Tuesday, April 29, 2014

منظمة العفو الدولية: أوضاع الخادمات في قطر مزرية تماما

انتقدت منظمة العفو الدولية بحدة أوضاع خادمات المنازل في قطر ووصفتها بالمزرية.

واتهمت الحكومة القطرية بالإخفاق في حماية هؤلاء الخادمات .
وتعهدت الحكومة القطرية باستمرار الحوار مع المنظمة بشأن القضية، مؤكدة أن قوانينها تحمي حقوق وحياة العمال الأجانب.

ووعدت بتعديلات قانونية تراعي اتفاقات العمل الدولية.

وفي تقرير شديد اللهجة بعنوان" نومي هو راحتي: استغلال عاملات المنازل الأجانب في قطر"، رصدت المنظمة شهادات صادمة بشأن أوضاع هؤلاء الخادمات.

وقال التقرير، الذي جاء في 92 صفحة، إن العاملات الأجنبيات في البيوت "يعانين من الاستغلال والعمل بالإكراه لساعات طويلة للغاية دون راحة فضلا عن التحرش اللفظي والعنف الجسدي والجنسي".

Full link on BBC

Sunday, April 27, 2014

On Racism and what we have reached

Amazing interview and interventions. Listen and share.

MWTF Super Cool Initiative for Workers' Day

In support of the 4th Annual Workers’ Day Celebration and theFi Shi Ghalat campaign, our students and teachers prepared their own banners for the Parade that will take place on the 4th of May.
They are all taking a stand against the sponsorship (Kafala) system that is responsible for all the human rights abuse that faces migrant workers every day.
Join us by posting your own opinion with your own message about the Kafala system or the Migrant Workers rights' abuse happening in Lebanon on daily basis and #StopKafala in your photos and posts.

-لدعم الاحتفلات الرّابعة السنويّة لعيد العمّال ولحملة في شي غلط، طلّابنا وأساتذتنا حضّروا-نّ يافطاتهم-هنّ الخاصّة لمظاهرة الرّابع من أيّار
لقد أخذوا-ن وقفة ضدّ نظان الكفالة المسؤول عن خرقات حقوق الانسان التّي يعاني منها العمّال والعاملات الأجانب في لبنان يوميّاً
انضموا-نّ الينا بالتعبير عن رأيكم-كنّ عن نظام الكفالة وحقوق العمّال الأجانب المهدورة في لبنان

أضيفوا-ن
#StopKafala الى رسائلكم-كنّ

For more information about the 4th Annual Workers’ Day Celebration happening from May 2 till May 4:https://www.facebook.com/events/1421917504733707/?ref=br_tf

For more infromation about the Fi Shi Ghalat campaign:https://www.facebook.com/fishighalat












