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International alumna talks about her business in Lebanon

With an interest in human rights, Rayane came from her home country, Lebanon, to study LLM International Law and Security at the University of Central Lancashire.

At a young age, Rayane saw conflict in Lebanon and personally experienced the tragedy that came with it.

This experience led Rayane to study LLM International Law and Security at UCLan as she saw a chance to learn how to defend her home country. Talking about her degree choice, Rayane said: “I saw in the course a chance to nurture my interest in human rights and grow my legal knowledge in that field.”

After graduation, Rayane moved back to Lebanon and saw that the socioeconomical situation in Lebanon had worsened. As a result of this, Rayane noticed that period poverty was on the rise due to the cost of sanitary pads increasing and this gave Rayane and her sister the motivation to set up her sustainable sanitary products business, ‘Sisters for the World.’

Talking about their business, Rayane said: “My sister and I decided to make sustainable washable pads and period underwear to alleviate women’s pain of having to buy single-use expensive products every month.”

Rayane Merhi, LLM International Law and Security graduate
Rayane Merhi, LLM International Law and Security graduate

"I enjoyed every class, they were never boring and always allowed for some nice interaction between the very friendly instructors and the students."

Rayane Merhi, LLM International Law and Security graduate

Rayane and her sister participated in an accelerator programme called STAND UP! Growing Innovation Accelerator, which supports eco-innovation solutions in the textile and fashion industry to develop and expand across the Mediterranean. The programme is financed by the EU and hosted by an accelerator called Berytech. Out of over 200 applicants, Rayane was one of the 24 teams that was chosen to participate.

By the end of the programme, jury members chose four of the most promising projects to move on to the incubation phase and Rayane’s project, Sisters for the World, was one of the four chosen projects.

Reflecting on her lasting memories at UCLan, Rayane said: “I enjoyed every class, they were never boring and always allowed for some nice interaction between the very friendly instructors and the students, as well as between the students themselves.”

When asked about what advice she would give to those wanting to do something similar, Rayane said: Believe in your dreams and ideas no matter how far-fetched they seem to be. Your path in life is not necessarily decided by the course you study. Set a wide goal and aim to gain the necessary knowledge to reach it.”