Mixed-ethnicity Lebanese 

Racism is a taboo topic in Lebanon, where the majority of Lebanese will deny that there is no racism in their country but according to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) survey, 17 out of 30 private beach resorts admitted to having a policy of denying African and Asian domestic workers admission into the pools.

Most African and Asians in Lebanon represent the status of being servants, which causes the majority of Lebanese to categorize their prejudice towards people based on the color of skin or their Asian features.

For light skinned Black women and Asian professionals, students or Lebanese the treatment goes a step further of continuous harassment due to the majority of Ethiopian and Filipino domestic migrants having a reputation of prostitution.


‘I moved from Nigeria to Lebanon to study at the American University of Science and Technology (AUST), although i’m Lebanese each day has been a battle becasue of the color of my skin’, says Nisreen who is of mixed-ethnicity. ‘Periodically the police will stop me and demand to see my papers, just to make trouble but then when they see my Lebanese nationality they quickly apologize for their ‘mistake’.’

“My friend, who is African-French, came to spend his vacation with me in Beirut last summer and we were all supposed to meet in Gemmayzeh for drinks,” says French student Amelie.

“I heard him shouting my name from outside and I went to see what was the problem. A Lebanese guy was trying to prevent him from entering the bar because he was Black, even though he explained to him many times in French that he was on vacation from France.”

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There needs to be awareness raising campaigns to highlight the existence of mixed-ethnicity Lebanese in Lebanon as well as the raising of awareness of racism and stereotyping in the schools, Universities, with the police via workshops and campaigns that would highlight the impact of such discrimination on tourism, the invisible population of mixed-ethnicity Lebanese and professionals working in Lebanon. I also believe that this would have an impact on the treatment of migrant workers who bear the grunt of the racist behavior that exists in Lebanon.