Sunday, April 20, 2014

التقصير الرسمي... يحرم اللاجئين من الدراسة


النظام التربوي مهدد، لا قدرة لنا في المدارس الرسميّة على إستيعاب أعداد الأطفال السوريين"، هذه العبارة هي خلاصة الكلمة التي ألقاها وزير التربية والتعليم العالي، إلياس أبي صعب منذ يومين. وبالتأكيد لم ينس أبي صعب خلال حديثه عن "أخطر أزمة"، تذكير المجتمع الدولي بتقديم مساعداته. إلّا أنّ الحقيقة الفعليّة بقيت في مكان آخر لم يصل إليه أبي صعب ولا غيره ممن يرددون الكلام نفسه بأن المدارس الرسميّة لا يمكنا إستيعاب الطلاب السوريين.
نهار أمس، الخميس عقدت منظمة "دعم لبنان" Lebanon support، لقاء تحت عنوان "التعليم الرسمي واللاجئون السوريون في لبنان"، أضاءت فيه على امكانيات النظام التربوي اللبناني، والحلول التي يمكن اقتراحها لتحسين ظروف التعليم للاجئين السوريين في لبنان". هل هناك مقاعد كافيّة للتلاميذ السوريين؟" سؤال بدأ به الكاتب والناشط التربوي، وليد ضو، "وفقا لإحصاءات المركز التربوي للبحوث والإنماء يظهر أنّ عدد الطلاب في المدارس الرسميّة قبل العام 2011 كان 275 ألف تلميذ. المفارقة هنا أنّه في العام 2012-2013 إنخفض العدد إلى 37 ألفا أي حوالي 72500 طالب، ذهبوا نحو المدارس الخاصّة، ما يعني أنّ أماكن هؤلاء الطلاب هي شاغرة. أمّا الدليل الثاني لقدرة التعليم الرسمي على إستيعاب الطلاب السوريين فيظهره التقرير الصادر عام 2007 عن التفتيش التربوي يظهر أن 1290 من أصل 1385 مدرسة رسميّة لديها شعب غير قانونيّة ( بحسب الأنظمة يجب أن يكون في الشعب الإبتدائيّة 15 تلميذاً وفي الثانويّة 10). أما الدليل الثالث فهو في معدل الأساتذة بالرسمي "أستاذ لكل 7.7 تلميذ" هناك 400 ألف طالب سوري بحاجة للتعليم، لم يتسجل منهم سوى 100 ألف، ووفقاً لعملية حسابية أجراها ضو، أوضح ما يلي: "لنحسب أنّ ال 400 ألف طالب دخلوا المدارس ولنقل أنّ المدارس الرسمية ما زالت تحوي ال 275 ألف تلميذ بحسب إحصاءات ال 2011، المجموع هو 675 ألف. إن قمنا بتقسيمهم على 30 ألف أستاذ، نجد أنّ المعدّل هو أستاذ لكل 20 تلميذ. إذن هناك مقاعد كافيّة يمكن لها أن تستوعب بسهولة الطلاب السوريين الموجودين، وهناك أيضا قانون مجانيّة الكتب التي تتراوح أسعارها بين 30 و 45 ألف بحد أقصى لجميع الكتب. "أي حاجة يتكلم عنها المسؤولين التربويين والحكوميين حين يطالبون بدعم من الجهات المانحة؟" يسأل ضو. نستنتج وفقا للأرقام أعلاه أنّ "أزمة الإستيعاب" التي يتكلّم عنها البعض غير موجودة، ولكن الأزمة الفعليّة تتلخص في مواقف كل من وزارة التربيّة والحكومة والنظام اللبناني. وموقفهم السلبي لا يحصره ضو باللاجئين السوريين، بل هو موقف عدائي تجاه الخدمات العامّة "تعليم، كهرباء، نقل عام، مياه" وهذا يبدو واضحا من خلال الهجوم الشرس لخصخصة هذه القطاعات ومن خلال السياسات المتّبعة لإضعاف المدارس الرسميّة والجامعات اللبنانيّة وإضعاف كل ما يمكن أن يؤمن الخدمات العامّة للمواطنين.
من جهة أخرى، أكدّ الدكتور عدنان الأمين أنّ النظام التعليمي لديه القدرة لإستيعاب اللاجئين، إلّا أنه يعاني من مشكلتين أساسيتين، الأولى هي في المنهج المتبع في المدارس الرسميّة، في عام 2000 إعتمد المنهج على أساس أن يتم تقييمه وتعديله على ضوء التجربة ورغم الملاحظات العديدة التي قدمت بعد التجربة، لم يتابع أحد الموضوع، ولم تتم التعديلات وعوضا عن ذلك في كل عام تصدر قرارات بإلاعفاء من بعض المواد. في حين أن المدارس الخاصّة كانت لديها قدرة التطوير على ضوء المناهج السابقة. المشكلة الثانية هي في القرار الصادر عام 2001 الذي يخوّل التعاقد بين أي شخص حائز على إجازة دون تحديد نوع الإجازة ودون حصولهم على إجازات تربويّة وبالتالي لم يعد هناك دور لأي من كليّة التربية أو دور المعلمين أو لمسابقات التعيين، والتعاقد هذا يتمّ مع المدارس بناءا على ضغوط سياسيّة محليّة. هذه الأسباب أدت إلى فساد الحياة المدرسيّة وأيضا إلى تراجع التعليم الرسمي وبالتالي خسارة أعداد كبيرة توجهت نحو التعليم الخاص. وشدّد الأمين على أنّ إدارة وزارة التربية تعمل تحت وطأة الضغوط السياسية التي تهيمن على كل نقطة وكل شريان من المدرسة الرسميّة، وتساءل كيف يمكن لإدارة ذات جهاز ضعيف أن تحل مشكلة اللاجئين السوريين. "الحل هو البحث على قدرات خارج الوزارة من منظمات لبنانيّة وسوريّة ومدارس ناشطة خراج إطار الوزارة. أمّا ضو فقد وجد أنّ الشرط الأساسي هو وجود الصدق والنيّة للتغيير.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Workers' Day Events!!!



