Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Weekend's Over

Back to work... Thankfully it is not as humid out today as it was yesterday.

A quick blurb [actually from yesterday] that says the National Society for Human Rights found violations of working conditions. Here? Oh my gosh. No. What a surprise. Has to do with the workers that are outside in the sun and heat. Hey. They are just imported workers. They don't really matter. You know. Like this one. An Indian electrician who fell thirty meters, striking "steel girders" before he landed on the ground. Or this one. A Pakistani construction worker who was crushed by a truck. No worries. You can just import some more of them. 12,000 of them. They are coming from Vietnam. To do the jobs that others just won't do: masonry, welding, carpentry, farming, fishing, truck drivers and all kids of domestic jobs [housemaids, drivers]. Who says unemployment is a problem in The Sandbox? It can't be if all these workers are needed from other countries, right?

Some pretty telling statements are issued in the article - about the men and women who will be imported from Vietnam. Like this, "The reason for tapping the labor resources in Vietnam is because the workers of that country are preferred by many Saudis... Vietnamese are peace loving and generally averse to committing crimes." Unlike the workers from the Philippine's or Bangladesh or Pakistan or India? Those workers aren't peace loving and they are more apt to commit crimes? Glad that has been cleared up for us. My take on this? The workers from those other countries are finally catching on to how the "game" is played here and no longer want to risk what is involved. Especially for the meager sums that are paid as salaries. Construction workers will be paid approximately SR1,200 to SR1,300. An "ordinary" male laborer can expect to earn about SR900. Housemaids? SR750. Per month - not per week. [$363.63, $348.52, $241.28 and $201.72, respectively. What it is - along with the actual job being something that others just won't do - is wages that others just wouldn't even consider working for.]

If "suitable" employment isn't an option. There is plenty of work available as a beggar. Of course you have to be a child to do so. If you have some sort of physical deformity - you'll generate more money than an able-bodied seven-year-old. Think Slumdog Millionaire - that scene where the acid is poured into the little boy's eyes to blind him. Nice. Estimate, here, vary on the number of child beggars that are smuggled in from Yemen, from a "few dozen to as many as 10,000." I don't where the child beggars are originating from at the lights on the Dhahran Highway - but there are at least a dozen there on any given morning. And in the parking lot of Tamimi as well. In my opinion, estimating a "few dozen" is way off.

Back on top of the count. Up to 50, according to this, which includes a Bangladeshi man who raped a woman and then tried to burn her to hide the evidence. He was beheaded yesterday.


  1. We don't have the child beggars at street lights. We do have women who sit on the ground, completely covered, usually accompanied by a small, dirty child, outside the grocery store. Watched the drop off one morning. Hard to work up much sympathy and compassion for someone who arrives for Beggar Duty in a new BMW.
    We also get lone, wandering BMO's that,btw, speak excellent English, who will accost the Western women as they enter the ladies restroom asking for a riyal.

  2. We have more of the beggars you described, Linda, at the grocery store - not so much children running in and out of traffic begging. [Geez. If they weren't maimed or injured before they got here, they will be for certain before they leave!]

    Only over here Linda does someone know what BMO is... Before moving here, I would have had to ask what a BMO is. Black Moving Object.

  3. Ladies - don't know how true it is, but I've heard from the locals that a lot of the women beggars are "escaped" maids. And there is an interesting report going around which notes that roughly half of all adult Saudi beggars are college grads. yep, they're calling it the Saudization of begging and of course - I have a post forthcoming! lol

    BMO - gee I love that term. I mean seriously. I see it, hear it, say it, and I get the giggles!


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