The “Civilized” Society. Yeah, right…

by Amalia

Taken from the book Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis by John R. Bradley. One of the best books that I encountered, discussing about Saudi Arabia and its society.

The Saudi Labor Law does not define any rights and duties of the employer of domestic staff, who are in effect his slaves. Of course, not all employers are deliberately cruel or abusive. Many are merely casually so. They believe what they have been told for decades: that theirs is a perfect society and that they, as a consequence, are more completely civilized than anyone else. Quite innocently, they regard their maids and drivers as lesser humans, born in filth and ignorance, who should be grateful for the opportunity to serve them.

I’ve heard too many abuse and mistreatment stories from firsthand victims. Upon reading the book, there’s nothing surprising that I found. Everything seemed to be familiar. It’s 2010 and Saudis (including other Arabs) still treat their maids like their slaves. It saddens me. How can they do such things to other human beings?!

If… the despised Asian blue-collar workers left en masse, the country would collapse overnight. Garbage would pile high in the streets, families would go hungry, restaurants would close, goods would remain undelivered and rot, and the water supply would stop. There would be no more farming the desert, no transport, no fixing and filling the all-important cars, no air-conditioning, no lighting the streets, no repairing of roads. There would be no trade in anything but sheep and camels, and the wind would whistle through deserted markets. And the sick, injured, and dying would pile up in the corridors of hospitals, if they somehow managed to make it there.

They extremely depend on us, yet they are not able to show us the slightest gratitude. Is that an example of a so-called civilized society?