“We love to listen to our customers and for this reason we would be delighted to hear from you if you would like a bespoke fair trade product made especially for you.”

Fair Trade Travels with Sabeena Ahmed - International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Lebanon - June/July 2016

Fair Trade Travels with Sabeena Ahmed - International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Lebanon - June/July 2016

From Dubai to Baskinta

 

The International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2016, Baskinta, Lebanon - Building Bridges through Fair Trade

 

FAIR TRADE LEBANON VISITS

During the last week of Ramadan, June/July 2016 on a hot bright sunny morning I took a flight to Beirut, Lebanon.

I'd never participated in an International Fair Trade Towns Conference but was excited to know that I would be representing the United Arab Emirates.

 

On the fairtrade bus to Fourzol and Hedeithe, Lebanon - The Little Fair Trade Shop

Fairtraders on the bus to Fourzol and Hedeithe

 

Fairtrade Cooperative in Fourzol - The Little Fair Trade Shop

Fair Trade Lebanon - Cooperative in Fourzol

 

Fairtraders enjoying freshly prepared hummus in Fourzol - The Little Fair Trade Shop

Fairtraders Ailsa and Georgio enjoying freshly prepared hummus in Fourzol

 

The Fair Trade Lebanon Van - The little Fair Trade Shop The Fair Trade Lebanon Van

Vineyards in Fourzol - The Little Fair Trade shop

Vineyards in Fourzol

 

Many thanks to Ms Elen Jones (Fair Trade Wales) for introducing the visit.

 

I've also attached a short recording of the ladies producing hummus.

 

The second visit was to the Najma Al Subah (Morning Star) Cooperative in Hedeithe.

Najma Al Subah Cooperative - The Little Fair Trade Shop

The Najma Al Subah Cooperative (Morning Star) Hediethe

 

The Najma Al Subah Ladies, Hedeithe - The Little Fair Trade Shop

Wafa and the Najma Al Subah ladies

 

Najma Al Subah Cooperative - The Little Fair Trade Shop

Certificate from the UNDP

 

Apricot Jam I think - the Little Fair Trade Shop

The ladies preparing jam for production

 

Me and Wafa - the little fair trade shop

Wafa and Me outside the Najma Al Subah Cooperative

 

I've attached a couple of videos of my visit to the Najma Al Subah Cooperative for you to view at your leisure.

 

It was wonderful to meet Wafa and hear how the cooperative had changed lives since its inception empowering women, creating employment and providing financially stability and independence.

 

 

At the end of our day we were taken to the Fair Trade Lebanon Shop next to the head office in Beirut.

 

It was a lovely shop stocked with fairtrade olive oil, figs, lentils, olives, salt, hummus, jam, saffron and gift baskets. All the international fairtrade co-ordinators purchased Fair Trade Lebanon gifts for loved ones back home.

 

 

THE INTERNATIONAL FAIR TRADE TOWNS CONFERENCE 2016 - BASKINTA, LEBANON - BUILDING BRIDGES THROUGH FAIR TRADE

 


Saturday July 2nd 2016 - Day One

Program

10th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Baskinta, Lebanon Program ''Building Bridges Through Fairtrade;;

 

The Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - The International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2016, Baskinta, Lebanon

Since it's inception March 2006 the Fair Trade Lebanon Association has grown to nine villages.

1. Baskinta

2. Menjez

3. Abra

4. Ain Ebel

5. Baysariyeh

6. Fourzol

7. Saidoun

8. Mhaidthe

9. Kfar Tebnit

Menjez was declared Lebanon's the first fair trade village by its mayor 9th May 2013.

Ann, Jeremy, Henk, Sophie and others at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon

 International fairtrade delegates Ann, Melissa, Sophi, Katarina, Jeremy and Henk arrive for the conference.

 

Denu and Kathryn

 Nicholas, Denu and Kathryn

 

Day One - IFFC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon (the delegates)

Anjali, Johann and Sophie

 

Day one of the conference began with the national anthem of Lebanon.

 

 

 

Bruce Crowther MBE - Fair Trade Towns Ambassador at Baskinta Lebanon 2016

 Bruce Crowther MBE talking about Garstang and his fairtrade journey

 

Wafa from Najma Al Subah talking at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon

Wafa from the Najma Al Subah Cooperative talking about her experiences

 

Minister of State for Administrative reform, the President of Fair Trade Lebanon and the Mayor of Baskinta spoke of Jo Cox MP and her selfless work for refugees and for a tolerant and compassionate world.

