May 24, 2006

Lebanese-Americans scoff at explanation of behavior

Boston Globe

By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff | May 24, 2006

Sympathy for Dr. Robert M. Haddad was in short supply yesterday at Bay Sweets Market in West Roxbury , where Lebanese customers were stocking up on olives and spinach pies.

Disapproval, rolling eyes, and mirth, on the other hand, were plentiful.

Female employees at Caritas Christi Health Care System have said that Haddad, president of the system, hugged them, kissed them on the lips, rubbed their backs, and called them late at night. Haddad issued a statement Monday saying that his behavior was an extension of his Lebanese heritage, ``where hugs and kisses are not only expected, but warmly given and received," and that the behavior was misinterpreted by his accusers.

That explanation was met with skepticism and laughter among Lebanese-Americans at Bay Sweets and beyond.

``Shame on him," said Fayze Ishac, spitting out the words in Arabic, when told of Haddad's situation. ``It's not Lebanese. It's not true."

Posted by kshaw at May 24, 2006 07:28 AM