Leonila’s Torturous Time with Yassin Fawaz, King Rolodex

King Rolodex likes to splash money around on his Insta account but doesn’t have the money to do his worker’s documents or pay her on time.

Worker

Leonila Barcelon Armamento

Employer

Yassin Fawaz

THE VIDEO

Watch Leonila talk about her awful experience with “King Rolodex”

THE STORY

NOTE: This story has been extensively updated through a Timeline showing the course of events from the beginning to the end with all accompanying evidence. This can be seen by scrolling below the story or clicking here.

Yassin Fawaz likes to be known as King Rolodex, and claims 1 million followers on Instagram. He likes to post photographs of himself in designer-label clothes, with semi-naked women, lounging on expensive cars and rolling in dollar notes. What his Insta account doesn’t show is that, according to his domestic worker, he is “stupid, wicked and fake.”


His domestic worker was Leonila Barcelon Armamento, a Filipino national, who arrived in Lebanon in 2004. She worked for her first employer until 2015, was treated well and appreciated for her good work.


In 2015 she wanted a change, so she asked her madam if she would sign a release. Her madam agreed and Leonila was reassigned to Yassin Fawaz, known as King Rolodex, whom her agent had found for her. But Leonila writes, “I work too hard for him day and night. Sometimes I’m still awake until 4 am. All the people in the building where he lives know this. I have to wash his car every day.” Apart from the overwork, Leonila was concerned because Yassin did not keep her work permit and residency permit up to date. She claims that he also became physically abusive.

“He beat me with the hanger for the clothes. He beat me on my back.”

His abuse was not restricted to his domestic worker – she says his then girlfriend was also on the receiving end. On 18 April 2018 Leonila could not take it anymore. At 5 am she ran from the house.

“I ran away because he beat me and I worked day and night and he didn’t give me my salary on time.”

In November 2019 Leonila contacted This Is Lebanon. She wanted to go home to the Philippines but Yassin held her passport and she could not afford the fines charged by General Security. She also wanted help to recover her $700 unpaid salary from Yassin. 


This Is Lebanon contacted Yassin and asked him to pay the fine and unpaid salary. He blocked us. We then contacted him from a different number saying “We’re trying to give you a chance to fix this.” We told him if he did not pay, we would have no other option but to post. He responded by telling us he would have our website shut down and accused us of blackmail. We replied, “We don’t want your money. You need to look up the definition of blackmail. We just want you to pay what you owe your worker.” 


He then went on to accuse Leonila of stealing from his house and running away because “she wanted to be an outlaw.” He said, “She refused to go home to the Philippines even though I bought her a ticket and gifts.” When we checked with Leonila about the ticket and gifts she vehemently denied that he’d bought her any ticket or gifts. 


We wrote to Yassin, “Send your proof of the ticket and her employment and residency permits for the years she worked for you.” 


He replied, “I don’t have to share any proofs with you.” We asked him again to pay the fines so she could leave, since he had kept her undocumented. He told us to post. According to Leonila, Yassin has a lot of money and could easily bribe people at General Security. For her safety, we held off posting.


Leonila was eventually repatriated by the Philippines embassy on 26 September 2020. It is now safe to post. We have heard that Yassin has since brought other domestic workers to work for him. We fear for their safety and well-being. 

THE TIMELINE

Please note the images and videos on the right are often in a carousel, where you can go to the next item in the carousel to see all of the videos, screenshots and audios. Furthermore, if you click one of the images, it will enlarge on the screen so that you can better read it.

30 Jan 2015

Leonila switches employers from Bernadette Chatila, whom she had worked for since 2004, to Yassin Fawaz. Bernadette Chatila signed a release to Yassin Fawaz in January 2015. However, we have received confirmation that her paperwork was never completed by Yassin Fawaz or a member of his family.


To the right, you’ll see a conversation with Leonila’s son, Aldrin Barcelon, who reported this on May 20, 2018, then by Leonila on November 15 and 16, 2019. On November 18, 2019, we first messaged, then called Bernadette and confirmed this transfer.

