This coffee shop in Lebanon only hires people with special needs!

Society is a complex system that only moves forward when all of its members are treated equally. All productive individuals in society are imperative and absolutely necessary for progress and continuity.


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People with special needs have a great potential for serving their community and should be more present in the workplace. 

People with special needs, are also people with special abilities.


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The stigma around these individuals has always been present especially in countries like Lebanon, where a lot of people are uneducated about such matters. 

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A couple of months ago, Dr. Wassim Hage, a physiotherapist, had an amazing idea of opening a coffee shop where all workers are special needs individuals. 

The idea came after noticing in his work how these people are able to accommodate and become more independent and autonomous. 

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The staff consists of 8 individuals with down syndrome, angelman syndrome, and other intellectual limitations. 

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The place serves all kinds of coffee, shakes, smoothies, juice, desserts, sandwiches, and salads! 


Workers are paid, of course, based on how many hours they are spending at the shop. 

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In case you were wondering about the place’s name, Dr. Hage has picked it since it’s a medical term that means “a substance, molecule, or muscle that is able to cause or stimulate an action or activity”. 


Agonist Coffee Shop is located in Zalqa, only a couple minutes from Beirut Center. It is open from 7 AM till 12 AM.

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Agonist Coffee Shop is a success. People from all over Lebanon are visiting the place, making new friends, taking pictures, and having fun. 


It is one of the greatest measures to enhance public awareness of different-ability individuals. 



There’s also a restaurant in Ehden that also empowers employees with special needs.

Last year, a law came into effect in Lebanon to enforce people with special needs. The law states that small companies, typically the ones with 30-6 employees, must hire at least one qualified person with special needs. Larger companies “must have at least three percent of their workforce with special needs.”

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