Join us again this year for the 4th Annual Workers’ Day Celebration & Demand better legal protection for Migrant Domestic Workers! *Event*

For the 4th consecutive year, we will be holding a series of events to mark Workers' Day, along with hundreds of Migrant Domestic Workers. It will be a three-day event, on May 2-3-4.
Please help us spread the word among Migrant Domestic Workers you know!

More details below:

*Friday, May 2*
11:00am – 1:00pm, Monot Theater, Ashrafieh
Book launching
“If not for the System…Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon Tell their Stories” by KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation. The event will include story telling by domestic workers, followed by Q&A session in the presence of the President of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) Ms. Myrtle Witbooi

*Saturday, May 3*
4:00pm – 8:00pm, Parking facing Estral Center, Hamra:
Cultural Festival: The Other Face of Migration
Featuring:
• Photo Exhibition (Caritas Lebanon Migrant Center)
• Crafts & Food Market (Migrant Community Center)
• Sudanese & Ethiopian Concert (Insan Association)
• Ethiopian Coffee Corner (Amel International)
• Interactive Advocacy Corner led by IDWF

*Sunday, May 4*
Workers’ Day Parade & Celebration!
Led by Migrant Domestic Workers.
Departure from Dora Roundabout at 12:00pm (gathering at 11:30am), with a final celebration in Mar Mikhael Train Station starting 1:30pm

There will be FREE bus pick-up and drop off for Migrant Domestic Workers on SUNDAY, to bring people to Dora for the parade and drop them back off after the celebration.
Bus pickup times & places:
- Baabdat (Central Square): 10:00am,
- Bhannes (near Bhannes Hospital): 10:30am
- Broumana (Printania Hotel): 11:00am
- Hamra Street (near Saint Francis Church): 11:00am
- Bikfaya (Central Square): 10:30am
- Antelias (Central Square): 11:00am
- Jal El Dib (White House Hotel) 11:10am


عيد العمّال 2014
مسيرة ومهرجان

شاركوا/ن معنا هذه السنة أيضاً في أنشطة الاحتفال للسنة الرابعة بعيد العمّال للمطالبة بالحماية القانونية لعاملات المنازل المهاجرات في لبنان.

الجمعة 2 أيار
الزمان: 11:00 ق.ظ. - 1:00 ب.ظ
المكان: مسرح مونو- الأشرفية
إطلاق كتيّب: "لولا النظام... عاملات المنازل المهاجرات في لبنان يخبرن قصصهنّ"، من تنظيم منظّمة "كفى عنف واستغلال"،
يتخلل إطلاق الكتيّب قراءة لبعض القصص التي كتبتها العاملات ونقاش بحضور رئيسة الإتحاد الدولي لعاملات المنازل، ميرتيل ويتبوي.

السبت 3 أيار
الزمان: 4:00 ب.ظ - 8:00 مساءً
المكان: الموقف المقابل لسنتر إسترال، الحمرا
مهرجان ثقافي: "الوجه الآخر لعاملات المنازل المهاجرات"
يتضمّن:
• (معرض صور (من تنظيم مركز الأجانب في كاريتاس لبنان
• (سوق الأطعمة التقليدية والأشغال اليدوية (من تنظيم مركز الجاليات الأجنبية
• (حفل لفرقة موسيقية من السودان وإثيوبيا (من تنظيم جمعية إنسان
• (زاوية القهوة الأثيوبية (من تنظيم مؤسّسة عامل الدولية
• زاوية المناصرة وعمل المجموعات بقيادة رئيسة الإتحاد الدولي لعاملات المنازل

الأحد 4 آيار
مسيرة واحتفال بعيد العمّال!
بقيادة عاملات المنازل المهاجرات

المكان والزمان:
من مستديرة الدورة عند الساعة 12:00 ظهراً (التجمع الساعة 11:30) وصولاً الى مكان الاحتفال في محطة القطار في مار مخايل، الأشرفية ابتداءً من الساعة 1:30 ب.ظ.

