“Brands For Less” Employees in Dekwane Beat Up African Woman & Get Away With It

This story will make your blood boil. 

NowLebanon broke the story of Nafi, a worker from Abidjan, who was visiting a “Brands for Less” store in Dekwane to buy gym clothes at a cheap price. 
While at the shop, she was accused of being a thief, naturally because she was black, not Lebanese and not white. She was searched. They didn’t find anything on her. She tried to leave, and they searched her again, because you know strip searching her the first time was not enough and who knows, she might have stolen something while being eyed by every racist asshole in the store. So Nafi accused the workers of racism towards her. That was when the manager pushed her to the ground and beat her up until she started bleeding.

It didn’t end there. One of the employees there, another racist asshole with no ounce of humanity, shouted at her “leave now or I will cut you in half,” followed by insults that included calling her a “black prostitute.”

Ironically, the employee who called Nafi a prostitue was a woman. Then the woman tried to hit Nafi who, with her sister, tried to defend herself. The other employees joined in on the beating. 

Nothing like a lynch mob to brighten up someone’s day.

When the manager suspected that someone might have called the police, he made sure to call them and tell them that she was *clearly* on drugs and drunk and that they tried to make a mess at his shop.

So he beat them up.

Read the full story by NowLebanon here.

To say this is despicable is an understatement.

Here are a few words for these Brands for Less employees, those who beat up Nafi and those who stood there idly doing nothing, watching her privacy get invaded by two searches after being accused of being a thief, then not interfering as she was beaten up twice:

They are abominations. They are the filth of the filth of this country. They are a waste of oxygen. They are a waste of space. They are a waste of the energy I’m using in order to write this about them.

They are undeserving, racist, despicable, disgusting, inhumane. Calling them animals elevates their status. They are not animals. They are parasites whose entire existence is contingent upon feasting on those that are weakened by this country that doesn’t respect anyone and makes sure no one is respected.

They are those Lebanese that prosper in the fact that this country has no rules, has no respect for human rights, that this country has police that will believe your lies over another person’s bloody face just because of the color of her skin, that this country lets you exist.

I call on whoever reads this to boycott that “Brands For Less” store in Dekwane. Those employees shouldn’t just be fired; they should be jailed.

I’m terribly sorry that Nafi has to work in this country, that she has to be subjected to such levels of racism that are not allowed in 2015, that she was violated and will not have her rights defended by anyone with power.

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Disgusting Lebanese People: The “Help” Doesn’t Get a Chair… The Purse Does

Disclaimer: This post was published originally on Sunday October 20th. I then took it down as per Dyala’s request because she got word that the family had actually asked the maid to sit and she refused.

My friend Dyala Badran was having lunch at a Beiruti restaurant today when she spotted something that made her twist in anger.

A Lebanese family was sitting across the place from her having their Sunday lunch. They were all seated happily, enjoying their food. The father was cuddling his newborn who was sitting on his mother’s lap. And there was their maid, standing there, clutching the chair that was empty… save for the bag of the madame.

And Dyala documented that moment in picture.

Let’s talk about two scenarios.

Scenario #1: 

The maid wasn’t actually told to sit as Dyala was told, in which case I wonder what is it about the madame’s brain that got her to think that poor human being, who probably spends more time with that woman’s children, looking on their table had no right for a chair. Oh, nevermind. How could a Lebanese share a table with the Help? It’s so beneath us, duh!

The maid actually sat at one point to nurse the baby. Then she was told to stand up again after finishing.

The madame probably thinks she’s doing her maid a great service by taking her out with them for Sunday lunch. Who’s willing to bet she will brag about her open-mindedness in that regard to her friends in a few days? Who’s willing to bet she may have also forgotten to feed her lunch? Who’s also willing to bet she’s even prouder of that uniform she got her because “their clothes are just too filthy?”

Scenario #2:

The family asked the maid to sit and she refused. People took this as a sign that the family is good, that people treat maids well but they don’t want to benefit from our goodness as Lebanese.

