Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

Updated 27 May 2015
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Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

MUSCAT: Oman plans to deport over 1,000 foreigners found to be working illegally on a multi-billion dollar project to expand Muscat International Airport, in a sign of tensions between its labor policy and its big infrastructure building plans.
“The companies for which these illegal workers were working will be fined and the workers will be deported,” Salim bin Said Al-Badi, director-general of labor welfare at the Ministry of Manpower, was quoted as saying this week by local media.
Times of Oman said the laborers were employed to build a new terminal at the airport, but did not have the necessary work permits for the construction sector. Instead, they held visas to work in restaurants, coffee shops and barber shops, and as tailors and housemaids.
The media reports said at least some of the workers were from Bangladesh, but did not give details or name the companies involved.
There are over 1.5 million foreign workers in Oman, many of them from south and southeast Asia; they far outnumber the Omani citizens working in the private sector.
The government wants to limit the number of foreigners, in order to make more jobs available for Omanis and reduce the amount of wages remitted abroad.
The Al Shabiba daily quoted Minister of Transport and Communications Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Futaisi as saying the deportations would not delay the planned completion of the airport project by the end of 2016.


Lebanese women hail first female Arab interior minister

Updated 8 min 37 sec ago
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Lebanese women hail first female Arab interior minister

  • Though Lebanon is widely held to be liberal by regional standards, with women playing a prominent role in public life, some of its laws continue to uphold a patriarchal social code
BEIRUT: Lebanon has appointed the Arab world’s first female interior minister in its new government, prising open a wider foothold for women in its overwhelmingly male political scene.
Raya Al-Hassan is one of four women to take Cabinet jobs in the new coalition, more than ever before in Lebanon and three more than in the last government, in which even the minister for women was a man.
Though Hassan has already held top jobs — including finance minister in 2009-2011 — her appointment to a portfolio managing security was hailed as a step forward for women in Lebanese politics.
“This is a point of pride for all women and all the people who believe in women’s capabilities,” Hassan said.
“There are a lot of female interior and defense ministers in the world and they have proved their efficiency. It might be a new phenomenon for Lebanon and Arab countries, but hopefully it will be repeated and not be unique,” she added.
The three other women in the 30-strong Cabinet are in charge of energy, administrative development and the economic empowerment of women and young people.
Though Lebanon is widely held to be liberal by regional standards, with women playing a prominent role in public life, some of its laws continue to uphold a patriarchal social code.
Many of Lebanon’s civil laws, including personal status matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance, are applied according to religious sect and in some cases treats women differently than men. Lebanon has 17 recognized Muslim and Christian sects.
In 2017 the Parliament abolished an old law that absolved rapists if they married their victims. But marital rape and child marriage are still legal.