Good Job Bourj Hammoud municipality!

[Source]

“The Bourj Hammoud municipality has asked foreign workers – whether they are Syrian, Egyptian, Sri Lankan or Filipino – especially those who do not have identification papers and official or registered lease contracts, to evacuate the region”. [NowLebanon]

Some are saying that this is a racist decision; others are saying it’s a purely political one, but anyone who knows Bourj Hammoud and what’s been going there lately cannot but fully support this decision.

Bourj Hammoud’s municipality has already formed few months back volunteer groups to help protect citizens from crimes and thefts (a job the ISF should be performing) and is doing a great job so far, but the situation has become unbearable lately and it’s only logical to kick out those thugs.

It is worthy noting that this decision has been taken against known groups of people and not against families living in Bourj Hammoud.

I hope other municipalities follow Bourj Hammoud’s example and protect their towns and citizens the same way.

Update: Statements from Tashnag following this decision re-assured that those measures are to be taken against illegal foreign workers and not foreign workers in general.

61 thoughts on “Good Job Bourj Hammoud municipality!

  1. Life with Subtitles

    You might want to rephrase that.. someone could almost think you’re saying foreign workers in Bourj Hammoud are all criminals..

    This reminds me of the ISF banning the use of mopeds when there was a surge in thefts by people on mopeds a few years back.

    Makes no sense.

    Reply
  2. Najib Post author

    Life with Subtitles,
    That’s why I said:
    “It is worthy noting that this decision has been taken against known groups of people and not against families living in Bourj Hammoud.”

    Even the Taghnag clarified that they have nothing against foreign workers or Kurds, but against groups of workers that are committing crimes and causing troubles.

    Head back any day to Bourj Hammoud at night and you will see those thugs in groups harassing almost anyone passing by.

    Reply
  3. Naji

    I also hope they close ” sou2 l a7ad “, it’s hell every Sunday in Sin el Fil.
    flows of Syrians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Kurds etc… except Lebanese ppl walking in our streets w jayyeh w araf…

    anyway I’ve always wanted to share this ;)

    Reply
  4. Haytham

    Making a generic statement about foreigners is obviously racist. And expelling all foreigners, law abiding or not is much worse. How about the municipality punishes crime irrespective to national origin?

    Reply
  5. Gino

    The track record of Lebanon’s Beverly Hills isn’t a good one… Remember the campaign of shooting stray dogs a few years back?! Savages!

    Reply
  6. Quack

    How bout the police take charge of this, not a political group. What is the role of the police if they arent used. Why should a political group take charge of such a situation. The right thing to do it was to inquire with the police on what to do next

    Reply
  7. Jean

    How can u support such a decision. It’s totally racist, regardless how they qualify it. What’s next? Firing all the Indians away because their food overcomes the smell of basterma?

    Reply
  8. Najib Post author

    Quack,
    The police is incapable in Lebanon and crimes have been on the rise lately and there’s nothing they are doing to handle it.

    It’s never a good sign when political parties take care of their own areas, but maybe this will push the police to do its job.

    Crimes are getting out of control in Lebanon.

    Reply
  9. Najib Post author

    Jean,
    All foreign workers who reside illegally in Bourj Hammoud and have been causing trouble were asked to leave. What’s racist about this?

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      No… ALL foreign workers were asked to leave Bourj Hammoud. Not just the ones that are residing there illegally or the immigrants that are causing trouble.

      If you agree with these actions or not, it’s still pretty racist. Instead of doing this the proper way (catching the criminals that are causing trouble), they’re basically creating a witch hunt for all immigrants in the area. How is this going to solve the issue? If anything this is going to cause a bigger problem. This is sadly how Lebanon operates, the lazy way.

      How would you feel if the municipality in the area you’re living in decided to kick you out of the area?

      Reply
      1. Najib Post author

        Patrick,
        Tashnag clarified the next day that this is not against all foreign workers but those living illegally and causing trouble.

        Police is not doing anything to catch the criminals and it’s getting out of hand. Bourj Municipality has been trying to contain those thugs for a long time now.

