At American U. Beirut, Concerns on Work Permits for Foreign Hires

March 9, 2015

The American Association of University Professors chapter at the American University of Beirut has issued a statement condemning the Ministry of Labor’s “selective discrimination against some foreign nationals seeking employment or work permit renewals at AUB.”

“We are especially concerned by the Minister of Labor’s excessive delays in processing (and in some cases refusing to grant) work permits to Syrian, Palestinian and Ethiopian faculty and staff, except if they are employed in low-skilled and low-wage jobs. While these actions officially aim to ‘protect Lebanese workers from foreign competition,’ they are discriminatory in their focus on specific nationality and racial groups and not others (e.g., American or European nationals),” the statement says. 

The AUB administration released a statement in response to the AAUP chapter, stating “emphatically that this association does not represent the official position of the University, and its members do not speak on behalf of the administration.”

“The University continues to work closely with the Ministry of Labor on all labor matters and follows Lebanese laws in this regard. The University recruits its administrative and academic staff according to the highest competitive standards, basing its decisions on their qualifications, regardless of their nationality, race, religion or ethnic background.”

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