Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly

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Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly

Unread postby ኦሽንoc » 29 Jan 2010 17:09

Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly


Image
Patrick Galey
Reporter based in Beirut, Lebanon

Even though there were nine nationalities aboard the Boeing 737 jet which burst into flames and crashed into the sea minutes after taking off in a violent thunderstorm on Monday morning, the Lebanese, naturally enough, only concerned themselves with one.
54 Lebanese, almost all from the country's predominately Shiite southern region, are probably dead and the nation's outpouring of grief has been intense.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri declared Monday to be a national day of mourning for the victims; the education minister closed institutions for two days as a mark of respect.
The funeral of a southern businessman, who worked for a food import country in Angola, attracted international media attention, with veiled women throwing themselves on the coffin.
Distraught friends and relatives are still thronging a hospital in southern Beirut, waiting to identify mangled bodies being dragged from the eastern Mediterranean.
The search for the plane's black box is continuing, with families of victims waiting anxiously for clues on what befell flight ET409 in the seconds before disappearing off radar screens for good.
As with any air disaster in a post 9/11 world, terrorism has been raised as a possible cause, with several Lebanese dailies carrying uncorroborated allegations that the crash was the result of a "deliberate attack."
Whatever the cause of the disaster, it has exposed the uncomfortable and often unuttered truth that many Lebanese are still virulently racist.
23 migrant domestic workers from Ethiopia were onboard the ill-fated flight, along with at least seven airline crew members. The pilot was also Ethiopian.
In the absence of concrete facts, Lebanon's transport minister suggested that pilot error may have downed the plane, with the jet having undertaking "a very strange and fast turn" seconds before crashing.
This was all the information many media outlets needed. Naharnet, an English-language news site to be read with a shovelful of salt, carried the offensive headline: "Ethiopian pilot flew wrong way!"
The complete lack of evidence aside, it is certain that no such exclamatory tone would have been used if the pilot were Lebanese.
The inference here is simple: an Ethiopian pilot - silly him - ignored the learned Lebanese air traffic controllers (who have an exemplary record for departure punctuality) and his mad error killed 90 people.
Such scandalous journalese, however, pales in comparison to the appalling treatment of friends and relatives of Ethiopian passengers.
At Rafik Hariri International Airport, while wailing Lebanese family members were consoled by round after round of politicians, offered food and drink and drip fed information on victims as and when it was received, Ethiopian concerned were sidelined totally.
Desperate women, dressed in the scrubs which often adorn domestic workers, pleaded with authorities for information only to be shepherded into a separate room from Lebanese mourners.
DNA databases that will be used to identify mangled corpses are only being compiled from Lebanese blood samples. No Ethiopian has been asked to participate, even if relatives were on board.
A normally well-respected broadcaster conducted a live piece to camera outside a hospital with their Beirut correspondent on Monday night.
An Ethiopian, wracked with grief, unwittingly wondered into shot only to be literally hauled out of view by the Lebanese crew. Had she been Lebanese, it is unthinkable she would have been treated like this.
Much has been written on the plight of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. The relatives of one Ethiopian victim said that their daughter was on the way home to Addis Ababa for good after years of being beaten by employers.
To witness the neglect of friends and relatives left behind in Lebanon will offer Ethiopian families no comfort.
The BBC even commissioned a special report on the Lebanese diasporas in Western Africa. No such article was mooted for the reverse demographic.
It is entirely understandable for news agencies and civilians to take interest in their own nationals during times like this.
But to systematically sideline, even vilify Ethiopian victims, many of whom would have led a pitiful existence in Lebanon in domestic servitude, exudes exactly the opposite of the mercy relatives of Lebanese victims are pleading for.
In times of disaster, people let down their guard. The disaster of flight ET409 showed large parts of Lebanese society for what it is.

Source:Huffington Post

Guest

Re: Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly

Unread postby Guest » 29 Jan 2010 19:30

even in this kind of time those arebs don't have any good heart to show respect for the relatives of the victimes. this shows how racist they are.
they only worried about themselves the reporter did a great job showing the world what kind of people who are they.
I hope one day we stop immigrant to be house workers for this stupid arebs.

Guest

Re: Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly

Unread postby Guest » 30 Jan 2010 08:11

First of all, my dear friend, try to improve your English before you post. Arabs are not stupid. you cannot name a nation, a collection of people stupid. As an individual, a person can be stupid; for example YOU!!!!! You talk about racism as if it is began with arabs. the world is full of racists and one of you is again YOU!!!! I feel sorry for the Ethiopians lost in the crash; and i EQUALLY feel sorry for the Lebanese too. After all, we all are homo sapiens!!! my brother, think about your own opinion towards others before you label anyone racist!!!

Guest

Re: Flight ET409 Exposes Lebanon's Racist Underbelly

Unread postby Guest » 08 Mar 2010 20:28

Hey! Did you forget the maid abuse.I know thousands of ethiopians went to Beirut and made suecide because of ur racist abuse.And your government is also ignors all this abuse.Dont get angry LEBANON and ur GOVERNMENT ARE RACIST


Last bumped by Anonymous on 08 Mar 2010 20:28.


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