October – June (for primary to post-secondary education levels)
The small country of Lebanon hosts more than 1 million Syrian refugees, more than half of whom are children, often called the “lost generation”. In their flight from war at home, these children have missed years of schooling, and some have never had access to an education. Organizations on the ground trying to provide these children with an informal education need to be creative, because permanent infrastructures for refugees are forbidden. Due to poverty and harsh living conditions, these Syrian children often work in the fields to help provide for their families.
To support these students, the Acronis Cyber Foundation partnered with German NGO Zeltschule e.V. on the construction of a dependable school that doesn’t break regulations. The school is comprised of large, stable tents, and gives more than 250 children the opportunity to learn and grow.
Students are schooled in two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. To ensure class attendance, each student family receives food packages, so they won’t need to rely on their children’s salaries for survival. In 2021, Acronis supported the school by donating 12 computers so that children can attend online classes through state schools, in order to qualify for entrance to universities.
News from the project
About the country
The Lebanese Republic
6.8 million people
Lebanese pound (LBP)
Lebanon has a moderate Mediterranean climate. In coastal areas, winters are generally cool and rainy whilst summers are hot and humid. In more elevated areas, temperatures usually drop below freezing during the winter with heavy snow cover that remains until early summer on the higher mountaintops. Although most of Lebanon receives a relatively large amount of rainfall, the weather in Bar Elias is known for its dryness. It’s rarely humid or raining in Bar Elias in the summer. The summers are very warm, with temperatures reaching 40°C (104°F). The winters are rather cold, also characterized by heavy snows.
The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the eighth century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads. Anjar is an example of an inland commercial center at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other crossing the Bekaa and leading from Homs to Tiberiade. The different monuments clearly demonstrate their functions and relations, and the overall plan of the city can easily be identified.
Bespoke winery and estate offering tours of Roman caves, tastings, and an upscale restaurant. A guided visit includes a brief welcome at the winery, followed by a tour of the historic two-kilometer Roman caves, where the rarest and finest vintages are stored. The tour concludes with a wine tasting.
At the wine shop, you will be able to discover local highly-rated current releases and exclusive offerings, from rare collectibles to an extensive collection of wines and spirits.
The Jeita Grotto is a system of two separate, but interconnected, karstic limestone caves spanning an overall length of nearly nine kilometers. Aside from being a Lebanese national symbol and a top tourist destination, the Jeita Grotto plays an important social, economic, and cultural role in the country. It was one of top 14 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.
Aside from the lower and upper caves, the venue has a mini zoo, gardens, sculptures, restaurants, souvenir shops, and a convenient transport system of trains and cable cars.
An innovative tourist attraction designed by Steven Holl (US) and LEFT (US) with Nabil Gholam et al., the project was conceived as an urban beach. Extending the existing Beirut corniche and the new sea promenade, a series of overlapping platforms, reminiscent of sea waves, provide outdoor spaces and public areas for displaying artwork.
Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in the Chouf District of Lebanon. It is located on the slopes of Barouk mountain and has an area of 550 km², nearly 5.3% of the Lebanese territory. It hosts 32 species of wild mammals, 200 species of birds, and 500 species of plants.
The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, also referred to as the Blue Mosque, is the largest mosque in Lebanon. It was built between 2002 and 2007 by the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. According to the architect, Azmi Fakhuri, the blue-domed mosque has an Ottoman inspiration, copying the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul.
A castle, the life’s work of a Lebanese visionary, requiring 60 years to complete. As a student, Lebanese Moussa Abdel Karim Al-Maamari had a tough time. Poor, he was beaten and mocked by a teacher who told him he would never amount to anything. Even his sweetheart ridiculed him, saying she would never marry him and that she planned to marry someone rich with a castle. A 20-year-old Moussa was able to begin work on what would become a lifelong project and obsession. Over the next 40 years, Moussa hand-built his massive, sprawling castle. A fan of medieval architecture, Moussa’s is a true castle with a moat, drawbridge, and medieval-style ramparts.
Inside, Moussa was creative and eccentric, filling the castle with his gun collection, daggers, swords, and Bedouin jewelry as well as wax figures depicting scenes from 1960s Lebanon including a room showing a teacher striking a student – a painful memory from Moussa’s childhood.
The waterfalls are located on the edge of the town and fall down into the valley below. They’re among the tallest in the world. If you’re ever thinking about visiting, you should do it between September and May so you don’t get disappointed. In fact, the waterfall gets a drought from June to August. Right under it is the famous Fakhr El-Din Grotto. The cave is actually a tunnel that people can get into only by crawling.
Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, also known as Museum for Resistance Tourism, is a war museum operated by Hezbollah near the village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon. The museum opened in 2010, marking the tenth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.
It was built by the Crusaders in 1228 A.D. on a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway. A climb to the top leads to the roof where there is a gorgeous view of the port and the old part of the city.
Bar Elias: Layali Al Shams Hotel, Delora Hotel and Suites
Beirut: Ramada by Wyndham Downtown Beirut, Hilton Beirut Downtown, Radisson Blu Martinez Beirut, Four Seasons Hotel Beirut
Beit ed-Dine: BEYt el Jabal, Deir al Oumara
Places to eat
Bar Elias: Al Shams Restaurant in Anjar, Amaleen Restaurant, Lakkis Farm Lebanon fast food
Beirut: History Bar, Café Em Nazih, Enab Restaurant, Bay Rock Cafe
Beit ed-Dine: Beit el Jabal Restaurant, Ghandour Fadoul Saj, New Garbatella Restaurant
Sidon: Saida Rest House Restaurant, Zawat Restaurant
Best souvenirs from the country
Books by local authors, Sarah’s Bag, sweets, roasted nuts, coffee and accessories, Rana Salam’s home decoration items, wood carvings, artisanal clothing, Art 7ake merchandise, wine
Beirut: Charlie taxi
Bar Elias: Bekaa taxi
Beit ed-Dine: Farhat travel +961 76 456 729
Proposed one week tour
Day 1: Zaitunay Bay and Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, Raouche Rocks
Day 2: Jeita Grotto
Day 3: Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve, arrival to Bar Elias
Day 4: School visit
Day 5: Anjar tour, Château Ksara
Day 6: Trip to Moussa Castle, Beit ed-Dine town tour (Al Mir Casem Castle, Saydet Al Talle Church, Prophet Elijah Greek Melkite Church)
Day 7: Jezzine Waterfall, Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, Sidon Sea Castle, return to Beirut