Sudanese-Lebanese TV Presenter Attacked for Anti-Syrian Sentiment

Published July 19th, 2022 - 11:17 GMT
Lebanese TV Presenter Attacks for Anti-Syrian Sentiment
(Facebook/Aljadeed TV)
Dalia Ahmad's parents, a Sudanese and an Egyptian, lived in Lebanon for decades, which is why she spent most of her life in the country.

Last January, TV presenter Dalia Ahmad's name stirred debates in Lebanon as she received racist attacks by pro-Hezbollah commentators over her skin color and non-Lebanese origins. Today, her name is widely discussed again, for racist statements she made on TV against Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

On her Friday show, host of "Fashet Khelek" on Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV channel, Dalia Ahmad, heavily attacked millions of Syrian refugees who continue to live in Lebanon since the Syrian civil war that started in 2011, urging them to "leave" and justifying her words by Lebanon's worsening economic crisis.

Dalia Ahmad started her segment by saying that Lebanon is broke and its people are immigrating as a result. She continued to say that Lebanon is "the source of humanity", explaining that the Lebanese people welcomed the Syrians for 11 years, during which the Syrians and Lebanese people used the same resources. 

Ahmad then proceeded to say "unfortunately, the only thing we can share with you now is to immigrate", adding "it can't be that Lebanese people leave while you stay here alone".

Translation: "Lebanese anchor Dalia Ahmad who was subject to racism because of her skin color starts an abhorrent racist speech against Syrians demanding they leave. What Syrians are subject to is beyond logic. People are suffering individual crises in terms of their human identities by spcoeities that were not as bad even before modern times."

In response, online people shared the video of Dalia Ahmad's words, accusing her of expressing racist sentiment against Syrians, just like she "was subjected to racism last January".

According to official reports, Lebanon hosts around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, most of whom express reluctance over prospects of leaving back to Syria, as they fear persecution based on political opposition to the Assad regime.

In October 2021, Human Rights Watch published a report highlighting the different dangers that were faced by returning Syrian refugees, including several cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, and other cases of torture, concluding that Syria is not yet safe for refugees' return. 

Translation: "Who writes the script for her episodes? Because the level of racism is very unique."

During the last 11 years, Syrians reported waves of racist acts by some Lebanese people, which resulted in isolating thousands of them in refugee camps with limited resources or access to education and work.

Meanwhile, Lebanon continues to live through its worst economic meltdown, one that started in October 2019 when the country's financial system collapsed, slashing the value of the local currency and forcing thousands of Lebanese people to live in either striking poverty or to migrate to other countries.

The World Bank had classified the economic crisis in Lebanon as the third worst economic crisis since the 1850s.

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