When we asked Anna Khoury to pay Gamane her 7 months unpaid salary, she took her to Savera Agency who sold her and refused to give us her new employer's number.
Bought & Sold, Worker from Ethiopia
Slaveholder & Slavetrader
Gamane Ifa Ejigu worked for Anna Khoury for 1 year and 3 months. When we first contacted Anna via WhatsApp on 28 August, 2019, Gamane was still working for her and was owed 6 months’ salary. We told her Gamane’s family had been in contact with us distressed because she wasn’t communicating and hadn’t sent money for a long time. We requested that Anna send us pictures of Gamane’s salary receipts. Anna replied, “Hi. I always transfer her salary but still 4 months and will send 2 months this coming days and if you want I will send you the old receipts.” Knowing that Anna owed Gamane 6 months salary and was refusing to pay, we continued to ask for the pics. On 31 August, Anna responded, “Who are you to talk with me about my privace. I will talk to my lawyer to contact you. Send me phone number to give it to him. We have all receipt and this personal life. She has 2 month and will send her to Ethiopia. Do not call here.” Once again, we pressed her to send the receipts and told her if she didn’t pay, we would post about her. She replied, strangely, “Sorry im not anna. My name is christine. I don’t care.” We gave Anna ample opportunity to regularlize Gamane’s papers and pay her.
We also contacted Marwan Farhat, Anna’s husband, seeking his help. After phone calls proved unfruitful, we wrote to him on 22 September, “Please pay Gamane. She was serving your child. You need to pay at least part of the debt by tomorrow or we’re posting about both of you.” He responded that he and Anna had separated, he was married to another woman, and he only visited the house to see his child. He also said if we mentioned his name, he “will directly go to the court in canada or any where even if you are on the moon.” Marwan had a moral, if not a legal, responsibility to pay the person who was raising his child.
Unfortunately, neither Anna nor Marwan paid Gamane any of the salary she was owed. Anna took Gamane to Savera Enterprises agency on 19 September. On 23 September, 2019 we contacted Abbas Moussawi at Savera. Abbas is a personal friend of Marwan. He said he would send Gamane’s family the 7 months 10 days unpaid salary in one week. On October 1, we contacted him again as no money had been sent. He said he was waiting for her new employers to pay and that we could not contact Gamane as her new employers might return her if we did so.
On 7 October, Gamane still hadn’t sent any salary and once again she was being denied contact with her family. We contacted Abbas at Savera but he refused to give us her employer’s number. Instead he cursed us and accused us of being Zionist spies.
A friend of This Is Lebanon contacted Savera asking for an Ethiopian domestic worker who spoke some Arabic. She was told there were none available at the moment and the going price was US$5,000. No wonder Abbas was keen to sell Gamane to a new buyer. At the very least, he could use some of that money to pay her 7 months salary.
These are the the many people involved as Gamane was enslaved, returned to the agency, then resold.