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    Hijab Brawl Sparks in Lebanon: 'You Can't Hear Me Because of That Scarf'

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    A scandal that flared up in Lebanon after a university teacher reportedly had a go at one his female students for wearing a scarf has led to severe protests in the country's capital.

    What Happened

    A student at the American University of Beirut (AUB) Maryam Dajani reported discriminative behavior against her by a professor of sociology, Dr. Samir Khalif, who was allegedly unhappy with the fact that the young woman was wearing a hijab.

    The woman explained that she was taking notes during sociology class and missed the ending of a phrase, which is why she politely asked the teacher to repeat what he said.

    But "he looked at me, eyes filled with anger, and shouted at his loudest: ‘You know why you can't hear me, because you have that stupid scarf covering your ears… if you removed that scarf you would've been able to hear me,' the young woman wrote on Facebook.

    After class, the professor started questioning her about her family and lifestyle, Dajani said, adding that their dialogue was humiliating for her.

    "After having finished the lecture an hour half later he randomly asked me where i had studied all my life, as to analyze me, my 'stupid scarf', and barbaric mentality. Then he proceeded to ask about my parents and whether my mother is also scarfed. His attitude was a disgustingly intolerable offensive ethnocentric attitude, it as though he had never seen a hijabi woman in an educational institute before," the young woman said.

    Professor Responds

    Commenting in the incident, Dr. Khalaf confessed in an interview with StepFeed that he might have "overreacted."

    At the same time, he noted that he didn't use the adjective "stupid" and that his reaction was a result of Dajani's numerous requests to repeat his words.

    "She is the only student who continuously asks me to repeat what I am talking about during my lectures. To my chagrin, she does this very, very often. So calmly I interjected last time, and perhaps I should not have been so candid and told her that if the scarf is not so tightly covering her ears, she might be in better condition to hear me more audibly," Khalaf told StepFeed.

    People's Reaction

    Following the incident, Dajani and other AUB students organized a protest campaign against discrimination.

    The woman's decision to raise the issue has caused vivid responses among social media users.


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    Islam, hijab, university, discrimination, Lebanon
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