Sarah Semrani Azar Treated Her Pets Better Than Her Employees

According to Eva, Sarah placed more value on stray dogs than on human beings. Eva recounts how Sarah once beat her up when her pet dog urinated inside the house, blaming Eva for not taking it outside early enough. Another time, an Ethiopian colleague spilled rice on the floor and when Eva brought tissues to clean up, Sarah beat her up for not bringing towels. She hit her so badly that Eva attempted to jump out of the window, but Sarah stopped her. Eva asked to be taken back to the agency [to terminate her contract] but Sarah refused. Eva recounts that Sarah was always angry and aggressive.

Evangelyn Hernandez

Domestic Worker from the Phillipines

Sarah Sermani Azar & Assaad Azar

Teacher at ALBA, the University of Balamand & Architect

THE STORY

Eva says: “She wanted a 100% perfect clean house. I cleaned and cleaned because I was scared of her but she was never content. I even went outside on the window sills to clean her windows every two weeks. It was dangerous.”

“If she saw dust, she was angry. She would touch the floor and look for dirt. I couldn’t tell her it was because the windows were open, and we were on the third floor and dust came in during the summer. She couldn’t accept that.” – Eva

Eva continues: “Sir Assaad is a good person. So is his family. I had no problems with him.” On Sundays when Assaad and Sarah went out, they would lock Eva in with the dog. Eva was only 20 at the time and she said Sarah scared her by telling her her family were “big people in Lebanon” and they could do anything they wanted to her.

During her time there, Eva remitted money to the Philippines twice – $300 to her friend and $500 to her brother. On 10 October 2017 her employers gave her $100 cash and took her to the airport. Her monthly salary was $300.

She worked for the Azars for 11 months so should have received a total of $3,300. Instead, she received only $900.

There is a shortfall of $2,100 (a phone was purchased for $300 but Eva was denied use of it while she was there).

This Is Lebanon contacted Sarah on Eva’s behalf. She was extremely rude on the phone (see video) and blocked us on four different numbers. She refused to communicate. Only once This Is Lebanon had posted on Facebook did Sarah have her friend post copies of the receipts totaling $800 (there is one for $300 which is disputed). 

Sarah maintains that Eva was paid the balance of her salary in cash at the airport, but Eva disputes this. There is no evidence of any cash payment. Eva says that all she received at the airport was 3 biscuits.

Sarah said: “I am a clever girl from a family of lawyers. I grew up in France and only came to Lebanon two years ago. I know about my animal rights and I know about human rights.” People who were in school with her in Lebanon wrote to us and said that was a lie because she grew up in Lebanon not France. Alas, being clever and having a pretty face don’t make you a decent human being.

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