If you want this Job – Change the way you dress !

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” If you want this job – you are going to have to change the way you dress ”  This is what my potential employer told me back in 2008 when I had just graduated from A.U.B . Finding a job in Lebanon is hard enough as it is , try finding one when you are veiled . I looked at him with shock , ” Excuse me ” , I said ; ” Well the position you are applying for is a marketing position and we need someone who is presentable ” he said . I wish he had told me this before  I had gone through 3 stages of interviews and meetings . I stared at him for about 5 seconds and yes I did want to slap him in the face , but I took a deep breath and said ” Well , thank you for your time ” and I left .

I left feeling angry and sad that this is the way things are , maybe not every company in Lebanon is like this  , but some companies simply wont hire you if you are veiled . 

I went back home and I got in the elevator and a young woman was in there . She looked at me and said ” I’m sorry you didn’t get the job ” .  Who is this woman , how did she know who I was , where did she come from . She looked at me and said ” I am the wife of the man you just had an interview with and he told me all about you ” . I was still trying to understand what was going on , how was she in my building , was she stalking me ?  ” My parents are your neighbors on the 6th floor ” she said . And it hit me , when I was doing the interview the manager asked me where I lived , but I really didn’t think that the world was that small ”

” Good luck finding a new job”  she said  as she left the elevator ,  ” Thank you ” I said as I was admiring the veil that was on her head !

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7 responses »

  1. We are facing this reality nowadays, as veiled women. The shocking and disturbing part is not being rejected from the job position rather than the people rejecting you. I had faced almost the same incident back in 2007 just as I graduated from L.A.U as Banking and Finance. I did six tiring interviews in a very respectful bank, Six not one! Until the day where I had to meet the branch manager came, I entered the room and found The Holy Book of Quran directly above his desk; I was relieved. However, the first thing he said after welcoming me in the office was; “Would you take off your veil inside the job and were in elsewhere?”
    Unfortunately, I was not as polite and calm as you were. I just replied, “It’s really shocking how someone with a Quran in his room has the courage to ask this question,” I took my things and left.
    I faced many accidents like this but none offended me or touched me as this.

      • me too , i was in grade 9 whe i decided to wear the hijab. when i went to collect my books from school( a very well know one ) . i was surprised when they told me to take off my hijab during school ours and wear it outside. and i had no choice but to leave the school. well , this was back in 1994. now this school accepts veiled girls.
        i can accept this from a Christian school or i can understand when Islamic schools oblige u to wear hijab.but i cant understand why other schools do so…

  2. When I first graduated from AUB back in 2003 and was looking for a job. I got the call I had been waiting for my whole life just weeks later, the number one newspaper in Lebanon wanted to meet me after receiving my CV. I was psyched and very hopeful. I had an interview with the editor-in-chief himself and he kept talking about how impressed he was by my CV!Of course, all my dreams were destroyed when no one called me back. Wondering why? Yes, it was my veil. Ok, at least I didn’t have to go through many interviews to hear what you heard by that manager (who obviously has some issues given his wife is veiled and all), but I was really disappointed, hurt, and discriminated at. All I wanted was a chance, a chance I’m still fighting so hard for, but in the end I know Allah (SWT) had chosen something better for me and it was not what that newspaper was going to offer. I’m really glad I didn’t work there, now that I’ve been through so much since then. That’s our country, sadly. Nice blog, by the way :))))) Thanks for sharing

  3. We are facing this reality nowadays, as veiled women. The shocking and disturbing part is not being rejected from the job position rather than the people rejecting you. I had faced almost the same incident back in 2007 just as I graduated from L.A.U as Banking and Finance. I did six tiring interviews in a very respectful bank, Six not one! Until the day where I had to meet the branch manager came, I entered the room and found The Holy Book of Quran directly above his desk; I was relieved. However, the first thing he said after welcoming me in the office was; “Would you take off your veil inside the job and wear it elsewhere?”
    Unfortunately, I was not as polite and calm as you were. I just replied, “It’s really shocking how someone with a Quran in his room has the courage to ask this question,” I took my things and left.
    I faced many accidents like this but none offended me or touched me as this.

  4. hahahahahah this is so ironic and tipical of the retards run our country a.k.bussiness men
    sorry you didnt get the job israa:S

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