Has anyone wondered though: why did that person refuse to sit? Why does she refuse to take a chair? What has led this person to believe that sitting, as an equal to the family on that table, is an abomination? What has gotten that poor woman to believe that she shouldn’t take the seat that the bag ought to have?

Conclusion:

Regardless of whether scenario #1 or #2 played out in that restaurant yesterday, a pattern emerges of a disgusting Lebanese mentality that manifests in a behavior that believes sharing the table with that person is a disgrace, a lowering standards. That woman didn’t sit because this country is brimming with disgusting individuals who don’t think she deserves an empty chair.

Dyala has written her own blog post on the matter in which she has declared “shame on [her]” for taking down the picture. I regret hiding this blogpost yesterday as well.

We “import” these people in a form of modern day slavery. We work them like there’s no tomorrow on a salary that is not only laughable but a disgrace. They don’t have rights and even if they had, we make sure they don’t have access to any of those rights’ forms. They cannot seek protection. They suffer from our abuse day in day out. Our media ridicules them or goes on manhunts against their existence because the Lebanese is always right.

But that doesn’t matter, I guess, because Beirut is THE place to visit.

The Lebanese Fathers Who Hate Their Daughters

I didn’t believe when I was told she was getting a divorce.

The initial thought that crossed my mind, in sectarian Lebanon, was the how, given her sect. I then asked the why. They said her husband was beating her up. I would have never told. I knew her for a very long time. I knew her husband for considerably less but he never gave the impression of being a wife beater.

Or that could have been the reason why she liked wearing longer sleeves than usual during the times when long sleeves were intolerable.

What will happen to the children? I asked. Nobody knew. They said they might split custody. Others said their father didn’t have time to take care of them. In a few weeks since she took her decision, she became a single woman with children to support in a country that doesn’t accept cases like hers.

And I couldn’t have been prouder of her: standing up for herself, her body, her bruised arms, her children, their sanctity and all of their well-being.

I figured things could only get better for her now: she had family that should help her get back on her feet, she had the support needed to recuperate from months or maybe years of abuse, she had the strength to make herself whole again.

How wrong was I?

Her father was a man of ambition. He sought office many times. Sometimes through proxies whose campaigns he orchestrated, other times by running directly. His ambition surpassed the confines of the town in which he acted but he knew he wouldn’t get farther than that. He tried nonetheless, expanding his repertoire of friends to a growing list of much more influential men who gave him purpose, who gave him lists to drop in conversation, who gave him fake importance which he mistook as influence.

And her father beat her up as well.

He beat her up when he knew she was getting a divorce.

He beat her up when he knew she was going through with the divorce.

He beat her up when he knew she had custody of her children.

He beat her up when he asked her to stop the divorce and get the children back to their father and she refused. He beat her up so much that her ailing mother came to stand between them and was slammed across the floor, as she was withstanding for years, despite the chemo coursing through her veins and the cancer killing her insides.

He beat her up because he felt it gave him power, because he figured it would straighten her behavior.

She feared he’d beat her up if she visited her mother in the hospital. So she didn’t visit.

She feared he’d beat her up if she visited her mother to take care of her on the days her husband had her kids. So she’d wait in the car until he left before she’d sneak in.

She feared he’d beat her up if she did anything that he would think was out of the ordinary so she never did.

Her husband beating her up was something. Her father, on the other hand, was something else.

His abuse diffused to her siblings who mentally abused her as well. He rendered her a doormat on which they stepped every time the woes of life overburdened them. And she took all of it anyway.

Then, when it all became too much to bear, she decided to seek help. So she went to a lawyer. How can I sue both my father and my husband, she asked while clutching the medical reports detailing the abuse she was withstanding. The lawyer advised her not to. If you sued them, he said, the law will say there’s something wrong with you because they both beat you up.

There was nothing she could do. So she kept on taking it, hoping that one day things will get better.

