Friday, December 31, 2010


Housemaid's Revenge cartoon

A cartoon published by tTe Gulf Times, Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspapers one year ago.
Instead of portraying maids as the defenseless victims of abuse, which they too often are, they are shown a child-killers. This cartoon is a manifestation of the prevalent racist attitude toward migrants in the region. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

نوري صحيح بس لبناني

همّنا الأساس الاعتراف بنا أننا جزء من الشعب اللبناني. جيراننا الأرمن في عنجر معهم الهوية اللبنانية، ونحن يجب أن نكون مثلهم، فإذا كنا نحن نوَراً فهم أرمن. صحيح أننا من النوَر لكننا من نوَر لبنان ولسنا من دولة أخرى. فأنا لا أعرف إلا لبنان، وجدّي ولد هنا ومات هنا ونحن على دربه.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Record deaths of migrant workers in 2010

For the full article on Sunday Times

A Sri Lankan woman was reported dead in Jordon a few days ago, just two weeks after she went there to work as a domestic aide, raising the death toll among Lankan migrant workers to its highest level this year.

A group of Sri Lankan women workers who returned to Sri Lanka on Friday from a West Asian country.

Celebrating Christmas, the Malagasy way

Check ARM facebook page for the album of pictures of today's Christmas festival at NEST. It was a beautiful gathering, cozy and warm.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The lucky maid

Thurayya and the terrorist donkey blogs today about the lucky maid that will get to stay in a 240*180 sm room while her boss stays in a 600*600 sm room in the same house, thanks to the modern design of Bourk ElMadina 5 peeps.

It is so normalized to employ a migrant domestic worker these days in houses in Lebanon regardless whether the income is high medium or a little less, regardless if there is a dire need for help, regardless if there are decent conditions to get someone new to live in the house, regardless in general.

It is sort of a thing or gadget you have to add to the checklist when moving to a new house. You get the apartment, the tables, the chairs, the electronics...and oh yes also the *maid* aka "srilankiyyi" in Lebanese language.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“Laysh bentkon sawda?”

A very interesting read by an American couple who moved to Lebanon, recounting what it means to live here, be white and with an adopted Ethiopian daughter.


Our first question when we considered this call to Lebanon was, “Will we be safe?”  The second question was, “How will our African daughter be treated in Lebanon?”

                                           Kidest Olivia

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More racism in Lebanon in 2010 than in the 1980s?

AlMou'aallima Wal Oustaz (the teacher and the professor) is a famous Lebanese TV series that used to be aired in the 80s. The main actors/ actresses were the beautiful Hind Abi-lama', Ibrahim Mer'aachli and the late Layla Karam. This show was very popular and many of us still remember it quarter of a decade through. We also remember that one of the several students in the class who used to mainly sit in the front seats and not say much, was a fair-skinned migrant person. It is interesting to compare the situation back then and now.

Today, it is almost 99% impossible for us to find any Lebanese production whether film or advertisement which includes a dark-skinned person who is not playing the automatic role of a domestic worker. It is out of question to find a SriLankan playing the role of a business woman or a Filipina playing the role of a husband of a Lebanese woman or an Ethiopian playing the role of a university professor. This is too shocking of a scene for Lebanese people to see in Lebanese productions, let alone to see in reality in Lebanon.

Not to give a very simplistic comparison between reality today and AlMou'aallima Wal Oustaz time, but whatever we say, it remains a fact that what this series did stands as a milestone in comparison with our dark times today.

Ps: Notice how the word dark is used to signify bad times. Or the word nhar aswad/ "black day" also refers to a very irritating day. And many other similairs. Interesting to notice and analyze. Is it time to replace those terms with ones which do not hold such heavy invisible connotations?

Come celebrate Christmas with women from the community of Madagascar in Lebanon

Christmas is here.

So many people are celebrating it in Lebanon. So are many women from Madagascar. So they don't celebrate on their own on this happy occasion, and so you do not miss out on the fun of trying great food and listening to new music and learning about a whole new culture celebrating Christmas on their own way, join the celebration this Sunday 26th from 2 PM till 5 PM at NEST, Near East School of Theology, parallel to Makhoul church, 2 parallels from AUB.

Anyone is welcome, especially migrant domestic workers from all nationalities. If you know of anyone from Madagascar in Lebanon who does not know about this, please make sure they come too.

There will be a Christmas tree where we will share gifts with the women. So if you would like to get something(s) with you, it would be very nice. Whatever gift you can get, just wrap it up and put it under the tree.

Join us this Sunday and let us spend a day of happiness and appreciation with those women who spend years away from their families and their Christmases to work in Lebanon.

For more info, email aimeehl at, fsalka at or call 70/066880

You can also check the event on facebook to invite all your friends.

