EXCLUSIVE: King's student denied Airbnb room because of her headscarf
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A KCL student was denied an Airbnb apartment because she wore a headscarf. Earlier this month, PhD student Nurjahan Saleque arrived in Hamburg to complete a six-month placement at a biotechnology company. She was renting an apartment in Bonningstedt when she started looking for listings in areas with better transport access to her workplace. Speaking exclusively to TNS, Nurjahan said that it takes her, on average, 40 minutes to commute to work by bus. Her apartment, which is located in a suburban area, is out of reach from other - more convenient - transport links. Initially, she chose not to live in the city centre because of the distance. 'The reason why I didn't live in the centre of Hamburg was because it's far from work, the journey would take me about 45 minutes to an hour. But now it is taking me 40 minutes from where I'm living to the neighbouring town where I'm working.' When she started looking for an alternative location, Nurjahan came across an entire studio apartment in the district of Langenhorn- complete with its own kitchen area, washing machine and bathroom - listed at £626 per month. More importantly, buses and trains were within walking distance. The apartment was also conveniently located 10 minutes from Hamburg Airport. She sent a message to Claudia, whose profile showed five-stars for that particular property. In the home highlights, Claudia is listed as a 'Superhost' - a title awarded to 'experienced, highly rated hosts.' Her bio states that she speaks six languages, completed a doctorate and is an author by profession. Overall, she is an accomplished woman. In her message, Nurjahan explained her situation. 'I was hoping to see whether I could book your apartment for 3 months from December,' she wrote.
Her request was almost immediately declined. When asked for clarification, Claudia explained that her apartment was free but she didn't think Nurjahan would 'fit into our neighbourhood' because of her headscarf.
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