That father is one of the Lebanese fathers who hate their daughters, who don’t deserve their daughters, their wives or any of the women of their lives. Those are the fathers who should stand by their daughters, forcibly weakened by society and by law, regardless of whether their daughters are in the wrong or the right, but not only fail to do so, they stand against their daughters forcing them to go down to where society put them. Those are the fathers who perpetuate the weakness that society has inflicted in our women.

I hope for a day when she wakes up and find the strength she has, despite it all, somehow rewarded. Until then, may her god be with her.

3askar 3a Min?

The above picture is not in Syria. It is not in Libya. It’s not in Egypt. It’s not in Bahrain. It’s in our own backyard. Or front yard in this case – in Downtown Beirut.

The men you see on the ground are not terrorists. They are a group of seven people that were protesting to ask parliament to pass a bill for civil personal status. The men you see on the ground were not holding guns, they were not burning tires, they were not kidnapping people.

They were holding one banner. They were acting out a wedding between people of different faiths in front of our useless parliament. You know, the parliament that’s always in deadlock and doesn’t pass any law whatsoever except when it is to give those in parliament and those in government more money. And they were beaten up by our awesomely protective security forces. One of the security forces even thought it would be cool to rape a guy with his riffle.

You know those security forces. You know them well. Their testosterone kicks in when students protest for a history book (click here) or when students chant at some university or when a couple decides to kiss in public.

Yes, we sure have macho security forces, staying up every night for our safety. Making Lebanon feel more secure with each passing moment one of them staying awake, fighting all those criminals…. Oh wait.

No, those same security forces cower away when brainless people decide to cut off roads with burning tires. They stand there and threaten you if you take pictures of the protestors while they chat them up and smoke cigarettes together. BFFs I tell you!

Those same security forces are the ones who want you to put them on a pedestal, to honor them, to pay them off – literally – whenever you want to do something. And they want you to do so happily.

Those same security forces are the ones who want you to think you are protected and yet they advise you not to walk around certain areas after certain hours. They also advise you not to walk around certain areas at all.

Those same security forces are the ones who shrug their shoulders whenever they receive news of someone getting kidnapped and continue doing what they do best: eating their Malek l Tawou2 sandwiches.

This is not a country. This is an anarchy. And it’s hopeless. And these convictions are reinforced daily.

3askar 3a min? 3a yalli ma fi bidahro 7ada kbir.

Blown Away (Single Review) – Carrie Underwood

Dry lightning cracks across the sky, those storm clouds gather in her eyes. Daddy was a mean old mister, mama was an angel in the ground. The weatherman called for a twister. She prayed blow it down.

To an incessant heartbeat-like drum, Carrie Underwood’s newest single opens. Blown Away, the second single off the album of the same title, is the darkest song on the album in question and a drastic departure from anything Underwood had given before, be it musically or lyrically.

As Carrie Underwood’s voice breaks in a delivery echoing the character’s need for peace, the song shifts into an ethereal production where Underwood goes into a multi-layered lower register to sing the song’s most haunting line, which confirms what the opening verse makes you think of.

There’s not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house. There’s not enough wind in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that past.

Carrie Underwood may have not been the victim of abuse but she sings Blown Away with so much conviction that it’s hard to think her life wasn’t the struggle she portrays. As she feigns power to sing the song’s chorus, you can’t but hear a faint cry in her voice as she pleads to have her problems blown away by the impeding twister.

Shatter every window till it’s all blown away. Every brick, every board, every slamming door blown away. Till there’s nothing left standing, nothing left to yesterday. Every tear-soaked whiskey memory blown away, blown away.

As the tornado nears her house, the character in Underwood’s song hides away in the cellar of the house, leaving her “daddy laid there passed on the couch.” As she listened to the screaming of the wind, the song exemplifies the amount of hurt the girl has been put through in her life.

Some people called it taking shelter. She called it sweet revenge.

As Underwood shifts between impeccable falsettos and power-singing in her delivery, she delivers an excellent song that is unlike anything else on any form of mainstream radio today. Carrie Underwood is not only singing about whiskey-soaked abuse memories, she’s also telling the story of a daughter leaving her father’s breathing body to the mercy of a wind that knows no mercy, all to a chilling production.