        Keep in mind this decision did not come out of the air, but after an assault (1 of many) on a Lebanese Armenian young man last week.

        If I am residing illegally and causing trouble, then it’s their right. Those are guests in your country, keep this in mind.

        Reply
        1. Patrick

          Then you should update & clarify this blogpost with the updated statement, because right now it just says they’re going after all immigrants.

          And my comment was regarding legal immigrants.

          Reply
  10. Moses

    Although it’s a controversial decision, it is really stupid to blame the Armenians for it. I mean we always make fun of the Syrian workers and accuse them of being spies (mukhabarat) and make derogatory comments about them. Don’t get me started on how we treat the Filipino, Indian, Ethiopian domestic workers in our houses. So when a group of Kurdish “gangsters” (and again I put gangsters between quotations) terrorize people in the late evenings and stab them, the Armenians become racist! What if that would have happened in a Maronite dominated area, in a Sunni dominated area, then it wouldn’t have been so controversial and racist right?
    Quack,
    We all know the incapability of our local police in fighting crime even in the most secured areas, may I remind you of the number of thefts and homicides that we heard of in the last few months? I am totally against political parties taking control of security in their areas, but hey if the common good is at stake then anything goes!
    Gino,
    What the hell does making fun of Bourj Hammoud as a community have to do with their security issues? So the town is pretty filthy and old, but then again pretty much everywhere is Lebanon with the exception of Rabieh, Beirut Central District, Adma and a few places in Mount Lebanon… That’s because of the messed up political and administrative system of Lebanon.
    I’m all pro animal rights and yes they shouldn’t have shot those poor strayed dogs, but calling them “savages” is a little harsh considering the uncontrolled hunting that goes around in the country not to mention the way that our animals that we eat are grown and slaughtered.
    I could go on…. but this is Lebanon, like or not.

    Reply
  11. Mark

    Najib how would you separate the trouble makers from the non trouble makers? By grouping them all as trouble makers based on ethnicity makes this a racist action.

    In the quote you posted it says they’ve asked all foreign workers to leave, those with or without proper identification. So even foreigners who have the right to be in Lebanon are being asked to leave the area.

    How about they let the proper authorities take care of their issue. If there are people living in Lebanon illegally then the emigration or whatever department could handle it and deport them or get them proper papers. If there are known gangs committing crime, how about they get some proof and pass it to the cops so they could be arrested?

    Reply
    1. Najib Post author

      Mark,
      Bourj Hammoud is very well controlled by Taghnag and the municipality and those causing trouble are well known to all. Go back few months back and you will see they kicked out groups of Lebanese wanting to settle illegally and cause trouble, so it’s not a matter of race of religion.

      They are targetting very well known gang members and groups of thugs causing problems and terrorizing the locals and opening whore houses etc ..

      Cops can’t do nothing about it cause they are useless. They are too busy catching terrorists in Jounieh and Jeita.

      Reply
  12. Moses

    LOL Mark, emigration department and Cops? Are you serious? Are you talking about the same country that we are?
    In no way can the local authorities handle this situation in the right way, or else they would have done so in previous occasions like with the Syrian workers, the car stealing gangs in the southern suburbs of Beirut and the Beqaa, the Palestinian camps etc….

    Reply
    1. Mark

      yeah i’m serious. all burj hammoud should do is get a bit of publicity for their cause and the proper authorities would react. Actually, maybe this whole racist announcement is actually a way for them to get their publicity and now the authorities will be reacting.

      Reply
      1. Najib Post author

        Don’t get your hopes high. You’ve seen the latest PR releases by our dear Minister of Interior?

        He’s so convinced the country is safe he’s gonna ask us 3a chouwe to open our doors at night.