نهار الأحد النقليات مؤمّنة مجاناً من محطات الباص للوصول الى نقطة الانطلاق في الدورة:
(10:00/بعبدات (الساحة
(بحنّس (قرب مستشفى بحنس/10:30
(برمانا (أوتيل برنتانيا/11:00
(الحمرا (قرب كنيسة مار فرانسيس/11:00
(منطقة بكفيّا (الساحة/10:30
(أنطلياس (الساحة/11:00
(جل الديب (أوتيل وايت هاوس/11:10

#No to #Racism

Launching of the No Campaign for Syria.
Tonight at Nasawiya Cafe. 8:30 pm
Come with your message.

Event page.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Domestic Workers in Lebanon Speak Out

The Wall Street Journal- MiddleEast
Sujana Rana, a Nepalese domestic worker, shares her experience at a community center in Beirut. Alicja Rogalska

In any other context, this set of people would not be mingling in Beirut: artists, academics, and domestic workers. On a recent evening, all gathered at a community center to share research and experiences on an issue–domestic workers’ rights–not otherwise addressed much in Lebanese circles.

“I want to try and help our sisters who don’t sleep, don’t eat, and are afraid,” said Sujana Rana, a member of a Nepalese domestic workers group. “We leave our homes, our families to come to Lebanon,” she said with a quivering voice, “and work so hard to earn a living.”

Ms. Rana is one of about 200,000 migrant workers in Lebanon. Hired household help is common across the Middle East. In places like Lebanon, it’s inexpensive, so large communities of domestic workers from Ethiopia, Nepal, the Philippines and other countries come to meet the demand. They are part of the fabric of life here–but no legislation protects their rights.

Migrant domestic workers are excluded from the Lebanese labor law, according to a 2013 report by Human Rights Watch. Their terms of employment are defined in a specific relationship with their employer, a system called “kafala” that is rife with profit-reaping and exploitation. Agencies lure workers from their home countries with promises of large salaries and a better life–a far cry from the working conditions they usually face.

Ethiopia and the Philippines even banned their citizens from working in Lebanon. The Philippines overturned the ban in 2012 after signing an agreement with Lebanon to regulate recruitment and employment. Ethiopians still find ways to come here, despite their country’s regulations.

Their plight grabbed headlines in 2012 when an Ethiopian domestic worker committed suicide at a psychiatric hospital. After that incident brought public outcry, workers began to speak out across the country about abuse by their employers.

The Migrant Community Center in Beirut was set up three years ago as a place where migrant workers and others in the community can learn about the workers’ rights and how to protect them. “People come here for help,” said Rana Boukarim, a program manager.

Alicja Rogalska, an artist based in London and Warsaw, organized the recent gathering at the center as part of a series of events that bring together artists and academics on various social issues.

Ms. Rana, the Nepalese worker whose group is supported by a local NGO, said she visited the center to learn how to help others in her community “who are suffering and who are scared to speak up.”

“We want to help migrant workers,” she told a room of Lebanese researchers, expats, and other migrant workers. “We are all human beings.”

Malagasy Dinner

Tomorrow!

Book your seat/plate now:)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

مش بس قصة عنصرية...

مجدداً، تكررت التصريحات السياسية الرافضة لتزايد ظاهرة اللاجئين السوريين. أفرغ بعض اللبنانيين عنصريتهم تجاه هؤلاء. لا تنتهي الأحكام المسبقة هنا. من أين أتيتم بكل هذه العنصرية؟ رأى الكثيرون ان العنصرية تجاه السوريين بلغت حداً لايمكن تحمله. لذلك، اطلق عدد من الناشطين "الحملة الداعمة للسوريين بوجه العنصريّة" على "فايسبوك". - 

On Maharat News.

It's on Again! :)

Say NO to Modern-Day Slavery

"I expose slavery in this country because to expose it is to kill it."
Fredrick Douglas

Say NO to Modern-Day Slavery!
New petition by university students.

Link here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Again

Ethiopian domestic worker commits suicide in Tyre

Notice how "Media reports said the woman had fled last week from her employer’s home. Security forces later detained the Ethiopian and returned her to her employer."