See you there!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hal bint elsrilankiyyi: A famous old song

Elie Ayyoub, known as "da7ik allayl" in the Lebanese arena is famous for his jokes, one-man-shows and skillfulness at making his audiences laugh till they drop. Here, we can watch one of his 90s songs poking fun, directly and indireclty, in words and images, at Srilankan people. It is pretty powerful to see how long our inherent mocking of the other dates back to and how it is engraved in everyday things we do like songs and performances. Worst of it all, is that when I was much younger and clueless about all racism related sprees, when this song was out, I totally found it funny and can sing it word by word very swiftly- not that it has many words. It just proves how without education, whether feminist education, non violent education, anti racism education, people just grow up to take everything normalized as sick as it can be, this song and what it depicts as an example.

Enjoy da7ik allayl.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Child Protection Assessment: Migrant Workers and their children in Lebanon

Terre des hommes and Insan Association published recently a child protection assessment report on migrant workers and their children in Lebanon.

The objectives of the assessment were to:

• Identify the most vulnerable and at risk population of migrant workers
• Establish what migrant children do in their free time
• Examine how current formal and informal structures, systems and actors are
working to protect children from the identified risks
• Identify what formal and informal systems are in place to protect children of migrant workers
• Examine how children of migrants protect themselves

Parents spoke of children regularly being exposed to discrimination and racism from the Lebanese society mainly due to their parents’ social status. In Lebanon, migrant domestic workers are considered servants and are looked upon as slaves rather than employees. This stereotype is then reflected on how the children are treated by other Lebanese children in the schools and in their neighborhoods.

“My kids came home very upset and said that they were being picked on in the school so I went to the school to speak with the director and she told me that she could do nothing because they have a lot of kids in the school.”
Amina, Sudanese migrant and mother

In turn, those children suffering form racially-motivated discrimination can become reclusive, accentuating their already marginalized status in Lebanese society.

“Our kids were constantly being beaten by Lebanese kids in the school so now they refuse to attend.”
Touna, Sudanese migrant worker and father

When the report is published online, we will share the link.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Racism hits the fan

A glimpse at comments under a picture of a migrant domestic worker from Bangladesh who was caught stealing from her employer's house or so goes the story shows us the following.

This is on Ziad Baroud's official page and he has more than 51,000 followers.

These are only the top 40 traumatizing, society-mirroring comments chosen from a much wider range.

1. Mahmoud Outa: jamaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiik
2. Bassam Njeim: yel3an bouza nossabe
3. Rony Aoun: wlek heda menno ktirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
4. Mervat Tabesh: eh kellon byeshbaho ba3ed
5. Rano Hakim: badda shane2 l3ama shu 7arameyye b7ayeton ma sheyfeen shee
6. Hisham Saker: bitmana ma ydal wala shakl min hal 2ashkeil hay bibaladna wikhsousi bingaldish 2a7la ma yindamo libneiniyi!!!
7. Ghassan Harb: متعودين علا السرقه يا معالي الوزير الله يعينكم علا شو بدكم تلحقو.......
8. Mayssa Ramadan: yiiiiiiiiiiii alla yhidik 7aramiyi
9. Youssef Medlej :‎2eh w bte7ko 3an 7imeyet el 3amel el ajeneb 2e7ko 3an 7imeyet el mowaten kamen wlo
10. Tarek Elmasri: LoL ! Bteshbah Tanjrit El Daghet =P
11. Yassin Sherin: bade efham kif keno mchghlena ma keno ye5afo wlek ehh chakla ejram loooool
12. Lesly Youssef: ma bfawtek 3a bayte betfaze3 belel
13. Wissam Mousa: ‎5alas badna ntale3 nezam be lebnan mamno3 el w7dy tesht8il kirmal tehtam hye be bayta w jawza w wlada w ma tjebo 5admy ma darori ......w bala 7ake seyase w mashkel :S
14. Abir A Alameh: btechbah 7ameteh looooooooooooooooooooooooooool :P:P:P:P
15. Sara Awada: شو بتشبه مرتو لميشال عون
16. Mahmoud Mnsr: eno kif ken 2elon nafes mfawtina 3a bayton yel3an chakla bt2aref
17. Wissam Mousa: abeer hall2ad 7amtekk bech3aaa ::P:PP:P
18. Hisham Fawaz: tfeh yil3an asla!!
19. Wissam Mousa: hayde bokra bas alla yekmch bado y3ale2a min tezaa :D hehehe...ymkin alla ye2raf mena w y2ela yalla wliii ro7y min honn :P:P
21. Tarek Ghaziri: ayya byeshbaho ba3d?! mabteshbah shi hayde !!!!
22. Ali Nassreddine: fina nit3araaaaaf:p:p
23. Joelle Abou Antoun: ايش في يسرق انتا ماماا وين حاتط هادا فولوس يا خربانة وين؟ ما في معلوم في وزير بابا كبير في يمسك انتا دقو دقو دقو حتى ينزل فولوس تتمو يلا شاطر قول وين فلوس
24. Abed Aboudi: ma3ali il wazer iza badkon tfatshou 3la lata btle2ouha be moukhayam il boroj aw be il dahye 3am tehsgtghl 3am yet2jrou byout be alb ionl moukyama w mn il sa3eb jedan hada yl2aton kila zawreb she be khawef wala
25. Timon Bomba: alla yedi el dawli 3alla rasna men fo2
26. Rania Abbass: ما فيها شي علامة فارقة عن غير بنغلادشيات؟هيك صعبتوها كثير:P
27. Wissam Khnayzer: lih bishoufa y7ru2 sharafa
28. Roro Desperate: alah yse3ed hal 3eeyal lee bee7oto kel lee ma3on la yerte7o bel 2a5eer byensara2o mnel 5adam ??!
29. Lina Jurdy: kif aslan msha8lina shawfeta bte2ta3 lreze2,ya rab y5alilna yek ma3aly lwazir
30. Mîss PrËttÿ: bas sha2fe ha:P
31. Roubita Ayoub: la2 sha2ften:D
32. Weam Odeh: la2 3 sha2faaaaat
كلهم بشبهو بعض هالبنغلديشيات ...........معالي الوزير بارود
34. El Saab: Bangladesh is very a nice country regardless its Citizens! Worst People Ever! In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia they stopped releasing Visit Visas for the whole country of Bengladesh!!! Due to their bad and dangerous attitude!!! be aware of them.
35. Fadia Ayoub: and the funny thing, they want us to give them their passport, work permit etc, ok u r trying to protect them, who will protect us?
36. Georges Daaboul: bit koun 3al dora nhar l a7ad akid
37. Chemical Temper: ‎7anser ne7na 2l lebneneyye nesht8il 3ndon shi yom..
38. lak ya wazerna ma kilon byeshbaho ba3ed.. hay zay eli 3ena bs 3a z8eer..henne hek kollon nafs 2l hadaf...be2ololon ro7o ad ma fekon gebo masare w ta3o.
39. Marwan Massaad: سمالله حولك شو حلوة ! يا هيك البغلادشيات يا بلا وعين الحسود تبلى بالعمى
40. Hussein Sabra: hayda li chatrin fi tel7a2o serlankiyeit...hahahahahaha

