Friday, July 17th, will go down in history as one of the most heartbreaking days for hundreds of Lebanese families.
The American University of Beirut’s hospital (AUBMC) suddenly fired hundreds of its employees. Local media say the number of dismissed employees could be around 800 to 850.
Hundreds of people are suddenly rendered jobless without any prior notice. Even employees whose monthly salaries were only $100 have been asked to leave.
According to a laid-off employee interviewed by MTV, the hospital fired some employees who had allegedly stolen large sums of money. However, all others who have long served the hospital have been let go for no valid reason.
Tears of shock, anger, and hopelessness were shed outside the university hospital.
To add to the crashing feeling of vulnerability of these hundreds of laid-off people, the army was there present, called in by the AUBMC ahead of announcing the mass layoffs to contain any reactionary protests or attacks.
According to AUB President Fadlo Khuri, the Lebanese government owes AUBMC over $150 million.
In addition, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab is currently suing the AUB for $1 million.
However, if Lebanon’s premier can afford to file a lawsuit for an impressive compensation, these 800 employees can’t possibly claim more than the little they got.
“What will that small amount do for us in this crisis?” said one of these now-former employees to MTV outside the hospital.
Like most in the country, they have been already struggling with the economic situation, and they are now cut off from their source of income.
Unemployment is at an all-time high in Lebanon, and experts expect it to get worse.
Lebanon is in debt and its people are paying the painful price, while the government sits back numb to the pain.
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