Thursday, June 05, 2008

Well, Finally!

Geez. This only took five days! But there is some response, albeit brief, to Tariq Al-Maeena's Threat of the Migrant Worker. Click down... All of the response in agreement, and on a positive note. Not what I was expecting. Five letters.

Letter writer No. 1, says: "These migrant workers are there because they are needed, and they too need the jobs due to difficult conditions in their own countries." True, conditions are difficult where most of the migrant workers come from - no, not all of us - but let's keep this limited to the actual laborers and not the semi-skilled and professional workers. He says, "There aren't Arabs to take their place." Huh? There are a million unemployed "locals." This government, here, spends a ridiculous amount of money trying to get their own countrymen gainfully employed. So, really, its not that there aren't Arabs to take their place; its that Arabs won't take their place. Big difference. Which was the whole point! Totally benign. Waste of publishing space, if you ask me, for letter writer No. 1. Wimp!

Letter writer No. 2 gives a little shout-out with a "Bravo!" And says, "Very few people have the propensity to state the obvious." He's right. Although I think it probably has more to do with going out of ones way at all possible costs so as to not cause any waves, ill-will or hurt feelings... Ahhh...

Letter writer No. 3 is from Italy and says that the Romanians are treated in a similar manner in his country. Well, then, because another country treats its migrant workers like crap, I guess that makes it alright for all countries to do it. Thanks for sharing. Another waste of publishing space.

Letter writer No. 4 tips his hat to Mr. Al-Maeena and says, "Plain truth. Bold expression. Hope it will be read by all (Saudis as well as expats) and inner message absorbed." Writer No. 4 is correct in that the article was the "plain truth" and a "bold expression." But this, "Hope it will be read by all (Saudis as well as expats) and inner message absorbed" has me a bit fuddled... A good half of us "expats" are already fully aware of the "message," and the other half of the "expats," the workers that Mr. Maeena addressed, in all likelihood either can't read or won't read the article, that is, of course, unless someone has wrapped their lunch with a copy of the article and it gets passed around this coming Friday - the ONLY day off these workers get. And, what, exactly writer No. 4 is the "inner message?" Did we, you and I, read the same article? There was no "inner message." It was all pretty clear, in black and white, with no "gray" areas...

Finally, letter writer No. 5, just says, "I really appreciate your honesty... The press needs to employ more persons like you." Yes. It was refreshing to have see such candor published in a newspaper.

Interesting to note that of the five responses only one was written by a "local." But not a big surprise, really. Truly, I expected at least one or two responses which would have been defensive, but nope. Didn't get it. Perhaps the issue isn't quite closed and we will see a bit more in the coming days...

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