5 Apr 2018

Leonila’s son, Aldrin, pleads with Yassin Fawaz for his mom to receive a vacation (she had been working for Yassin for over 3 years at this point), for her to receive her salary as his father needs money in the Philippines, and for her to receive her passport, but he is promptly blocked by Yassin.

18 Apr 2018

After facing physical violence for at least the third time from Yassin Fawaz, Leonila runs away from his house and employment at 5:00am to a friend’s house.


This was originally reported by Aldrin, over WhatsApp on May 22, 2018. This was also included in her original complaint pictured above on November 15, 2019, then reaffirmed in a video testimony on November 20, 2019 and again on November 22, 2020. Similarly, on November 19, 2019, she sent a voice note that further described the abuse. She had also reported verbal abuse, which is confirmed on the video where Yassin says, “Shut up you shit. You fucking stupid or what bitch? This is fucking Modern Future right?” in response to her question “Why you don’t wear this when you wear this (a pair of shoes)?” Interestingly, he chose to post this video on his Facebook on the day Leonila ran away.

22 Apr 2018

Leonila seeks help at the Philippines Embassy. Part of the “proof” that Yassin and his lawyer posted on Instagram is that if Leonila ran away on April 18, 2018, then why wasn’t there a police investigation into him from the embassy? It only takes a short browse of the stories on our website to see the police in Lebanon very rarely investigate or take action on behalf of migrant domestic workers experiencing abuse from their employers or agents.

On November 18, 2019, she described the inability to resolve her situation at the embassy where she went 3-4 days after running away from Yassin. Similarly, on November 26, 2021, she sent a voice note describing her experience of trying to make such a complaint against him with no success. Furthermore, when her son first contacted us May of 2018, he was only coming to us seeking a solution after she had already been to the embassy. They had told Leonila that she would have to pay $1,000 in fines because her employer Yassin did not do her papers.

Mid Apr to Mid May 2018

Aldrin, knowing of his mother’s precarious state, living in Lebanon with documentation that expired 3 years ago, contacts Yassin’s brother, Wissam Fawaz. In a voice note on November 21, 2019 to This Is Lebanon, Leonila explained that since Yassin is a single man, he has to put Leonila under his married brother’s name. That is not a problem for Leonila. The problem is that no one in the family did her documentation.


In Aldrin’s plea to Wissam for his mother’s residency to get fixed, he brings up the abuse against his mother, saying, “did you see her face[?] She send me a picture…ur brother slap my mother in her face…..do [you] want to see[?]” He later reports, speaking of Yassin and his brother Wissam, “they always telling they fix that paper.. but nothing can happen..”

28 Apr 2018

Aldrin, frustrated that his efforts and those of his mom and sister are going nowhere, makes a comment on Yassin’s public Facebook post protesting that Yassin slapped his mother, didn’t do her paperwork, didn’t let her leave after three years (at all, much less for a vacation) and overall maltreated her.

Mid May 2018

Leonila’s daughter, Fina, pleads with Yassin on Facebook Messenger, begging him to get her mom’s exit permit saying, “PLEASE !!! IM BEGGING YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.” Yassin pitches himself as a nice guy saying things like, “I will do it because of u only. Because u seem to be a good person. Tell your mom to contact me and I will give her money.” This directly contradicts his legal claim filed with the Public Prosecutor that she ran away on October 15th. Similarly, it seems to be an admission of the salary owed and the fact that he had not been doing her residency papers.


After crediting himself for his mercy, he then blatantly speaks about her running away, “The truth is your mom has to understand that her running away will not solve anything.” He blames the overall problem on Leonila, saying “But her problem she don’t appreciate.” Then he reiterates her status, having run away from him, “I don’t want to report her to police that she ran away.”


Lastly, he falsely claims that “it’s illegal for her to be out of my house.” Her entire residency is illegal since he never paid the fines and submitted the paperwork. Then he makes a racist, but common, misogynistic trope to Leonila’s own daughter claiming that she is “In the streets with boyfriend,” which Fina quickly refutes.

