Martine Zaarour

Cohort: YLP 4 (2018)

Born and raised in the oldest inhabited city in the world, Byblos Lebanon, I grew up with a passion for heritage. I graduated as an architect with honors from LAU and moved to Madrid, where I started my career in architecture and design. However, I was always interested in social activities and volunteering and year after the other, my sense of social responsibility grew fonder and I started developing the idea of Jar Thuraya. During the implementation phase, I completed my Fellowship program in Washington DC with the US department of state, where Jar Thuraya got selected best in category in cultural and environmental preservation.I am passionate about traveling and discovering new cultures, the beach and I also am a sustainable development activist.

About the Alumni experience

After YLP, many opportunities arose. The support I received from UNDP and their trust in me and my project gave me the motivation to strive in order to make it a success.
My YLP experience has allowed me to attend the regional forum with Tunisia, which not only helped me in the early stages of the development of project, but also gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people from around the Arab world and make new friends, who until today have been supporting me and empowering me into working harder.
On the other hand, I got the chance to attend the ECOSOC Conference in New York, which allowed my startup to reach international grounds and helped me into expanding my network and improve my confidence and communication.
I believe that YLP was the key that opened my successful doors for me and Jar Thuraya.

About the Alumni Project: Jar Thuraya

Enhancing GOAL 5: Gender Equality

Jar Thuraya combines six different SDGs. The project will help Lebanese women, with culinary skills, sell their home made products to a wider market using e-commerce methods and teach the youth traditional food making techniques to sustain the Lebanese intangible cultural heritage. The project focuses on women empowerment; and aims to help women generate income and induce a new circular economic cycle into their towns. By engaging users into digital experiences and activities happening around the Lebanese villages, in addition to the selling of products, the women will be able to have their own brand, and share their identities with the world. Each Jar sold will be promoting the name of the woman who prepared it and the village where it was produced.
The idea is a rural development initiative that tackles different aspects of sustainable interventions, such as the preservation of heritage, traditional food preparation, green and healthy eating. We are trying to engage youth into revisiting their traditions but also help women embrace their skills into profitable revenue.

Connect with Jar Thuraya via Instagram and Facebook.