In an area like Baalbeck-Hermel, it is essential to promote democratic values and increase awareness on the importance of these values. That is what the “Promoting Democratic Values and Practices in Baalbeck-Hermel” project, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands aimed to accomplish.
In the city of Baalback, Walid, a physically impaired man, opened an espresso coffee shop on the side of a main road in order to make a decent living for himself and his family. Walid, an alias, was not very happy doing business because of the legal status of his kiosk. His coffee shop was closed down many times because he did not have a license for such a shop. This caused trouble with the police on several occasions. Walid then started participating in the “Promoting Democratic Values and Practices in Baalbeck-Hermel” project, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Throughout this project, Walid and others learned to demand their rights democratically and they also learned their duties towards the community. Walid understood that his kiosk needs to be legal. Therefore, he started pursuing a license. Walid arranged for a meeting with the governor. He explained to the governor his case and asked for his assistance. Finally, Walid, through the legal channels and approval of the governor, received a permit to continue operating his kiosk.
Many in Baalbeck-Hermel share similar conditions as Walid, if not worse, but don’t know how to get their rights democratically and through the proper legal channels, which indicates the need to expand such projects to target more areas and more vulnerable people.