- Title: Sun salutations in Lebanon to support migrant workers
- Date: 25th September 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (SEPTEMBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS TAKING PART IN YOGA FUNDRAISING EVENT INCLUDING DOMESTIC WORKERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ETHIOPIAN DOMESTIC WORKER IN LEBANON, MAKDES MOHAMMED, SAYING: "I liked to come here because Yoga is very relaxing, we have a hard time at work and it relaxes our body and nerves. We always keep thinking of so many things at work and there's a lot of stress and it comforts me." VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS DURING YOGA CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ETHIOPIAN DOMESTIC WORKER IN LEBANON, MAKDES MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Yes, there is surely a lot of stories of injustice (for migrant workers in Lebanon), and there are many things, we always speak about this, we protest. I wish we can have more rights and freedom." VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS SETTING AND LISTENING TO TRAINER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YOGA TEACHER, MEMBER OF ONE OM YOGA, LAMA ISSA, SAYING: "Today we have people that don't need to have any yoga experience, from all ages, genders and nationalities, so it is really bringing people together, Yoga brings people together, this is the idea." VARIOUS OF CLASS IN PROGRESS BEIRUT, LEBANON (SEPTEMBER 21, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ETHIOPIAN DOMESTIC WORKER AND MOTHER OF THREE, BENAYNISH, SAYING: "Yes I got a bit tired, we always work and work and we never do Yoga. Today I did half of it and couldn't continue." VARIOUS OF YOGA CLASS IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PARTICIPANT, SARAH EL CHAER, SAYING: "Domestic Workers in Lebanon are not getting their fair share of rights, this is why we liked to participate to shed light on this cause, because it is very important and its their right to live with the most basic human rights guaranteed for them." VARIOUS OF YOGA CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SOMALI MIGRANT WORKER IN LEBANON, OMAR FADDOUL, SAYING: "None of us are the same, there are some people who are really nice, people that are okay, and some that are really bad, because there is a way people view foreign workers, this is why, there is a small percentage of racism, I cannot say it's 100 percent but maybe 40 percent." VARIOUS OF CLASS
- Embargoed: 9th October 2019 11:54
- Keywords: Migrants in Lebanon Domestic workers in Lebanon Racism Yoga Lebanon Yoga in Lebanon
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001AY5NM1J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A single Yoga class is bringing together 60 people from different races, nationalities and religions in support of the rights of the migrant community in Lebanon.
The two-hour event held in Lebanon's capital Beirut, is organised by One OM Yoga, in order to raise funds for Lebanon's "Anti-Racism Movement" (ARM) which runs a centre for migrant workers.
The class, named "Sun Salutations", gathered people who never practiced Yoga before.
The class is a way to escape the pressures of daily life for Ethiopian migrant worker Makes Mohammed, who, like thousands others, bears the burden of heavy daily housework.
"I liked to come here because Yoga is very relaxing, we have a hard time at work and it relaxes our body and nerves. We always keep thinking of so many things at work and there's a lot of stress and it comforts me," she said.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have blamed the kafala system, which exists in many parts of the Middle East, for the abuse of migrant workers, who they say are vulnerable to exploitation because they cannot change jobs.
A migrant worker dies from "non-natural causes" every week in Lebanon according to Human Rights Watch, with suicide among the leading causes of death.
The criticism has led to some nations reforming the system and in March, Lebanon's labour minister Camille Abousleiman set up a committee to look at the system.
Ethiopians make up the biggest group of migrant workers in Lebanon, according to government data.
(Production: Imad Creidi)
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