Zahle Hometown Associatiom ZaHA, was found in 1988 at the initiative of Mr. Asaad Zougheib, Mayor of Zahle, Moulaka and Taanayel. The Association’s central goal is to strengthen ties between Zahleans of the diaspora, especially young generations, and their hometown and their peers abroad. ZaHA is therefore a launching pad for coordinated initiatives that would serve the mutual interests of the town, its local community and Zahleans living overseas.
The Association is chaired by Mr. Amin Issa and comprises the members Assad Zoughaib, Michael Abou Aboud, Antoine Mutran, Wadih El Khoury, Philip Melhem, Elie Raya, Christian Nahhas and Georgette Zaatar.
The Association holds the strong conviction that Zahle cannot be relegated to mere birth and allegiance place. The City is at the essence of every Zahlean persona, a driving force manifesting itself in our mannerisms, customs and inclinations wherever we exist around the world. It is a modern City that has swiftly established its caliber and role in building our nation.
In recent history, Zahle has had its share of unfortunate waves of frequent migration, the biggest of which happened before and during the two World Wars. As a result, almost one third of its population has been dispersed around the globe. Nevertheless, ties between the home city and the diaspora have never ceased, and the Zahlean diaspora has always proven instrumental in reinforcing Lebanese presence in international arenas.
In light of these facts, the main undertaking of ZaHA is to bridge gaps and overreach to Zahlean presence across continents. The first of such initiatives was in the year 2019 with the launching of the first Founding Convention of the Zahlean Diaspora under the theme of “Back to Zahle, Back to Ahle” which was attended by 50 dignitaries from different countries worldwide. The Convention came up with a number of recommendations, the most important of which were:

1. To hold Zahlean Youth Summer Camp. ZaHA lays emphasis on the importance of helping youth reconnect with their roots, and that was the concept behind launching Youth Summer Camp during the Convention.. Given the COVID 19 circumstances, the Camp was held virtually.
2. To hold the Convention every other year. Dates are to be announced when set.
3. Establishing ZaHA electronic domain
www.zahlehometown.com or www.zahlehometown.org
Constructive interaction to set common goals and work in unison is another goal for ZAHA. Zaha’s digital platforms in this regard will publicize Zahle’s news, history, daily life, occasions, activities, and its public/private enterprises. That in addition to facilitating communication between the local community and the diaspora and among the Zahlean diaspora wherever it may be, covering their news and occasions.
Additionally, ZaHA aspires to constitute a platform for identifying, incubating and nurturing Zahlean expertise and innovation globally. The aim is to accelerate synergy between local community and diaspora and create opportunities to curb youth migration waves.
-To serve as a liaison facilitating affairs of diaspora Zahleans who wish to relocate to Zahle and to provide a portal for identifying and creating local investment opportunities.
-To boost rapport between local community and diaspora and therefore constitute a lobby that buttresses Zahle’s welfare and development and acts as a pressure group influencing decision making when necessary
ZaHA is specially interested in connecting the new generations spread over the world to hometown. In order to rebuild what was cut off, and that was the idea of the annual summer camp that was launched during the conference ...
It also aims to create a common space for unifying goals and efforts, and this will be the task of its digital platforms through which we will publish news about the city and its people, its past and present, its events and activities, and its public and private projects. In addition to facilitating means of communication between residents and dispersed, and between the dispersed themselves wherever they are, by transmitting their news and covering their activities.

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Virtual Summer Camp 2020
ZaHA first annual conference
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