‘Uncle Ali Is Not Exploiting Us But..’

gambian girls in lebanon
Gambian girls in Lebanon

In our efforts to extract chaff from the wind, Kairo News launched full investigation into allegations leveled against a Gambian-Lebanese businessman. Mr. Ali Mohamed Raif Fneiche is accused of conspiring with three others to lure Gambians into Lebanon so they could exploit them or sell them for prostitution. Mr. Fneiche, who is currently in Lebanon, flatly denied the story.

Kairo News spread its arm of investigation. In that frantic efforts were made to talk to Gambian girls who were brought in Lebanon as domestic workers, their friends and family members in The Gambia. Most of the girls refused to talk. But all those who spoke, including those in The Gambia, cleared Mr. Fneiche of any wrongdoing. They however begged to remain anonymous.

“I have a lot of my friends in Lebanon who have been brought there by Uncle Ali; they are doing decent domestic jobs. They send money back home. I have not heard any complaint of prostitution; only those girls who quit their jobs and ran away have been accusing Uncle Ali of selling them,” said a girl in The Gambia.

“We work as domestic workers, although the work is hard but we are surviving. Some employers treat you like a slave and even refuse to send you to the hospital when you are sick. Uncle Ali brought us here legally,” said a Gambian domestic worker. “It is not true that we are being used as prostitutes.”

One woman accused her employer of not paying her on time. “He sometimes struggles to pay me,” she alleged, refuting allegations of using them as prostitutes. “I can swear to the Quran that we are not being used as prostitutes. I don’t know any Gambian who is a prostitute here.” 

Some of the Gambian domestic workers denied signing contact with their employers.

None of the Gambian women wanted to return home if given the opportunity.  “I am an uneducated divorcee who is working hard for my children to have good education. I am working for my children. I was attending a hairdressing salion in Senegal but returned to The Gambia to take advantage of the Lebanon opportunity,” one woman said.

Ironically, none of the disgruntled girls would accept our request for an interview. They neither received our calls nor responded to our text messages.

Every year, more than 250,000 foreign domestic workers are legally admitted in Lebanon, according to official statistics.



  1. They are either paid to sugar-coat things or threatened to read from a script. Their travel documents are seized and they have no money to leave. If they speak the truth, they will suffer more. They are not talking about the racism and slavery they are going through. AS ALONG AS THESE WOMEN ARE LIVING IN LIBANON AND THE OTHER STATES with no respect for basic rights, no one should expect them to talk openly. Place them in Gambia and other countries where they can express themselves openly and the story will be different. The enslaved construction works in Dubai or Qatar are also not talking bad in spite of documented evidence of the violation of international labour standards When they go back to Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or The Phillipines, then can talk better.

  2. Thank you Musa. You are right. They are been threating or told to say those words as if everything is fine. The man is criminal and he is using those innocent girls to profit for them. He needs to be stopped right way.

  3. Musa you are right, the thing is they are charged a certain amount of money that they have to pay to a Gambian agent, who will tell them lies that you will be given a decent job. Once they arrived their documents are taken from them and they are made to be house maids who will work long hours, less sleep and at times less food or even beaten by their boss . they will regret if they are to speak the truth. unfortunately the government is aware of this happening and they choose to shut their mouths.

    • You see, this is a true story am telling. Not long ago there is a victim from Lebanon. She was a domestic slave. According to her, they used to work for almost 20 hours and some are paid less. This girl not even given proper food. In fact, the first day she entered house of her master, she hang her bag for 1 year 6months. She didn’t wear her clothes, she is only with their shit uniform…even late night the kids wake her up to prepare coffee and to wash her boss’s car.
      This girl was lucky because they planned to kill her when she wanted to come back to the Gambia. according to her when the last time she request going back they told ok now we what to do they dont pay her and she was ask to wear a white coat simply bcus they wanted to kill her. so she waz help by a friend who is a lebanese he help her escape then she flied back to Gambia with stress.
      look saddest part of this is when she land to the Gambia looking very rough with the white coat but when she reach at the airport civil aviation call her sister telling her that well your sister just landed but she have a mental problem…look this even at night u hear her dreaming saying can i wash the car..but thank she is now okay cos she started mingling with friends now the girl is from tallinding…really musa you are quite right and the government is aware of this and they not making effort to stop this nonsense!!!!