DUBAI: A newly elected Lebanese MP from the “change” bloc has accused several of her fellow politicians of intimidation and sexual harassment.
Cynthia Zarazir said that she found pornographic magazines, condoms and rotten food in the office assigned to her in parliament, and had been the victim of catcalling by MPs from the Amal bloc headed by Nabih Berri.
She added that the MPs had also likened her to a “zarzour,” or cockroach, because of the word’s similarity to her family name.
“When I entered the session, two MPs were sitting next to MP Ali Hassan Khalil and they proceeded to bully me over my family name saying here comes the ‘cockroach,’” she told Lebanese channel MTV.
منذ دخولي إلى المجلس النيابي لم ألقَ أي احترام يدل على أن من سأتواجد معهم لـ4 سنوات هم بشر أولًا وأناس محترمين ثانيًا، وهنا بعض الشواهد على رفعة أخلاقهم: 1/2
— Cynthia Zarazir - سينتيا زرازير (@CynthiaZarazir) July 26, 2022
She described the situation as “utter chaos,” adding that she had found files in her office under the name of “Hajj Mohammed” but had yet to determine the identity of the MP who used to occupy the office.
She continued: “Every day, I ask the employees at parliament for a proper parking spot. The first few days I had to use my friend’s small car to be able to park properly. When I requested a bigger spot, I was told by MP Ali Hassan Khalil, ‘Go buy a small car, you have the money for it.’”
On Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday, Zarazir spoke out about the harassment she had faced from her male counterparts.
“Ever since I entered parliament, I have not been shown any respect to suggest that those who I will be working alongside for the next 4 years are firstly, humans and secondly, respectable people.
“Being catcalled by men whose misogyny outweighs their masculinity, being given a dirty office littered with Playboy magazines, unused and dirty condoms in the drawers and on the floor, being bullied over my family name, and not given a parking spot.
“If this is how they treat an elected fellow MP, how will they deal with those who are voiceless?” she said.