Two Indian Friends in Lebanon


This testimony was shared with the Anti-Racism Movement last week.


I am an Indian girl, who has light skin, light hair and light eyes recently me and my friend (who is also Indian but with with dark skin, dark hair and dark eyes) visited Lebanon on holiday as tourists. I was astounded by the difference in treatment we both received. India also has a lot of problems with racism, but somehow I have never seen such outright racism.

Racism exists everywhere in all of us, in varying degrees, I totally get that. However, the kind of discrimination my companion faced bordered on cruelty to the point where we cut our trip short. You must be wondering why am I reporting this and not here, well the reason is because the instance left her so upset that I do not ever want to bring it up again.

Everywhere we went in people with give her demeaning looks , one time a teenage boy called her ‘blacky’, or refer to her as Sri Lanka, like ‘hey Sri Lanka’ (even though we are both Indian and not Sri Lankan). One time when we were shopping and these people around our age (we are in our early 20’s) came up to us and asked where we are from, when I said I’m Indian they said “But how can you be Indian? You are white.” (which is ignorant because India is a very diverse place in terms of ethnic heritage as well). Then they went and asked us about our professions. At this point my companion replied that she is a model. Their mouths fell open, and one of the girls actually said this :“You are so ugly and dark, how can you be?”

It was like a slap in the face for both of us. My friend told her she was racist and we walked away. It was awful, I don’t think I will be returning. This is especially surprising to me because I did my undergraduate degree in America where I had lots of Lebanese friends at my university who never once displayed racism.

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