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Sporting Club bans entry of veiled woman


The Sporting Club in Ain Mreisseh, banned entry of a veiled (muhajaba) woman who was accompanied by her daughter Farah Choucair and granddaughter, justifying this act by the policy of the resort which disallows muhajabat from entering the pool with clothes on. On the subject, Choucair told Al Akhbar daily that when the receptionist could not explain why her mother was barred from entering, and when she insisted that her mother only wanted to have coffee near the pool and help her out with her child, Farah said: I saw one of the managers who did not clearly state his point of view but repeatedly said she should be wearing the swimsuit. Said club, Farah lamented, does not spell out its policy through a sign that shows clearly its entry rules. Meanwhile, while tourism ministry sources confirmed to Al Akhbar that the tourism police will open an investigation to this effect, the Sporting Club administration reiterated in a statement that no one can enter the pool except in a swimsuit, irrespective of sect or gender. For his part, the president of travel and tourism companies in Lebanon, Jean Beiruti, said veiled women cannot be unconditionally disallowed from entering swimming pools. But if the private swimming club has specific rules within a specific area, these should be visible to all, provided they don’t disagree with public order or suggest any form of racism or violation of public freedoms. Similarly, Rana Bou Karim of the Anti-Racism Movement, pointed out that the party grieved can sue the Sporting Club, stressing that similar practices are in clear breach with the circular of the ministry of tourism which bans discrimination in all its forms. (Al Akhbar, July 6, 2020)

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