        Reply
  13. rob

    -FIRST its the municipality’s job to take care if this thing its VERY legal
    -SECOND when did the government took care of such issues ? in ANY other area ?
    -what can we do if by coincidence an area well known by Lebanese-Armenian inhabitants and some of the troublemakers (if not the majority) are kurds (im not saying ALL) ?
    -making this political is so typically Lebanese.
    -let me refresh your memory guys that years ago kurds YES KURDS did STABBING and killed some in BH.
    -they are “cleaning” the area not from the kurds only also illegal immigrants like Indians, Pakistani’s etc… so an action should be done as i say this is a LEGAL action its NOT illegal at all.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      Rob, if they were only going after the illegal immigrants and criminals it would be okay. But they’re not. They’re going after every single person who is an immigrant and living in BH. How is that fair to an immigrant who is law abiding and is trying to just live their lives? Why not specifically go after the criminals & illegal immigrants?

      And this is a political issue, how is it not?

      Reply
    2. Patrick

      Nevermind. Apparently the statement was updated regarding this issue stating that they’re only going after illegal immigrants and ones that are causing trouble..

      Reply
      1. rob

        well let me tell u something if a person is a legal immigrant it DOESN’T mean he/she is law abiding ;) they could be legal but making crimes.

        Reply
    1. rob

      well if u have such criminals in your neighborhood please ask your “baladiyyeh” to keep them ok ?
      it seems u love dirty neighborhoods ;)

      Reply
    1. rob

      they are NOT against immigrants let this be clear they are against illegal immigrants and immigrants who commit crime
      being immigrants or not is NOT the issue here
      FHAMO BA2A IGNORANTS… pfff

      Reply
    2. Moses

      Correction: They were not immigrants, they were refugees! They did not come to Lebanon to work, wander around or to study, they were forced by the Ottomans as they were fleeing a genocide in the Syrian desert. And I dare you to cite an incident where Armenians terrorized other “Lebanese” from other sects, like the Kurds are doing in “Beverly Hills” backed by their Sunni counterparts. We all know that the Armenians refused to take part in the Civil war and help their “Christian brothers”, so they were accused of treason.

      Reply
  14. Najla

    “I also hope they close ” sou2 l a7ad “, it’s hell every Sunday in Sin el Fil.
    flows of Syrians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Kurds etc… except Lebanese ppl walking in our streets w jayyeh w araf…

    anyway I’ve always wanted to share this ;)”

    Najib,
    You are pathetic.
    You try to be funny, you try to be intelligent, you try to be on top of it, but what you dont know is that you’re going DOWN!
    Your blog was my favorite, however i am so disappointed with what you said above. i really had more trust in you!! Can you for God’s sake stop being racist?! I am not talking about the whole Bourj Hammoud issue, but rather i am chocked by the this cheap talk!! No Najib, not everyone has the chance to shop from Beirut Sooks! and for your info: there are plenty of lebanese who shop there! Wake up from your little fancy world and go check whats happening in the real world, maybe only then you strat to make sense when talking! and last thing: even if there were no Lebanese there, what kind of statement are you trying to give here??!

    Reply
    1. Najib Post author

      Najla,
      I don’t know what to tell you except it’s not me who mentioned the quote you pasted :-)

      It’s some guy called Naji. I would never say such a thing.

      Thank you 3al “barché” nonetheless lol.

      Reply
    2. Moses

      You do know that there are cheap ass shops in Beirut souks like Zara and H&M, their merchandise cost as low as any shop in Bourj Hammoud, Jdeideh, Furn el Chebbak and Zalka…

      Reply
      1. Najla

        wait I’m lost here: “L” for Loser or for Late?
        Anyhow you’re abit too Late: i apologized to NajiB, so chill

        Reply
  15. Najla

    Phewwwwww!!
    I am happy now!! Because i love your posts and this chocked me SO much!
    I should have known you better, my bad shame on me!!
    Have a nice day Najib ;)))

    Reply
      1. Bassem B.

        You should probably add avatars (or signatures) for you admins, could prevent such situations ;)
        Checking the link on the username isn’t enough.

        Reply
  16. jeff

    Michele,

    Are the Kurds & Filipinos etc who have been asked to clear out of Beverly Hills..Are they immigrants? Please think before you answer. Go back to the Lebanese citizenship laws…
    If the municipality is targeting a certain race; they are racist. However; if these clusters of “immigrants” (who I think are most likely migrant workers with no papers as usual (but Syrians wallaw? they own Lebanon)and causing discomfort and rise in crime; I’d say kick them out and send them to your bleeding hearts neighborhoods (N, Patrick and all you fake liberals…) Lrt’s see how you would handle it. NIMBY right?

