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'Classy' Lebanese beach resort goes cheap with ban on burkinis Open in fullscreen

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'Classy' Lebanese beach resort goes cheap with ban on burkinis

File Photo: High-end beach resorts in Lebanon and Egypt have issued similar burkini bans [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2017

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A woman attempting to enjoy a beach holiday with her family in Lebanon was forced to return home early after she was banned from bathing due to her burkini swimsuit.

A woman attempting to enjoy a beach holiday with her family in Lebanon returned home early after she was banned from swimming because of her full-body Islamic burkini swimsuit. 

Noura al-Zaim took to social media this week to complain of her mistreatment by staff at the Miramar Hotel Resort and Spa in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

"As soon as we went to the beach a lifeguard came and told my husband that I couldn't go into the water," Zaim wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

"I ignored him and let my toddler have fun in the water, especially since we were paying $250 a night and had booked for several nights."

She explained that three other hotel staff then came and told her husband that she would have to get out of the sea because "only proper bathing suits were allowed".

"I would have never imagined that someone would prevent me from going into the sea on a beach in Tripoli because of my hijab," she said.

"They should add to their list of rules and regulations how many centimetres of skin women have to show to be allowed to go in the water," she added.

After staff said they would allow the family swim in an indoor pool, Zaim declined, arguing they were attempting to "hide her" and decided to cut the vacation short.

Zaim's post has gained traction in social media with many users expressing solidarity with the mother, condemning the hotel for its violation of her right to dress in accordance with her religious beliefs.

"In the US, this will be considered a discrimination against religious beliefs and this lady will be entitled to a huge compensation," said Facebook user Youssef al-Moussawi.

Others called on users to lodge formal complaints with the Lebanon's consumer protection agency and phone the hotel to protest.

The New Arab reached out to the Miramar Hotel Resort and Spa for a comment on the incident but so far have received no response.

Many high-end beach resorts in Lebanon and Egypt have issued similar bans on women wearing burkinis - and hijabs in general - arguing that the attire damages the image of their establishments.

Last year, a wave of burkini bans across cities in France caused widespread controversy before the country's highest administrative court suspended the bans.

This week, a French mayor reignited the issue after he prohibited the modest swimsuit at a leisure park despite the bans being ruled illegal.

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