Beirut mall accused of discrimination for replacing hijabi employee

Beirut mall accused of discrimination for replacing hijabi employee
A shopping mall in Beirut, Lebanon has been criticized for discriminating against an employee because she wore the hijab.
2 min read
04 February, 2022
The hijab-wearing woman had been working at the Achrafieh branch of ABC mall [Getty]

A shopping centre in Beirut has come under fire for firing a hijab-wearing employee earlier this week.

The dismissal occurred at the ABC shopping centre in Achrafieh, a majority Christian area in eastern Beirut. The employee had been working at a pop-up stall for the household items brand Fullhouse.

Somaya Hijazi, a chef and influencer who wears the hijab, said in an Instagram post that she had messaged both ABC and Fullhouse about the incident to call out the “discrimination”.

In the screenshots featured in Hijazi's post, Fullhouse expressed “shock” at the incident and rejected all forms of discrimination.

The brand said it had closed all of its stands and withdrew from the mall to protest the incident.

ABC Mall said it is a "non-sectarian entity" that respects all religions, but maintained that its policy "prohibits any public display of religious symbols" for its employees and salespeople.

Fullhouse said in an Instagram post that “they do not seek to harm any company, business centre or sector, but at the same time we hope that this incident has made [ABC Mall] more aware of their harmful internal policies.”

People also took to social media to express their anger at the shopping centre’s actions, with the hashtag #boycott_ABC in English and Arabic subsequently trending.