Link on Daily Star.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Anti-Syrian hostility in Lebanon spawns social media backlash

"Once upon a time one Lebanese called for racism while one thousand said no to racism". This is one of many slogans posted online as part of a campaign to fight alleged discrimination and racism against Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Faisal Irshaid on BBC

الحملة الداعمة للسوريين بوجه العنصريّة

Always check the page.
More and more contributions each day:)

حكاية بيتي...العاملة الأثيوبية التي اغتُصبت في مكتب للاستخدام


ليست المرة الأولى التي تعمل فيها الفتاة الأثيوبية بيتي في لبنان، لكن هذه المرة مختلفة فبعد أقل من أسبوع على بدئها العمل، حصل سوء تفاهم بسيط مع مستخدميها فطلبت التوقف عن العمل وعادت إلى المكتب، وهناك اعتدي عليها.

Watch Betty speak on LBC
"نحن صحيح معترين بس بشر."

Racism reigns in Lebanon: “But you don’t look Lebanese”


In a country where racial classifications create social hierarchies that assert the superiority of white skin and Caucasian features, and the inferiority of “black” skin and Asian features, interracial and interethnic couples in Lebanon are abhorred, stigmatized and socially ostracised.
“I’m a stranger in my own country,” Saeb Kayali, a Thai-Lebanese, toldAl-Akhbar.

“I remember once a woman asked my friend, who happened to be right next to me, if I spoke Arabic,” Kayali said, “And I always get questions like ‘Where are you from? Lebanon. No, where are you really from? Ummm, Lebanon. No, like where are your parents originally from?’ And even after I explicitly tell them that I’m Lebanese they just continue asking.”
As Kayali narrated countless instances of “misunderstandings,” Lebanon’s racial bigotry, whether conscious or unconscious, and the long-ingrained notions of racial inequality, are very clearly present in today’s society.
Power institutions, including the societal body, are not only combating interfaith marriages but also interracial ones. While the need to overcome the former has vigorously surfaced in the last few years, the latter is still to be acknowledged and defied.
Blatant racism
“Demeaning gestures, head-shaking, stares, and under-the-breath comments are the most passive of the reactions we get in public,” Pi, a Filipina woman married to a Lebanese man, told Al-Akhbar.
Racial intolerance in Lebanon has caused the alienation of mixed-race couples from family members, who disown them for marrying someone they consider to be ‘inferior.’ People of African or Asian heritage are automatically associated with allegedly ‘inferior’ domestic workers by virtue of their phenotype, and their identity is accordingly erased and replaced by an array of racist stereotypes.
“At first we didn’t even hold hands in public. Then I asked him how is it okay for others to express hatred but not for us to express love?” Pi added, “now we act like any endogamous couple and if someone is disturbed he or she can simply look away.”
“His family didn’t speak to him for five years,” Pi said, “they didn’t even know me, but my Filipina features were more than enough reason for them to disapprove of our marriage.”
According to Rana Boukarim, spokeswoman for the Anti Racism Movement in Lebanon, “Many families eventually come to accept the interracial marriages, which may be seen as a decrease in racism. However, when questioned, these family members, who were initially against the idea, often say ‘but she is different from other Filipinas’.”
Moreover, couples who are driven by love to cross the color line face socially-constructed derision because they, and their mixed-race children, provoke the invisible yet existing laws of racial segregation.
“They used to call me Oreo”

