Amine Tarhini was born in the southern part of Lebanon, a farming village, known for cultivating tobacco and wheat, growing olive and fig trees, and raising dairy cows and goats.  He lived for 15 years in Beirut, receiving a private school education, coming to America in 1978, graduating from Texas A & M with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

In today’s Rotary program, Amine provided a current glimpse into his home land and the economic challenges of Lebanon along with the current refugee crisis.

Lebanon has plunged into one of the worst economic crisis of modern times.  Now three  years into the economic crisis, inflation is estimated at 210%, nearly 80 percent of  Lebanon’s population live under the poverty line, and the government has repeatedly delayed promised reforms and social protection plans.  Hospitals are struggling to provide care and electricity blackouts are a common occurrence. To date, no one has been held accountable for the catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s port on August 4, 2020.

Twenty percent of the population in Lebanon are refugees from Syria, fleeing their country in opposition to the Syrian regime.  The conditions in the refugee camps in Lebanon  are substandard with sanitation a significant concern.  Drinking water has to be boiled and outhouses are common for personal hygiene facilities.

In spite of the many challenges before Lebanon, Amine and his wife built a school for refugee’s in Lebanon, called Noor El Salam (Light and Peace). A foundation was formed to support the efforts of this school.  Amine shared photos of the school, with so many children seeking an education. Forty children in a small classroom, means four kids to a desk, but the opportunity to learn and receive a meal and proper hygiene training are beyond measure for these fortunate children.  Amine stated the students all speak Arabic. “They are all taught “English, morals and math” To learn more about this school go to   or contact Amine at