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Kenyan Women Living in Lebanon Face an Uphill Battle to Go Home

Gloria, an undocumented migrant worker, is one of seven women who say they were exploited or physically assaulted by Kenya’s Honorary Consul in Lebanon, Sayed Chalouhi, and his assistant Kassem Jaber, both Lebanese nationals. CNN compiled the details of Gloria’s alleged assault from interviews with her, testimony from a source with knowledge of the consulate, voice memos she sent shortly after as well as an account from a family member she confided in following the confrontation at the consulate in November 2019. Another domestic worker, Linda, told CNN that Chalouhi suggested she do sex work to save up for her repatriation fees — and that when she instead turned to cleaning his office for money, he refused to pay her. Georgina said she was repeatedly pressured by the consul to pursue sex work — and that she was exploited for cash. Melinda, who also alleged physical abuse at the consulate, said she spent three years saving up over $1,000 in fees, only to have the funds withheld from her. When Tracy asked the consulate to facilitate her repatriation, they inflated the cost by $550 and refused to begin the process until she covered the payment. Two other domestic workers, Elizabeth and Lisa, also said they were overcharged.