Mixed-race children face blatant racism at school as their fellow classmates fail to censor their speech. While interracial couples are mentally and psychologically aware of notions of race and the difficulties that might be ahead in ethnically homogenous communities, their children are not.
“Back in preschool, kids used to call me ‘blacky’ or ‘Oreo’ as if my skin color is my name and identity,” Walid Yassine, a 22-year-old Congolese-Lebanese told Al-Akhbar.
“I was called ‘the Chinese kid’,” Kayali said, “even though I’m not half Chinese to begin with.”
Thrust into a world of racial stereotyping, mixed-race children experience disparities in self-esteem, self-degradation, and identity-related struggles. Unless the child is aware of his or her mixed heritage, overcoming the internal turmoil that could result from such confusion could take a lifetime.
“I felt different and I knew I looked different but I didn’t understand why I was treated differently,” Gabi Kheil, a 24-year-old Gabonese-Lebanese told Al-Akhbar.
According to Charles Nasrallah, founder and director of Insan Association, when introducing an Afro-Lebanese to a class full of light-skinned Lebanese children the first reaction has always been very aggressive and abusive.
“We’ve had incidents where the students would spit on the dark-skinned kid, call him names such as ‘chocolate’ or ‘Sri Lanka boy,’ push him around and beat him, throw water at him ‘to wash the dirt off his face,’ and refuse to engage him in playground activities,” Nasrallah said.
“I remember one time, light-skinned Lebanese students refused to sit next to an Afro-Lebanese kid because they thought his dark skin color was ‘contagious’ and they feared they would turn black.”
Ensuring a healthy educational experience for multiracial children by enrolling them in a school that celebrates cultural diversity is not an option in Lebanon. Mixed-race Lebanese experience conflict and periods of maladjustment during their development process, something that the association seeks to address.
“All schools in Lebanon lack racial tolerance,” Nasrallah added, “thats why we founded the Insan school and the Insan program to psychologically support and prepare marginalized students, including biracial ones, for the integration in a Lebanese school.”
“Adaptation and acculturation became easier as I grew up,” Yassine said, “Once my classmates were able to see beyond the color of my skin, making friendships wasn’t a problem anymore.”
“Children can be the meanest, but they are also the first to rise above racist stereotypes and garner acceptance,” Nasrallah declared, “once they get to know each other, the dark skinned student and his classmates tend to become good friends.”
Difficulty in entering the workforce
Prejudices and preconceived notions have yet to be dispelled from Lebanon’s society largely because regular and intimate contact with those considered to be racially different is not fostered and encouraged.
The implications of these stereotypes go so far as to affect the social class and job opportunities of biracial Lebanese.
Kheil experienced direct racism when she worked as a flight attendant for Middle East Airlines.
“A Lebanese woman got furious after I accidentally bumped the trolley into her chair,” Kheil said, “ I apologized but she felt offended when a ‘black’ woman like myself dared to address her and tell her to calm down.”
According to Kheil, the woman, who bragged about holding a British passport, called her demeaning names and directly referred to the “inferiority” of her dark skin.
Even though Kheil called security and filed a complaint, nothing happened.
“If we were in Britain this woman would have been detained and the racism wouldn’t have passed unnoticed,” Kheil exclaimed, “but unfortunately we are in Lebanon.”
Kheil quit her job and hasn’t been able to find one since.
“I thought I was being self-conscious but one company manager made it clear that I’m ‘too dark’ for the position,” Kheil added.
“I wasn't accepted in many jobs because they thought my looks would ‘shock’ customers,” Kayali said, “but I learned to take advantage of my unique looks and I applied to Chinese and Japanese restaurants where I was instantly accepted.”
But according to Ahmad Dhayne, an Afro-Lebanese young man, this has not been the case.
“I have never experienced direct racism in the workforce because my confidence and my attitude demand that people respect me,” Dhayne told Al-Akhbar.
Born to an Ivorian mother, Ahmad’s Lebanese father passed away while his mother was still pregnant with him.
“At age two my uncle brought me with him to Lebanon because my mother wanted me to have a better life,” Dhayne said, “due to multiple reasons I lost contact with her for 18 years.”
In 2011, 20-year-old Ahmad decided to go to Africa and reconnect with his mother.
“I feel Lebanese and despite my skin color I have never felt anything but Lebanese,” Dhayne added, “but I also wanted to embrace my African heritage and my Lebanese family supported me in my decision. It was the best decision I have ever made. I feel very blessed and very special.”
While Dhayne was lucky to have a family that tolerated, embraced, and even celebrated his African heritage, others lack this support system.
“A Congolese acquaintance married a Lebanese man and they had a child. When the husband died, the Lebanese family took the child away from the mother so they ‘could raise him to be Lebanese.’ The child grew up hating his African heritage,” Boukarim stated.
“Lack of knowledge and communication make for hostile attitudes,” Nasrallah affirmed.
However, this is starting to slowly but steadily change.
Changing faces

