Monday mornings. Gym time. A wonderful week has began full of energy and positivity, however cut short. While I was sipping my coffee, drenched in sweat after a good hour workout, I stumbled on a post on my friend’s Facebook wall. “We’re not racist, but she’s black” By Myra Abdullah intrigued me to read the incident that took place over the weekend at a well- known retail shop in Lebanon and share it on my wall as well. However, I could not not share my opinion on the subject matter in general.
Lebanon is a third world country. We have a lot to achieve so as to acquire a reasonable civilized status quo to the eyes of the world. However, we, as Lebanese, like to live our lives and behave with one other, especially foreigners, as if our family ancestors are royals and we are continuing the sacred lineage. We all have two or three cars parked underground. A driver to take us around the city for our appointments because we dread finding parking spots or ruin our manicures along the way. A maid or two taking care of the household and children, if applied. You can afford it, fine by me. Yet, attitude that comes along towards your staff is what makes you human, not all the bling that you own.
Lebanon is a haven for people from the Philippines, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka mainly to come and work for a minimum of a decade, insuring a flow of money to the families they left behind, sometimes young children and siblings. Few are the Lebanese families that treat them as part of their family and help them to integrate the norms and culture of their new surroundings. We have heard of so many suicides among these working immigrants and cases of rape and brutal violence. Misjudgment is what Lebanese people are best at. Looking suspiciously at colored human beings upon entering stores and coffee shops. Labeling them as whores while standing waiting for a cab to take them to their homes on their day off.
I do not understand nor will I give reason for low life people who mistreat other human beings because of their race and status. Most, if not all, of these people have built villas in their country of origin. They have sent their siblings to school and even university. They have helped their parents, usually farmers, with acquiring equipments for their farms. They have put aside enough money to retire when back home.
Can any of you state the same accomplishments?
I don’t think so.
And its pitiful to be taking it up on the rest of these hard working individuals.
A few posts back in Instagram, I shared the above picture of Salam & I hours before she travelled back home to Ethiopia. The following is what I wrote as a caption:
“If I were to be selfish (which I am most of the time) I would consider today a sad day because Salam is leaving us after 9 years (and 16 in Lebanon) to Ethiopia. We grew close, and I learnt a lot from her wise words and Ethiopian taste dishes. However, after a long time working her ass off so as to pay for her siblings education and her parents survival in harsh conditions, I wish her all the best and a bright future ahead. I want to stop a bit and emphasize on the equality of treatment most of the Lebanese society commit to consider towards the help. I have seen so many unjust behavior through the media and the increase of suicide attempts among the Sri Lankese, Phillipinos and Ethiopian immigrants. Take a second and put yourself in their shoes; they have left their families, their loved ones, as well as their home country so as to work hard and benefit from the perks that a “life/work” abroad would offer them. I am sure that many of you have a sibling, a child doing the same abroad. Would you have wanted them to go through any kind of mistreatment due to their line of work or race? Definitely Not! So be humble and treat one another as you would want to be treated in return. And get that racial mentality out of your head. We are in the 21st century for crying out loud.”
ps: I think you should get out of your bubble and look through the internet the country of origin of the staff you mistreat and look down on. Most, if not all, are more civilized and advanced than your lovely third world country!