The country-pop production is another instance in which Underwood pushes the envelope further for country radio after a country-rock first single in Good Girl. In Blown Away, the dramatic production proves necessary to bring full effect to a song that desperately cried for such an epic dramatic feel, be it on the thundery chorus or the chilling pre-chorus.

Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, the creators of Underwood’s biggest hit Before He Cheats, have given her the song that might just rival that. Some country audiences will be rubbed the wrong way with the theme of this song but with something this incredible, Underwood shouldn’t care the least. In fact, she should be proud pf that because it’ll be the mark of how great a song this is. With Blown Away, Carrie Underwood has yet again thrown caution to the wind and let her guards get blown away.

Blown Away is a song you can’t resist getting blown away with.

10/10

Listen to the song here:

And watch a sneak-peek into the music video here:

The Lebanese Help: New TV Hosts Ali Mahfouz – The Man Who Beat Up The Ethiopian Maid

The “Lil Nashr” TV show, hosted by Tony Khalife, had Ali Mahfouz as one of its main guests for its Saturday March 17th episode. Mafhouz is the man that beat up the Ethiopian maid in front of her embassy. The maid has since committed suicide.

Using the platform of the TV show, Mafhouz tried to come off as an affectionate man who deeply cared for the girl and was trying to sort out her affairs. He even went further than that and said he would never beat her up and that moment outside the embassy was unlike him.

The rest of this post will be assuming that Mr. Mafhouz was, indeed, acting outside of his character – although I have to say that modern psychiatry and psychology would assert that this violent behavior is, in fact, within his character, whether he wants to admit it or not.

Now, Mr. Mafhouz goes even further and argues that the maid, whose name is Alem Dechasa, was mentally ill and an unstable presence for him and the people she knew. He even cites a coroner’s report that she was having auditory hallucinations while still alive to “prove his point.”

The end result of the episode, which I was able to touch from both my parents, is that many individuals have lost their compassion to the maid and are now seeing her as an insane person, which clears Mr. Mahfouz. He is not in the wrong anymore.

Let’s get a few things straight.

1) A coroner’s job is to examine a dead body for a cause of death, among other factors. There is no way that a coroner (or medical examiner) can tell if the deceased person they’re examining was having psychotic episodes while they were still alive. It is beyond their scope. It is impossible to tell if a dead person was mentally ill via an autopsy and more importantly, there’s no way a coroner would have the authority to write a report containing such information.

2) I am very dismissive when it comes to Lebanese media for many reasons. But I never expected a TV show to host a man like Ali Mahfouz without advocating the victim’s side. This is not how proper journalism works, especially if it’s a TV station that supposedly respects itself. For the entire duration of the show, the arguments of the Ali Mahfouz camp were so front loaded that any attempt to speak on behalf of Alem Dechasa were rendered meaningless. This leads me to point 3.

3) The purpose of the episode, which I’m sure Tony Khalife is very proud of, was not to showcase the Alem Dechasa abuse in an objective manner. It was simply to help clear Ali Mahfouz’s reputation and to convert him from the man who led an innocent woman to her death to a man who was simply escaping the ramblings of a lunatic. Judging by the reactions I got from my parents, which I’m sure echo many other households that decided to tune in, their goal was achieved. New TV must be very happy with themselves.

It is a sad day when a victim’s reputation is tarnished just so an influential Lebanese man can escape the consequences of his actions. A few days from now, the whole affair will be forgotten. It has already started. Those who had thought Alem Dechassa was innocent are now believing the contrary. The rationalization of the Lebanese ego that a Lebanese can never behave this way is starting to work full throttle. The government will soon follow suit, especially as the wheels of Mr. Mahfouz’s “wasta” start spinning.

Alem Dechassa was killed three times. Once when her body was violated in front of her embassy and dragged into Ali Mahfouz’s car. The second time was when she got so desperate and took her own life. The third time was with the Lel Nashr episode that portrayed her as insane. The end result is simple: the victim becomes the abuser and the abuser becomes the victim. Well done New TV. Well done.