September 3, 2020 | 9:29 pm | Fraud Allegations


Privately, our Accusers are sending messages to their networks alleging that we took credit for purchasing 33 tickets for Kenyans that we did not purchase (and never claimed to). Publicly, they are calling us a scam on social media.

This Is Lebanon has been committed to fighting against the injustices faced by migrant domestic workers in Lebanon for over 3 years and has a team with a combined experience of over 35 years fighting the Kafala system. We are a wide network of individuals who rely on secrecy in order to preserve the privacy of victims and the security of those who fight alongside them. This secrecy is necessary due to the continual efforts of the Lebanese state– particularly General Security– and their numerous attempts to shut us down as we have succeeded in bringing international media attention to the plight of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. As a result of the Lebanese state apparatus wishing to derail our work, we maintain a high level of discretion about our active cases and anyone involved with helping us.

Over the past few days, due to the attention raised towards repatriating Kenyan migrant workers, false accusations have surfaced over social media which we vehemently deny. We know who they are. They hopped on the scene a month ago and they will not be around for long (they want to “hand over” the work to someone); we will still be around. We are happy for the work they have done, but are dismayed by the fact that we have now wasted dozens of hours doing damage control due to their false allegations against us.

On the 3rd September, This Is Lebanon was alerted to false allegations circulating on social media accusing This Is Lebanon of being a scam solely based on the fact that the Accuser (who openly admits to be working with General Security, the worst actor in the Kafala system) had failed to find anyone admitting they were working with This Is Lebanon when they questioned migrant workers. As mentioned previously, it is a key policy maintained by This Is Lebanon to maintain a high level of discretion regarding partners or affiliates working with us, especially for someone we do not trust.

Everyone who works with us works on a need to know basis and is encouraged to hide their role with us from anyone they do not trust. There is not a single person in Lebanon who knows even half of our operations, contacts, connections, volunteers or any related aspect to our work in Lebanon. In the entire history of our organization, we have only had one person in Lebanon who has been willing to be known for her association with us, and that person is actively working hard to help us provide better levels of care to migrant domestic workers through partnerships.

We have been fighting Kafala for years with hundreds of success stories and are well-known amongst the migrant domestic worker community. There are over 500,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and their desperate situation is unlikely to be resolved soon. With the upsurge of groups and fundraisers wishing to serve vulnerable groups in Lebanon given the recent events, we are proud to see Lebanon uniting. However, there is a small minority who seem more focused on taking credit for helping than on resolving the larger problem. They claim they were the only ones helping the Kenyans, while we have personally talked to and witnessed about half a dozen organizations and at least a dozen individuals who have provided substantial aid.

Our Accusers are one of the small groups who initially formed to help Kenyan migrant workers, but due to their inexperience working with groups well established in working on migrant worker issues, failed to understand the need for secrecy practiced by so many who support migrant workers in a climate of state hostility to the struggle. Furthermore, they do not understand the distrust that migrant domestic workers have for Lebanese, even those who come to help. They also did this "investigation" into us just a couple of weeks after a Kenyan national was brought to cyber-crimes for alleged ties with us and ISF told a group of Kenyans, anyone who talks to This Is Lebanon will be arrested." Moreover, after that incident they also began to receive threats on their personal phones.

This Is Lebanon is aware of the individuals spreading the accusations and has reached out and pleaded to discuss the issues. We know that they have worked hard for the last month to help the stranded Kenyans and applaud them for that. However, spreading malicious lies tarnishes our organisational trust which we have worked tirelessly for, ultimately compromising hundreds of ongoing active cases we are working on and thereby harming and distracting us from the goal we are both interested in: assisting migrant workers with finding a safe passage home. There are workers that are in a worse state right now, because we are spending time writing this instead of fighting for the workers that are asking for our help.

We will NOT STOP until our sisters get home. Just two days after we internally planned our #SendUsHome campaign, the Kenyans took up their belongings and went to the Kenyan Consulate to protest against Honorary Consul, Sayed Chalouhi and his assistant, Kassem Jaber, for blocking their repatriation and their long history of abusing and taking advantage of the women who reach out for help. When we launched our campaign, we did not want this money to be used in a way that alleviated the sending country's responsibilities, but in a way that would pressure sending countries to repatriate their citizens. We are in the process of publishing and developing the #SendUsHome campaign further to improve efficiency. There are over a dozen sending countries and we have workers that we serve from each of them. Our campaign is not centered solely around the Kenyans, but also around the 500,000+ migrant domestic workers in Lebanon of different nationalities.

We have written a full response to the situation with the Kenyan workers here. Unfortunately, those making the accusations refused to read it. When This Is Lebanon messaged the Accusers about this to clarify their statements, they still refused to read it and respond. Even though they showed themselves to not be trustworthy, This Is Lebanon still offered to have a meeting with them to discuss it, and they refused to even entertain the idea of learning about what we do and how we do it. At best they have misunderstood us, and at worst it is a possible concerted attack on This Is Lebanon as retribution for the damage caused to the Kenyan Consulate’s image since they see us as having successfully gathered evidence against their consulate staff harassing women, as well as years of attempts by General Security to defame This Is Lebanon having highlighted the abuse they have, and continue to, perpetuate on a daily basis against migrant domestic workers. 

We firmly stand together against the abuses of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon and will continue our struggle for their rights and safe return as we have done so for years. Despite the false accusations, we will continue fighting as normal. We’ll be here until the end of Kafala. If you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to us, publicly or privately, instead of spreading false, unsubstantiated rumors. Furthermore, you may also reference the evidence below.

A final note: if you read the evidence from the Accuser and Kassem Jaber below, you will see we have made every effort to try to purchase tickets for the Kenyans. We will continue that effort, but it will be more difficult. We will make an announcement about that in a few days time.



Below is our conversation with the Accuser who does not know what we do, how we do it, and refuses to learn about it. This person misreads our post, refuses to actually read it, and then spreads false statements based of their misinterpretation. Lastly, they join the Consulate's efforts in blocking us from purchasing tickets in an attempt to discredit us. One of their friends has just posted on our Instagram saying we stole the money after we begged them to let us purchase the tickets.

Kassem Jaber, Assistant to the Honorary Consul

Below is our conversation with Kassem where he admits to blocking us from purchasing tickets, tricking us into sending someone to come get a list of tickets to purchase and admits to sending the information of anyone who he believes is associated with us to Internal Security Forces.

Concerned Lebanese

Below is our conversation with someone in Lebanon who, prior to my conversation with the Accuser, sends us the exact same screenshot and the exact same allegation, based off misreading clearly written English, and not reading the post. Also important to note that the false allegation is based off the fact that on Twitter, where we only have 4,000 followers, we posted a short version and linked the full explanation and they didn't follow the link and misunderstood the Tweet, whereas on Facebook where we have 110,000 followers, we posted the full text on the Facebook post.

Lebanon's Security Forces & Judiciary

Below is proof that our security model is not unfounded, but completely necessary. Our people will not reveal themselves, and we will not reveal our people to others just because they have been "on the ground" for one month. One thing is for sure, General Security and ISF are convinced we are in Lebanon. Kafala is a system of administrative practice by General Security, which consistently grants immunity to the Lebanese employers to rape and murder their worker, while criminalizing the work of aiding those who need the most help. Every good person should be a criminal when it comes to Kafala.