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Workers’ Day 2014 Festival and Parade in Beirut

May 5, 2014

This past weekend was a busy weekend for advocates, activists and migrant workers in Lebanon. The three-day program wrapped up late yesterday afternoon, after a march through Beirut’s streets, from Dora to Mar Mikhael.

I missed KAFA’s book launching on Friday because I was out of town, but I managed to catch the cultural festival in Hamra on Saturday, as well as the march on Sunday. The cultural festival was lovely, with delicious food and great crafts being sold by representatives of different countries working in Lebanon. I ate from Sudan, Nepal, Ethiopia and Liberia all in one night. Where else can you do that?!

Saturday night ended with dancing and singing by a Sudanese man and an Ethiopian woman, with some break-dancing mixed in. It was really a lot of fun and nice to see migrant workers out enjoying a space in a large group. Some photos from the festival are included below.

Yesterday’s event was a march, which started in Dora and wound through the streets to Mar Mikhael. A couple hundred migrant workers, activists and advocates called for legal protection of migrant domestic workers. Photos of the march are below. I know from the workers I spoke with that yesterday was an amazing, happy feeling for many of them. Rarely are they allowed to march through the streets and let their voices be heard. It was a happy day.

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