In today’s ‘global village’ the opportunity to interact with different races has dramatically expanded. Even though today’s generation care less about racial segmentations, in matters of intimacy mixed-race individuals face challenges similar to the ones their parents confronted in the past.
“I dated a Lebanese girl for two years until her father found out,” Yassine said, “he almost had a heart attack when he saw that I was dark skinned.”
“And do you know what the funny, or perhaps sad, part is? She is half Lebanese half Ukrainian,” Yassine added, “a man in an interracial marriage and has mixed-race children rejected me because I’m mixed-race.”
“One thing that has always bothered me is that my French-Lebanese friend is endorsed by others despite her mixed-race origins just because she is blonde with European features,” Kayali declared.
Embracing Lebanese mixed-marriages only if they include European or fair-skinned individuals is an unfortunate characteristic still very much present in Lebanon’s society, deeming those with white skin and Caucasian features as superior to others.
The history of systematic subjugation in addition to the enclosed patterns of discrimination still at play has left an enduring scar on the psyche of darker-skinned Lebanese that today many tend to use skin bleaching, straighten and dye their hair, and even undergo surgery to get certain European-based phenotypical characteristics that might give them a sense of belonging.
Nasrallah narrated an incident where a Syrian boy and a Lebanese-Gabonese boy were pulled over by the police as they were on their way to the Insan Association. The officers only demanded the papers of the Lebanese-Gabonese because of the color of his skin.
“The officers wanted the papers of the dark-skinned Lebanese and not the light-skinned non-Lebanese,” Nasrallah stated, “how can one expect the citizens not to be racist when even the police, who supposedly represent the government and state, are racist?”
Even though the Lebanese constitution states that “all Lebanese are equal in the eyes of the law,” having a weak government bureaucracy with legal loopholes permits unequal access and little protection of mixed-race Lebanese. National cohesion is almost non-existent because Lebanon lacks national programs that promote multiculturalism and racial tolerance.
A survey of Lebanese resorts conducted by Lebanese NGO IndyAct in 2013 shows that all of the 20 beaches investigated barred domestic workers from Asia and Africa from going into the pool.
“A dark-skinned ambassador’s wife was asked to get out of the swimming pool in one of Lebanon’s resorts because she was mistaken for a maid,” Nasrallah said, “In Lebanon even the elite cannot escape racial discrimination.”
Even though Lebanon's government has warned beach clubs against any internal regulations based on race or nationality, discriminatory acts persist without legal repercussions.
“Neither the constitution nor the judicial system can help you when you experience chronic racism,” Kheil declared, “you need to fight back on your own every time.”
“I realized that one can fight racial hierarchy with social hierarchy. When I go out with my friends for lunch we sometimes pretend that I’m the son of Thailand’s ambassador in Lebanon and suddenly everyone treats me differently… with more respect,” Kayali said.
“I don’t let race over determine my existence,” Dhayne stated, “on the contrary, I make others feel that they are unfortunate for having a single racial heritage.”

ناشطون لبنانيون يطلقون حملة داعمة للسوريين

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More coverage for the No-More-Racism-Agnst-Syrians Campaign

AlQuds-
رداً على الخطاب العنصري ضد اللاجئين السوريين.. جدران بيروت وفيسبوك تحتضن النازحين وترح

أورينت نيوز
ناشطون لبنانيون يطلقون حملة داعمة للسوريين

Rozana Radio
لبنانيون يتصدون للعنصرية تجاه السوريين

Al-Akhbar
معاً ضد العنصرية: أهلاً بكم في لبنان

AlArabiya
"في سوري رفع راسي وراسك".. لبنانيون ينبذون العنصرية

AlModon
عنصريتكم.. لن نتركها تمرّ!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Libumu: Madagascar:)

Join us for a delicious dinner of authentic Malagasy cuisine on Saturday 12th of April 8pm, at the Migrant Community Center in Gemayze, cooked by the talented Viviane!
Open buffet for 20,000 LL including one beer!

Menu:

• Macédoine - a salad
• Spring rolls
• Riz Cantonais - fried rice with vegetables (vegetarian)
• Langue de boeuf - beef tongue with rice
• Flan - dessert

Proceeds (and compliments) go to the cooks! Fabulous Madagascar music will accompany the dinner!
For reservation please call 70-896666 (or whatsapp!)

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE "BY PHONE" BEFORE SATURDAY!

Details:
Saturday, April 12
at 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Shaftari bldg, 2nd floor, Boutros Dagher Street, Gemmayze (near La Tabkha), Beirut
Fb event