Earlier this week, a woman was reportedly denied entry to at least four different beaches for wearing hijab, a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women.
Ironically, this didn’t happen in some Western or Muslim-minority country. It happened in Chekka, a coastal town located in northern Lebanon, where Muslims are in majority.
According to StepFeed, Rawane Alaedddine, daughter of the veiled woman, was beyond shocked by the blatant discrimination when four out of five beaches refused to let her mother in – even when she assured she didn’t plan to swim.
"I was very shocked and didn't expect this to happen at all," said Alaeddine.
Alaeddine took to Twitter to express her incredulity about the entire episode. Most importantly, she was blown away by the fact they had to face such intolerance in a country where majority of the population follows the Islamic faith.
Though she didn’t exactly remember the names of all the beaches, Alaeddine said only one of the beaches allowed her mother to "sit in the cafeteria," that too away from the rest of the family.
What’s even more frustrating, Alaeddine said all these places had no policy that explicitly stated any such condition for entering the beach. In fact, she said the managers made it "sound like a normal rule."
"We live in Lebanon, a country of diversity when it comes to religions, so you'd think these things wouldn't happen here," the daughter added.
However, it wasn’t the first time women in Lebanon had to encounter such bizarre instances characterized by such regressive mentality.
Last year, a Lebanon-based woman Noura Al Zaim was reportedly forced out of the water at a resort in the country for wearing a burkini, the modest swimsuit that covers the entire body.
Al Zaim was on vacations with her family and had brought a full-body swimsuit that was reportedly made of the same material as any other bathing suit. But she was still told she could not enter the pool as per the resort’s policy.
In her Facebook post, which garnered widespread attention, Al Zaim wrote when she told the manager she would spread the word about the incident, he reportedly said the resort was free to do whatever it wanted.
That same year, another Lebanese woman, Esraa El Baba Mallah, shared a similar story of her sister who was forced out of a pool at Jiyeh Marina Resort for wearing a burkini.
"If this is the Lebanon I love and am a good citizen to, then take my passport and burn it" she wrote in her Facebook post.
It really makes no sense why the country would make it harder for women, who are just abiding by their religion, to go about their normal lives.
Banner / Thumbnail : Pexels, Ismail Salad Somalia