On 18 February, 2018 Aberash messaged us on Facebook: “Am working now lebanon and my employer has not given me 3 yrs salary plz help me”. We contacted Samir Akl and as a result, Aberash asked us to withdraw as she was hopeful they would pay. After that we lost contact. On 12 May we contacted both Samir and Nada on WhatsApp asking for an update on Aberash. They both blocked us. We then posted on our FB page: “Aberash worked for Samir Akl and Nada Gemayel in Bikfaya for 6 years. As of February 2018 she was owed 3 years salary. She asked us not to contact them after Feb as she thought they would pay. In March she disappeared off Facebook. Her phone no longer works. Yesterday we asked Samir and Nada to give us an update as her family are worried. They both blocked us. Samir and Nada, where is Aberash? If anyone has any info, please inbox us.”
Only after we posted did Samir unblock us and gave us a contact phone number for Aberash who it turned out was sent home on 4 March. We rang Aberash in Ethiopia and she advised us that she received $3000 payment at the airport and was sent home with the promise that they would forward her the remaining $3000. Despite the promises, they cut off contact with her (until we posted!) and hadn’t sent her a single lira.
Aberash sent us an audio she’d secretly recorded of Nada before travelling saying, “Regarding the money, you need to be patient. Please Rasha. We need to pay the school fees. You need to be patient with us.”
In a message to us on FB, Samir states: “We agreed with her that we will pay bit by bit. You are not tittled (sic) to threaten us. You stated that we hid Aberash and did awful things to her. Our lawyer will get involved.” He then got his lawyer to contact us.
They have now brought in a replacement for Aberash.
Samir Akl and Nada Gemayel, how could you treat someone who lived with you for 6 years this way? How could you send her home owing her $3000 then block her and refuse to pay?? How could a wealthy architect bring a domestic worker and then not pay her causing her extreme anxiety and deprivation for her family? If you are strapped for cash, why did you spend money bringing a replacement instead of paying your debt to Aberash?