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It happened in Lebanon, beginning in 1960, led by college students at a small college who were interested in rockets and space, and could have made that country prosperous and successful.
Instead, the program was co-opted by the military, and the students all ended up leaving the country to flee its endless wars, with most becoming successful academics here in the U.S.
Read the whole article. It is quite fascinating, and if you are at all familiar with the story of Wernher von Braun and his rocket club, you will immediately recognize the similarities. The one difference is that while von Braun and his rocket friends almost all accepted doing military work to continue to build their rockets, the students in Lebanon did not, abandoning their research to go elsewhere. In fact, it is very likely that they were aware of von Braun’s history, and decided to make a different choice based on what they knew. In the 1960s von Braun was very public about what had happened to him, and often noted that he made a mistake working for the Nazis.