It was great to see Wafa from the Najma Al Subah Cooperative again and watch her official video.

Video to be added.

During the afternoon delegates separated into their chosen workshops. My presentation was titled ''Building Bridges with the Youth in Dubai the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.'' 

 

Bruce, Matt, Anna and fairtrade co-ordinators from Japan along with many from Movement Sociale watched my impromptu fair trade puppet show.

 

Fair Trade Puppet Show with Sabeena Ahmed at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon

 

Fair Trade Puppet Show with Sabeena Ahmed - International Fair Trade Conference 2016, Lebanon, Baskinta

 

Fair Trade Puppet Show with Sabeena Ahmed, Yara and Hala at the International Fair trade towns conference 2016, Baskinta Lebanon

I am very grateful to my two friends Yara and Hala who enjoyed working with Fairis the Frog, Chalak the Monkey, Chu Maya and Ram Kali.

 

Yara, Hala and members of Movement Sociale at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon

Many thanks to William Goldstein Fair Trade Coordinator Fair Trade Towns America for taking photographs of the puppet show.

 

Movement Social and Fairtrade coordinators at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon

 

Sabeena Ahmed, Bruce Crowther MBE, Anna and Matt at the IFTTC 2016 Baskinta Lebanon


Sunday July 3rd 2016 - Day Two

Program

International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Baskinta, Lebanon - PROGRAM

 

Mount Sannine Hotel, Mount Sannine Lebanon

 Many of the international fairtrade coordinators stayed at the tranquil Mount Sannine Hotel, Mount Sannine

 

Mount Sannine Hotel Front View - Mount Sannine Lebanon

 

Fairtrade international coordinators boarding the bus to Baskinta

 Day two began with an introduction to the town hall by national poet Abdul Ganib's son, then presentations from the international fairtrade towns coordinators.

 

 

 We then separated into groups for our workshop sessions.

I chose to attend Fair Trade Towns in the South: Challenges and Issues.

 

 

After the session all the delegates had lunch and we were then entertained by traditional Lebanese dancers.

 

 

I felt very honoured and privileged to join the international fairtrade coordinators meeting and participate in the discussion about the future of the International Fair Trade Towns Movement.

 

International Fair Trade Towns Coordinators Closed Meeting, Baskinta, Lebanon, 2016

 International Fair Trade Towns Coordinators Closed Meeting, Baskinta, Lebanon, 2016

 

We ended the conference by eating dinner together and saying our farewells till next year.

 

IFTTConf 2016 - fairtrade coordinators in Fourzol and Heidthe

 

The next international fair trade conference will be hosted by the lovely Florence and her team in Saarbrucken, Germany.

 

 

Flowers at Mount Sanine Hotel, Mount Sannine Lebanon 

Many thanks to Lory, Benoit, Mona, Saskia and the Fair Trade Lebanon team for organising these instrumental visits.

Fair Trade Lebanon T-shirt - International Fair Trade Towns T-shirt signed by the international fairtrade towns coordinators, Baskinta Lebanon 2016 with Sabeena Ahmed

Fair Trade Lebanon T-shirt - International Fair Trade Towns T-shirt signed by the international fairtrade towns coordinators, Baskinta Lebanon 2016 

 

Fair Trade Lebanon T-shirt - International Fair Trade Towns T-shirt signed by the international fairtrade towns coordinators, Baskinta Lebanon 2016 with Sabeena Ahmed

Lory Boutchakdjun National Coordinator Fair Trade Lebanon's message

 

Fair Trade Lebanon T-shirt - International Fair Trade Towns T-shirt signed by the international fairtrade towns coordinators, Baskinta Lebanon 2016 with Sabeena Ahmed

I wish the Fair Trade movement in Lebanon and their producers every success for the future and look forward to welcoming them when they visit the United Arab Emirates.

Thank you for reading.

Best regards to all the international fairtrade coordinators I met during this visit.  

Sabeena

 

Fair Trade Lebanon Headquarters, Beirut with Ailsa and Luis - The Little Fair Trade Shop

 

FURTHER READING AND LINKS

Fair Trade Lebanon

The International Fair Trade Towns website

 

 

 

 

 

 





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