21 May 2018

Leonila’s son, Aldrin, reaches out to one of our Facebook groups for Filipinos in Lebanon. We connect him with a Filipina community leader who knows the Kafala system and the Philippines Embassy well to give them their best shot at fixing this problem through normal channels.

22 May 2018

Aldrin reaches out to one of our caseworkers on WhatsApp as well. He gives the details of the case, details which are consistent with Leonila’s testimony when she reaches out to us directly nearly a year and a half later.


Simultaneously, Leonila, also known as “Baby,” reaches out to the Filipina community leader on Facebook and discusses her case, then they set a time to meet together. Translation below:


Community Leader (CL): as i am telling you let it be tomorrow because we still have the [redacted] activity and we will be back by 2pm

Leonila (LB): Tomorrow will be Wednesday. Ok i will ask permission from my employer

CL: it’s up to you

LB : i want to go home already..i dont want to work here illegally. i am here for almost 14years i never thought that this animal employer of mine yassim kassem fawas will do this for me.

CL: We have the same case I arrived here in [redacted] the same thing happened to me I was imprisoned for [redacted] because they did not do my papers. Same story.


In his video, Yassin’s lawyer said “The maid was not willing to travel. It’s clear from the chat that she wanted to stay even if illegally.” What is clear from her chat with the community leader and her family’s chat with Yassin is that her entire goal was to leave Lebanon and return to the Philippines.

8 June 2018

Leonila, similarly frustrated and feeling hopeless, takes her story to her publicly to her Facebook page. This public testimony has every element of her story the was later told to us in November of 2019 and onward. She also complains in these posts that Yassin does “not answer the call of Philippine embassy here in Lebanon to talk to you about me.”

She also expresses her frustration with the fact that he “want me to apologize to you,” an extra layer of cruelty for a victim of domestic violence to be asked to return to her abuser to do.

June 2018

Leonila has been living in a small one-bedroom apartment that she found after she ran away. To make ends meet, she finds work with Nayla (whose name Leonila mispronounces/misspells as “Laila/Layla” instead of “Nayla”). Because her residency had been expired since 2015, she was unable to get contract work in Lebanon. She was only supposed to work there 3 months, but they had a great relationship so she ended up working 7 months until the beginning of 2019.


Nayla says of Leonila, “She came to help for around 3 months but I loved her so she stayed for around 8 months…I hope things work well for her, that’s a pity she was a good worker.”

11 Oct 2018

Yassin wants the problem with Leonila to go away, so he contacts her and says, “I finished your papers and ticket to go home.” We know that he did not finish her papers. It appears that he merely used his “wasta” (power and influence) at the airport to arrange it so that she would not be detained when flying out, General Security’s standard procedure for migrant domestic workers without valid papers.


Leonila constantly says to us that Yassin is a “liar,” and she clearly does not believe him when he tells her he has a ticket and has resolved her papers. Again note that he is texting her and saying “So I advise you get your things ready.” Why would he say that if she was living and working at his residence?


Leonila asks for the same thing she has been asking for since the beginning: her unpaid salary, passport and the proof that Yassin has fixed her residency status. He refuses to provide evidence of those things, but insists that she must trust him that it is done. She rightly points out that he has no grounds to even say that he’s her legal sponsor as he’s never completely her residency papers in the entire time of her employment.


Most significantly, Yassin left her undocumented for years and constantly lied to her, and every member of her family about it. He beat her on many occasions until she refused to take it. He has power and money, but that is not even necessary to exert complete control over a migrant domestic worker in Lebanon. She asks for proof and offers a solution for this to go through an intermediary that they both know. He rejects those offers and tells her the only path forward is by her meeting him where she is at risk of arrest and abuse.

11 – 12

Oct 2018

Meanwhile, Yassin messages Fina Lopez, Leonila’s daughter after she had made many previous attempts in reaching out to him for a resolution to the problem.


