Sabga-Aboud apologises for ‘most powerful’ ethnic group statement on Bourdain travel show as Trinis protest

(Trinidad Express) Businessman Mario Sabga-Aboud has apologised for using “careless words” to describe the Syrian/Lebanese community as the country’s “most powerful” ethnic group when he appeared on the T&T episode of the CNN series Anthony Bourdain—Parts Unknown last week.

Sabga-Aboud’s remarks on the show and follow-up comments by businessman Peter George upset citizens, leading to calls in some quarters for their businesses to be boycotted and a one-man protest on Monday outside the Maraval Road branch of Sabga-Aboud’s coffeehouse chain, Rituals.

In the Parts Unknown segment, American travel journalist Bourdain chats over a Middle Eastern dinner with a handful of members of the Syrian/ Lebanese community and is told its population is the smallest in T&T.

Mario Sabga-Aboud

Sabga-Aboud chimes in that it is the “most powerful, or almost most powerful” group.

George says a current concern is the dwindling of the middle-class, which once formed a “security” between the haves and have-nots but which is now becoming poorer.

He also said: “They are becoming angry” and lists “civil commotion” as a concern on questions from Bourdain.

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