There were some different comments made, but those comments weren't very different after all.

Jad Ahmad: tab lesh men shuf l 2oumour men jiha we7de lesh ma men2oul eno li kenit 3m te5demon ase2o bi 7a2aa ya3ne 3a ases mesh sayra mahekk??? ana ma 3am defe3 3anon bs kamen ne7na mesh haynin
Sophie H Diab: mish b3idi ykoun yali mshaghila mett7arish fiya wlama rafadit tshaka 3alaya eno ser2ito.........serna m3awadin 3ala 2ossass el lebnaniye bas mish kharjon ykoun 3indon sounna3 lezem hal rjal terja3 tshamitlon dinayon la hal neswen la terja3 setet byout metil ma keno abel w 7aji yetma2ta3o bhal khadmet manon khayfin rabon bas 3anjad 3ayb

This is only a documentation of the standing of most people and their views, opinions, and perceptions of the other in Lebanon. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, the comments on this picture are worth a million words.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

DR. Abed El Meneem has been released!! Mabrouk! إطلاق سراح الد.عبدالمنعم

Dear all,
Yesterday at 9:00 PM Dr. Abed El Meneem Has been released and he is know at Karantina Hospital until he is in a good health conditions.
The pressure that the General Security has been facing from the civil society/ activists has done the job perfectly, therefore we are canceling the sit in today and will keep you posted about any updates.
The release of the Dr happened because of you and he is very grateful for your support and fight for human rights and freedom.
To call the Dr : 70899381
For more information: 71421593

لقد تم إطلاق سراح الد.عبدالمنعم مساء الأمس الساعة التاسعة من مقر إحتجازه التعسفي في نظارة الأمن العام وهو الآن في مستشفى الكارانتينا يتعافى.
الضغط الذي تعرض له الأمن العام من المجتمع المدني والناشطين والناشطات أدى في الإسراع لإطلاق سراحه وكشف ظروف إعتقاله الاقانونية والتعسفية.
إثر إطلاق سراح الد. سنقوم بإلغاء التجمع أمام الأمن العام اليوم.
الد.عبد المنعم جدا شاكر لكم نضالكم/نضالكن في سبيل حقوق الإنسان والحرية في لبنان ولولا تضامنكم/تضامنكن لما تم إطلاق سراحه من الإعتقال الاقانوني.
سنوافيكم بالمستجدات والقصة بالتفاصيل بعد عدة ساعات.

للإطمئنان على الد.عبدالمنعم: ٧٠٨٩٩٣٨١
للمزيد من العلومات:٧١٤٢١٥٩٣