She again pleads with Yassin for him to just get her residency fixed, give her the passport and pay the salary.

Yassin responds by claiming on October 12th, “Now if police catch her. She will be in jail.” Again, another direct contradiction to Yassin’s public narrative.

Fina rightly responds that it is not Leonila’s responsibility to secure her residency, but her employer’s responsibility and continues to insist that he needs to just give Leonila her documents.

Yassin himself sent us these screenshots as you can see these were taken on Yassin’s own cell phone with Fina being the recipient.

11 – 14 Oct 2018

Sometime between October 11 and October 14, Leonila talks to Abu Hassan, Yassin’s driver, and records the conversation as Abu Hassan tries to convince her that he has to abide by Yassin’s plan. You can see her record it on a phone in that same one-bedroom apartment that she has been living in. On November 18, 2019 she sent us a voice note discussing this call that she had.


While it is a bit of a strange conversation, it is clear that Leonila is still seeking to get her passport, unpaid salary and residency from Yassin. However, she is (rightfully) too scared to meet him in person. Abu Hassan makes a couple of remarks that affirm there is good reason to be afraid, while also encouraging her to meet-up with Yassin in person to resolve the issues. Aside from her physical safety, Leonila is worried about the threat of being sent to prison, whether for an allegation of theft or her lack-of legal residency. She asks to be allowed to talk to Yassin over WhatsApp, but that request is refused.


However, Leonila has a Filipina friend, RC, who wants to help. She tries to arrange a way for Leonila to pick-up the documents and salary, but Abu Hassan makes it clear that that is not an option. Furthermore, he claims it would be futile for her to try to resolve this with a lawyer.


Similar to her previous allegations, she reiterates with him that she was forced to work “day and night working till 3, 4, 5 am.” On the other hand, she says to Abu Hassan, “Why did Mr Yassin tell the Madam on the phone that I am a thief in his house? What’s the reason?”, showing that Yassin has already begun making false allegations of theft, contrary to his report to General Security.

12 – 15

Oct 2018

Yassin posts a story on his Instagram account that has a conversation that occurred on this date and was reposted by another account. This was supposed to be the first piece, in a series of pieces, “proving” that Leonila was lying.


It does appear he actually bought the ticket, although later when his lawyer publishes a post supporting this claim, it only includes a reservation and not an actual ticket with a ticket number. Regardless, the timeline of events does not add up.


Almost exactly 24 hours before he contacted the travel agent, he had already told Leonila’s daughter, Fina, that her mom is “refusing to go home.” This is also supported by his only conversation with Leonila. Furthermore, he has not presented any evidence that Leonila ever received an actual copy of the plane ticket, much less that she ever went to meet-up with him, his lawyer, or his driver, in any capacity or for any purpose during this timeframe.


It appears that Yassin’s purpose of this ticket purchase (given it was purchased) had nothing to do with helping Leonila and was instead to rid himself of the legal responsibility he had towards her. Note that when @KingRolodex was messaging @Romyattie, he says “She is a liar who stole from me” (as well as continuing the misogynistic and racist trope of her running away with her boyfriend. Nevermind the fact that she is a grown woman with adult children).

15 Oct 2018

According to the report to General Security and Yassin’s public narrative, October 15, 2018 was the big day when he had booked Leonila’s ticket and his lawyer was supposed to take Leonila to the airport for her to go home. He says that on the way to the airport, she jumped out of the lawyer’s car, never to be seen again.


However, this story is riddled with inconsistencies. There’s a small technicality that her flight was at 01:45 on the 15th, so if they were dropping her off at the airport, she would’ve likely run away in the late hours of the 14th, but that potential discrepancy could easily be explained away. More significantly, are the multitude of conversations, involving the various parties including Yassin, Leonila, and her two adult children, that all speak of Leonila having run away before May of 2018. Similarly, ther glaring evidence that she had already been employed with a new employer for four months at this point.


