Tuesday, June 24, 2008


There are two articles in today's Saudi Gazette worth mentioning, but their website won't let you click on the links to get to them - instead, it returns to the front page. Both are in the "Nation" section... That page is here.

One of the articles: "No wages for eight months, say 300 workers." This country has tons of money. Tons of it. The men who come here, imported from other countries, to do manual labor are paid ridiculously low wages. There is NO excuse for a company not paying their workers for eight months. No excuse. You can bet your life savings that no "local" employee would ever work for eight months without pay. Nor would any Westerner. But the "little guys," the ones at the very bottom of the proverbial "corporate ladder" [these "little guys" aren't even on the damn ladder!] are just expected to continue working... for EIGHT months without being paid. Yeah. Whatever. No one ever said life was going to be fair...

The workers have been on strike for a month, and have filed a lawsuit against their sponsor with the Labor Office. It will be years before these "little guys" ever get their back wages, if they get them at all.

And, the other article: "Child swap in Dammam." A Saudi woman had a baby boy, but was given a baby girl when she left the hospital. The woman left the hospital with a baby girl! The hospital realized there was a "mix-up," and a Filipina nurse has been "punished for causing this grave mistake." The article doesn't say what the punishment was... This is what makes this article "newsworthy," though:

Yusuf Al-Asmari, the child's maternal uncle, said "there were doubts from the very beginning as the baby's skin was darker whereas the family members are fair complexioned." That was YOUR only clue that you took the wrong baby home from the hospital?!? Did ANYONE think to maybe investigate just a little bit further? I strongly suspect that if someone would have changed this baby's diaper they would have figured out right away that they had the wrong baby...

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