    Reply
  17. naji

    Yeh racist against sou2 l a7ad foreigner visitors, u would pass by there on a sunday and let me know what u see except a bunch of jayyeh.

    Reply
  18. Najla

    Naji, how old are you? Please ask you mamma to hold you whenever you pass by Souk el Ahad so your little shiny pink shoes wont be affected by the jayyeh. Nor your pink umbrella god forbids!!

    Reply
    1. Naji

      tsu2 tsu2 tsu2!! u must have got an interest there ( beb reze2 or smthg )
      anyhow, i’m against sou2 l a7ad and those guys who don’t give any interest or added value to our country ( la ikameh wala ijezeh wala taxes ) by3j2o l deneh starting friday night will sunday night, plus byejwo l deneh when they leave.

      I live around there, and it’s not pleasant to see this in front of your living place :) ( maybe you don’t see this every weekend…)

      P.S: mama says hi :)

      Reply
  19. Michele

    Jeff, Moses and Rob, please don’t go Armenian over us!

    So typical!

    Oh yeah btw Jeff,when the Armenians were refugees, Kurds, Filipinos and Syrians came to Lebanon to pursue “The Lebanese dream”, right? Pls get real!

    Reply
    1. rob

      Michele what do u mean by “please don’t go Armenian over us So typical!” not its not im not even an Armenian ;)
      if u have issues with them well its YOUR problem not theirs, its SO typical of YOU! cant argue with people with this mentality… im out

      Reply
  20. jeff

    Michele,

    I don’t think you answered my question as your rationale and statement is full of emotions. Armenians were displaced into Lebanon/Syria/Iraq etc because of the death matches through the desert by the Ottoman Turks. They were treated as family by the great people of Lebanon (that includes your grandparents)…They contributed to the fabric of the land and have become Lebanese. I am sure you understand my point. Kurds and Filipinos and the rest of the migrant workers are here looking for that “Lebanese dream” my dear as you phrased it…Or do you think they were washed ashore by luck?

    Anyways as usual it seems emotions have gotten the best of the point Najib was trying to make! Whether these people irrespective of race: Are they criminal or breaking the laws? Is the law of the land being enforced?
    I would like to see your uproar when your hair gets ruffled if a bearded men with tinted glass loiter in your neighborhood lol…:D. I am vertain you’ll rejoice with love and offer them sweets.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Michele

      Jeff honey, emotional MOI???

      It’s u guys who went historical and hysterical over a simple comment…

      yalla tschuss

      Reply
  21. Haytham

    This is the result of the latest campaign of racism and fear mongering in Burj Hammoud (the one linking all foreigners to crime):

    “we had Lebanese people in Burj Hammoud beating migrants, harassing them, pushing them in the streets under the eyes of the police … at the same time we saw an increasing number of police and security forces.”

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/Nov-01/152753-racist-feelings-high-in-burj-hammoud.ashx#ixzz1cYlV4f4v

    Good job to you all!

    Reply
  22. Sako

    After skimming through some of the comments, I decided to comment. Some of you are making a big fuss out of the issue.

    As a person who works in Bourj Hammoud and opens his shop before 7 AM, I see many Kurds and foreign workers in the morning. After 1 week and 3 days from the incident (stabbing of the Armenian guy), nothing is changed! I’m still seeing many foreign workers.

    For the comments blaming Tashnag for taking control of everything. It’s better to pass by the region and see who’s in control. On Saturday night I had to pass from Dora and there was a LEBANESE ARMY checkpoint. They had 2 of their trucks full of foreign workers (not only Kurds). There were also foreigners walking around so the only logical conclusion is that they were arresting the illegal ones.

    For the renting issue. It’s illegal to rent a room and more than 10 people live in it. Moreover, everyone is free to give rent to anyone he wants. If Bourj Hammoud municipality advises the Armenian people not to give rent to foreign workers because of the problems they’re causing and some of the owners stop the rent; what’s wrong in this?

    Reply

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