This report to General Security is often listed as “proof.” However, anyone who has spent any time working with the Kafala system knows that these reports are consistently fabricated as ways for the employers to abdicate themselves of their legal responsibilities and even take vengeance upon the workers. This has been thoroughly documented, and even many officers in General Security, Judges and Public Prosecutors have admitted to the nature of these reports. See this Caritas legal study or this Legal Agenda report for more information. Regardless, the report itself does not include any investigation (or any mention of investigation) by General Security; it is merely a report that records an allegation made by Yassin Fawaz with no mention of any accompanying evidence.

25 Oct 2018

Yassin’s next move is to make a full report with his lawyer to General Security. His lawyer, Nadia Salman, goes with him to make the report. She reiterates many points from the previous report, but also remarks that Leonila fled to an “unknown destination.” It mentions her passport is in the possession of her sponsor, but it seems strange she would not be allowed to take back possession of her passport on the way to the airport when she is alleged to have run away.


Lastly, Nadia says, on behalf of Yassin, that Leonila “had not stolen anything.” However, in messages to us on November 18, 2019, he claimed she was a “thief who is wanted for stealing from my house,” similar to claims he has made to @romyattie in IG over Direct Message and in many other places.

15 Nov 2019

The economic crisis truly begins in Lebanon and Leonila is under more pressure than ever to try to get back home. For the first time, she personally contacts This Is Lebanon to try to get her residency fixed, her passport back and the two months of unpaid salary owed.


Much of this report from Leonila has already been mentioned and screenshot when referenced in prior events on this timeline.

18 Nov 2019

Leonila sent a video for us to send to Yassin where she outlines her complaint against him. We then contacted Yassin Fawaz on three numbers, because he blocked us on the first two after we sent him Leonila’s testimony against him. Much of the conversation has been published on this timeline when similar issues were spoken about on prior points on the timeline. We contended with Yassin then, as we do now, that Leonila went to the embassy and made a complaint when she ran away, but they were unable to help due to the limitations of the Lebanese state’s discrimination against migrant domestic workers. He doesn’t provide any evidence for any of his claims, but his excuse is that he doesn’t have to give evidence, therefore he won’t. He does however inform us that he is “an advocate for justice..fighting for the rights of the underprivileged,” who “will use whatever legal remedies necessary to protect my rights.”


After Yassin finally responded to us, we contacted Leonila to tell her of his response. The voice messages show her response, and the consistencies of the story that was first reported to us by her son in May of 2018.

20 Nov 2019

Leonila sends an emotional video meant to be forwarded to him where she pleads her case. In this video, she says, “And please, Mr Yassin Kassem Fawaz, I know you know the truth. Oh my god, don’t lie to anyone! Don’t lie to anybody. And don’t lie to yourself. I know you know the truth. You know why I run away from you. You make me illegal in your house. I work without paper. And you beat me. That’s why I run away from you. I have witnessed, my friends, they know. They have come in your house the time you beat me. I know you know that, don’t lie. In the name of god, in the name of Jesus, don’t lie. Do your responsibility for me. Pay your penalty in General Security and give me my salary and give me all my passports, please.”


Notice she says “give me all my passport[s],” because Yassin had not just taken her recent passport, but all four of her passports from when she first started working in Lebanon, leaving her with additional obstacles when she attempted to repatriate to the Philippines.

22 Sep 2020

Leonila is back in the Philippines, but Leonila complains that Yassin Fawaz was of no help.

22 Nov 2020

Leonila sends a video that she recorded in Lebanon of all of her testimony to be brought to the public against Yassin. She reiterates the same story that was told to us by Aldrin in May of 2018 and has been reiterated many times since.

24 Nov 2021

This Is Lebanon posts the story on the ThisIsLebanon.work, Instagram and Facebook. He responds by blocking the @ThisIsLebanon961 Instagram page and posting a video of handing out money as a “humanitarian act.” However, some commenters see it differently. Meanwhile, what seems like an army of Instagram bots fills the post with comments like, “he is a good guy” and “he has helped so many people.”

