For decades, several employees of Lebanon’s Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) have been working at the Education Ministry.
This week, Minister Tarek Al-Majzoub decided to expel them to “where they belong.”
Over the course of 32 years, i.e. before the Education Ministry came to occupy its current building, these employees were part of the Ministry’s team, collaborating on tasks and projects with their colleagues without reportedly any issues.
It was a shock, therefore, for them to be informed on July 1st that they would soon have to evict their offices on the grounds of the Ministry’s need for the workspaces that they occupied.
Bewildered, the 10 employees repeatedly attempted to contact Minister Al-Majzoub to get answers but to no avail. They tried to set up a meeting with him but their pleas were not heard; until they finally were last week.
In the Thursday meeting, they explained to the official that their lives had been “programmed” in accordance with their residences’ proximity to the Education Ministry’s headquarters.
“The economic conditions no longer allow us to incur additional expenses,” they pled, indicating that the CERD headquarters that they were being forced to transfer to was far away.
While the Minister did appear to sympathize with their appeal during the meeting, as a member of the group attested to Al-Akhbar, the employees’ high hopes were crushed when, this past Monday, their offices were no longer theirs.
The outraged employees were asked to leave without being allowed to take their belongings from their offices and were told that “someone would send them their items in boxes.”
In its aftermath, Minister Al-Majzoub reportedly justified the decision by saying that it was in adherence to the general mobilization and social distancing rules, aka, distributing the Ministry’s employees over a larger space.
However, the question that the employees have been wondering about is, considering that the general mobilization has been active for months, why now?