Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The System Ejects Charbel Nahas

In the negotiations period leading to the formation of the current government, my PhD supervisor confided that he had been "offered" by Nabih Berri the post of the Ministry of Labor, but that he had refused it. In the words of my supervisor, "there's nothing you can do in this ministry. I don't want it.". I got upset and thought I just missed my chance to become the adviser on migrant domestic work to the ministry of Labor.

Charbel Nahas proved that my dear professor was wrong. There's a lot you can do and that needs to be done in the Ministry of Labor. But if your try hard, you are bound to collide with political feudal "higher" interests.

I believe that reform of domestic worker was one of those areas where Charbel Nahas, in order to secure the rights and dignity of local and foreign domestic worker, had threatened the economic interest of many who profit on the kafala sponsorship system. But it was the "controversial" decree governing the transportation allowance that was the last straw.

For the Lebanese corrupt governance system, Charbel Nahas is a virus that has to be ejected out.

Now that Charbel Nahas has submitted his resignation (to Aoun, head of reform block; it seems that it has not been submitted to the council of ministers and therefor not in effect yet), I can only hope that his possible successor pursues the reform of domestic work in Lebanon as envisioned by Nahas.

Wissam al-Saliby, Ethiopian Suicides

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