26 Nov 2021

Yassin posts a screen recording of his conversation with Leonila on October 11, 2018. The full conversation can be read in screenshots included in the October 11, 2018 event of this timeline. However, there are important things to note about Yassin’s post.


Firstly, Yassin does not begin at the beginning of the conversation. If he had, it would be clear that she was not living at his residence when the conversation occurred and that there was an “immigration problem.” He also deletes many messages, such as the message at 3:21 PM where she asks him to “just bring back all [documents] and my money.” Then he excludes another message at 3:25 PM where she states, “The problem u made it is note easy u make me illegal I work for u in 3years u make not good to me.” His response to that, which he also deleted was, “Don’t want to discuss the past.”


Similarly, he deleted the message at 3:29 PM where she says, “Yes I have but u need to pay ur penalty” and he responded “I paid everything.” After she asks to see the documents proving that her immigration status was solved, he deleted his actual response, which was, “I sent u it when I have the papers.” He never sent those papers. It actual appears that he never even sent her the ticket.


At 7:27 PM, she picks back up the conversation and says in a message that was also deleted by Yassin, “Hi Mr Yassin Kazem fawas…Let me tell u something how u say u r my sponsor hhhh? I think u can’t say that u know why? bcos if u r my sponsor u make my papers bfore but ur not…really ur impossible person…” to which his deleted response was “Listen your papers are done.”


He also deletes her reply to his request for her to leave when she says “Sorry to say but I’m not believe u anymore,” and also, “Maybe I believe on u if u give my 2months salary to my friend Rc…If u don’t mind hhhhh let me see how u say ur not lie hhhhh.”


His video includes some editorializing at the bottom with untrue claims such as the repeated, misogynistic allegation that she ran away to be with her boyfriend and made-up the abuse to “justify stealing 10 K” from him, although in his own report to General Security he claimed that she stole nothing. He also asks some rhetoric questions, including “Why would someone abused stay in Lebanon without…going to an organization to document their case?” But, her case with us is just that.


27 Nov 2021

@Political.Pen posts on their Instagram and writes, “We decided to investigate in order to dig out the truth of the story, and have obtained documented evidence that confirms that his former housemaid was legal until she ran away on October 15, 2018…When we reached out to King Rolodex to check his version of the events, he said that the issue is fairly old as it dates back to 2018, and he was thus ‘surprised that some media outlets have picked up on it just now.’..However, this is not how we do our reports on Politicalpen. Our aim is to present objectively, all the parties involved, share their side of the story, and give them the right to defend themselves. Disagreements and feelings towards someone will never stand in the way of accurate and objective reporting.”

The points brought up, of the supposed evidences and facts of the case, are nearly identical to what Fassin’s lawyer would say the next day on November 28, 2021. A refutation can be read at that point of the timeline. The one claim that this post makes that is not made by Yassin’s legal advisor is that they “have obtained documented evidence that confirms that his former housemaid was legal until she ran away on October 15, 2018.” None of the documents provided any evidence whatsoever of her having a valid iqama (residency permit) from 2015 – 2018.


However, it is also unclear how the reporting for this post was either objective or involving all parties or all sides of the story. Neither Leonila, her family or This Is Lebanon were contacted about the facts of the case. According to the post, they only reached out to Yassin.

28 Nov 2021

Yassin posts a series of videos on his Instagram from a nameless person who introduces himself as Yassin’s “legal advisor.” It plays as a performance where he pretends to be an impartial observer to the situation instead of a person that Yassin paid to make a video for his Instagram. He addresses a series of pieces of evidence that he believes exonerate his client. The first being the plane ticket, which is addressed on 15 Oct 2018 of this timeline. The second is the initial report to General Security, which is also address on 15 Oct 2018.


