Testimony of Vanessa


One of the few stories being reported on.
Multiply that by thousands of similar stories each and very day.
Then approximate the levels of anger and despair of people living this in Lebanon (and elsewhere).


‘Yesterday at Starbucks café ashrafieh, as I was standing at the counter waiting for the coffee I had ordered, a young man walks in and asks an employee ( at the counter) if there were any job vacancies he could apply for.

The employee takes a look at him and says no there is nothing for you as we only hire Lebanese people. Please keep in mind that the coffee shop in question is an international coffee shop, a franchise ( not that it matters). So I look at the employee and sarcastically ask him: oh! So all the employees are just Lebanese?! He says uncomfortably yes, I think so. I sigh, roll my eyes and say: aha! Interesting! The employee then takes out a paper with the number and address of the company and gives it to the young man and tells him you can go to our headquarters office in Hamra and apply. You can check there if there is a possibility for you to find a job. Well that’s something he should have done right from the start, no?!

So I continue. Would it be possible for a person from Europe to get a job here? He’s like what? I answer a person with a European nationality? He says: don’t you have the Lebanese nationality? I answer no I don’t. He answers: well ofcourse, it’s different for you (me being the all mighty European, I guess!) Anyways, I tell him: it’s really not the answer I was hoping for from you! So it’s ok for a Dutch to work in Starbucks and not a Syrian?! Aren’t we both non-Lebanese?!
At this point a customer interferes saying that if the guy looked decent, “mratab”, then maybe he would have more of a chance. Keep in mind, the guy looked just fine but unfortunately wasn’t wearing signé clothing so he wasn’t mratab enough I guess. The discussion pointlessly continued with the customer and I just cut it short and left.

So the question is the following: it’s ok for Europeans to take our jobs but it’s not okay for Syrians to have the same privilege? 

And when Syrians are denied that privilege( I sadly use the world privilege because unfortunately un-discriminatory behavior has become a privilege nowadays or even a luxury), we complain about them being a parasite to our country, etc etc etc! How does that work exactly?!’

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