will allow me, I would like to share a small personal story with you.
After college I lived in Beirut Lebanon for 2 years. I learned Arabic, worked in a Palestinian Refugee Camp, prayed daily for the city and the country to be healed from its years of war and violence, fell in love with the city, the culture, the people. Jonathan and I also dated long distance while I lived there and on one visit while standing on a roof top in downtown Beirut with him, was the moment I knew I would marry him.
To say this place and these people hold a special place in our hearts is an understatement.
And I sincerely believe that living there played a large part in me learning the art of hospitably.
It would be hard to find a more welcoming, gracious, and hospitable people than the Lebanese. I was repeatedly invited into homes where I was fed abundantly and generously with love and openness. That kindness and spirit has marked me to this day. I learned that you don't need a perfect home or a lot of money to make people feel welcomed and at home and fed well. You don't need to agree with every political and religious view of your guest to make them feel seen, loved and heard. You simply need to be willing to open your door and say " Āahlan wasahlan" (welcome).
I just learned that the school that I took Arabic lessons at was in one of the sections of town most impacted by the recent explosion. The building was destroyed and the teachers and staff are without jobs and they lack the resources to rebuild. Thankfully the students and teachers, though some were injured, are all doing ok now.
We want so badly to help, so for the next 3 days, we will be donating 100% of our sales from both our Store downtown and Online to the Saifi Institute and their rebuilding efforts. You can read more about the school here and how to give directly as well.
We know there are many needs in Beirut right now and many organization that you can give to, however, since we are a small business we wanted to give to a small business there that we have personal ties to. We know the money is going 100% to rebuilding of their school and to help those who have no jobs right now make it while they rebuild.