Then he picks up the summons to the Public Prosecutor on 25 Oct 2018. He presents that as a report submitted “from the lawyer who had the maid in her custody.” However, the report itself makes no such claim. The report merely states that Nadia Salman, Yassin Fawaz’s duly appointed attorney at the time, made a statement on behalf of Yassin Fawaz. Furthermore, the report states that Leonila fled to an “unknown destination,” so it is clear Leonila was not with Nadia after October 15. Here, the legal advisor might be presuming that Nadia Salman was the lawyer who was supposedly taking Leonila to the airport on October 15, 2018, but that is not stated in the report, and Leonila does not even remember having met her.


He cites these reports to General Security as “proofs” that Leonila ran away on October 15 and not April 18. That is again addressed on 15 Oct 2018 of the timeline. In short, these documents show only that Yassin on October 15th and Yassin’s lawyer on behalf of Yassin on October 25th made allegations to General Security that Leonila ran away on October 15th. There is no evidence of any investigation by General Security. Again, this is not proof of Leonila running away on this date, it is only proof that Yassin paid his lawyer to represent him and tell General Security that she ran away on that date.


He asks a series of rhetorical questions, such as “why didn’t she go to her embassy,” but they are all for show. Neither he, nor Yassin nor any related party has ever asked Leonila or This Is Lebanon if she had gone to the embassy. Quite the opposite, we had told Yassin that she had gone to the embassy. He continues to emphasize that she ran away on the day she was supposed to travel, which has been thoroughly disproven.


As many employers in Lebanon do, Yassin has his “legal advisor” end the video by making veiled threats to the general public to try to keep people from speaking about this story, “We ask everyone to check and be careful when publishing or broadcasting any incorrect information or not evidence-based one, or spreading rumours or false accusations under penalty of legal prosecution.”

This seems like a very trivial thing, but it speaks to the way in which Yassin Fawaz (@KingRolodex) will blatantly fabricate evidence to advance his narrative. In one of his IG stories, he said “It blocked me..Because it can’t accept the truth.” Interestingly, when we first posted the post on Instagram, we posted one with design errors and had to repost it. When we reposted it, we weren’t able to tag him in our caption, because he had already blocked us within the first hour of the publication of our original post.


Then a few days later, he posts saying that we blocked him. The video on the right shows when we checked our IG app to make sure no one had inadvertently blocked him, his profile was not on the list. Then a couple of days later, he unblocked us and we were able to edit the IG caption to tag him again. Similarly, when we click the “Message” button, it doesn’t show that he ever sent us any messages.

Present

We stand by Leonila and the facts of her case. We have revealed compelling evidence for a litany of crimes committed by Yassin Fawaz, including filing a false report to General Security, domestic violence, non-payment of salary (domestic servitude) and employing a migrant domestic worker for over three years without valid residency papers.


Unfortunately, nothing will happen. No one will be held accountable. Leonila will remain unpaid for that time and there will be no justice or recompense for her torturous time with Yassin. This is Kafala. This Is Lebanon.

The People

“He beat me with the hanger for the clothes. He beat me on my back.” – Leonila

Yassin Fawaz

A popular Instagram influencer publicly. Leonila has a very different story about what it’s like to see and live behind the closed doors of his home.

Leonila Barcelon Armamento

Hard working Filipino domestic worker for over 15 years in Lebanon. She had a very good first 10 years, but then a very unfortuna.te change of employers and found the last 5 to be torturous.

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COMMENTS

القصة

نعرّفكم على ياسين فواز، الملك رولودكس، مع المليون متابع له على إنستغرام. يحب أن ينشر صوراً له يرتدي ملابس لمصممي أزياء، مع نساء شبه عاريات، متكئاً على السيارات الراقية وملفوفاً بالأوراق النقدية بالدولار. ما لا يظهره حساب إنستغرام الخاص به هو أنه، حسب قول عاملة المنزل لديه، “غبي وشرير ومزيف.”


وصلت ليونيلا برسلون أرمامنتو، وهي مواطنة فلبينية، إلى لبنان في عام 2004. عملت لدى صاحب العمل الأول لغاية عام 2015، أي لمدة 11 عاماً. لقد نالت معاملة جيدة وكان عملها موضع تقدير. في عام 2015 رغبت بالتغيير، لذا سألت سيدتها عما إذا كانت ستوقع على إعفاء من العقد. وافقت سيدتها وتم إخلاؤها إلى ياسين فواز، الملقب بالملك رولودكس، الذي وجده وكيلها لها. لم تسِر الأمور على ما يرام مع ياسين. تكتب ليونيلا: “إني أرهق نفسي بالعمل من أجله ليل نهار. أحياناً أبقى مستيقظة حتى الرابعة صباحاً. وكل الذين في المبنى الذي يسكن فيه يعرفون ذلك. أغسل سيارته كل يوم.” وبالإضافة إلى العمل الشاق، كانت ليونيلا قلقة لأن ياسين لم يعمل لها تصريح عمل أوتصريح إقامة. وقد تعرضت للتعنيف الجسدي أيضاً، حسب قولها.

“إني لا أكف عن البكاء، لأنه يضربني بالشماعات، تعرفون علاقة الملابس. لقد ضربني على ظهري.”

ولم تقتصر إساءة معاملته على عاملة المنزل – فقد كانت صديقته حينذاك تلقى نصيبها أيضاً. في 18 نيسان 2019، لم يعد بإمكان ليونيلا تحمله. هربت من المنزل في الخامسة صباحاً.

“هربتُ لأنه كان يضربني وأنا أعمل ليل نهار ولا يعطيني راتبي في موعده.”

 في تشرين الثاني 2019، اتصلت ليونيلا بـجمعية “هذا لبنان” تريد العودة إلى الفلبين لكن ياسين احتفظ بجواز سفرها ولم يكن بمقدورها دفع غرامات تجاوز مدة الإقامة التي فرضها الأمن العام. كما أنها طلبت المساعدة في الحصول على راتبها غير المدفوع بقيمة 700 دولار من ياسين.

اتصل “هذا لبنان” مع ياسين وطلبنا منه دفع الغرامة والراتب المتأخر. فحظرنا. ثم اتصلنا به من رقم مختلف قائلين “نحاول منحك فرصة لإصلاح الوضع.” قلنا له إن لم يدفع، فلن يكون لدينا خيار آخر سوى النشر. رد بقوله أنه سيغلق موقعنا على الإنترنت واتهمنا بالابتزاز. قلنا له: لا نريد أموالك. أنت بحاجة إلى البحث عن معنى الابتزاز في القاموس. نريدك فقط أن تدفع ما تدين به لعاملتك.” ثم اتهم ليونيلا بالسرقة من منزله والهرب لأنها “أرادت أن تكون خارجة عن القانون”. قال: “لقد رفضت العودة إلى الفلبين مع أنني اشتريت لها تذكرة وهدايا.” وعندما تحققنا من الأمر مع ليونيلا بشأن التذكرة والهدايا، أنكرت بشدة أنه اشترى لها أية تذكرة أو هدايا. كتبنا إلى ياسين، “أرسل لنا إثباتاً عن شرائك للتذكرة وعن إقامتها في السنوات التي عملت فيها لديك.” فقال: “لست مضطراً إلى مشاركة أية أدلة معكم.” طلبنا منه مرة أخرى دفع الغرامات كي تتمكن من المغادرة، بما أنه كان يبقيها لديه بدون وثائق. فطلب منا أن ننشر. وحسب قول ليونيلا، فإن ياسين لديه الكثير من المال ويمكنه بسهولة أن يدفع للذين في الأمن العام. لكننا أوقفنا النشر من أجل سلامتها.

في نهاية المطاف، أعادت سفارة الفلبين ليونيلا إلى وطنها في 26 أيلول 2020. والآن  ليس هناك خطر عليها إن قمنا بالنشر. لقد سمعنا أن ياسين أحضر منذ ذلك الحين عاملات منازل أخريات. كانت إحداهن مسجلة باسم أخيه غير الشقيق (لوالد ياسين  زوجتان).

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