By the vicious "paper" attack of nasty things said about a maid. Letters to the Editor of Arab News today:
The first, at the top, via e-mail from Asif Sulfi who agrees with me that Khalaf Al-Harbi's article was "appalling" but adds that it was also "demeaning." Why, yes. Yes it was. Asif also says, : "This article does not say anything that the expatriates here do not already know! Blame it on maids! Without these maids, many houses in the Kingdom would be nothing but a pile of filth!." Umm-hmm. Exactly.
Linda from Riyadh says, agrees with me that if Khalaf Al-Harbi was trying to be funny, he failed. She doesn't see the humor, either. Assassinating someone's character and then ripping apart her physical attributes hardly qualifies as "humor." Linda goes further in defending the maids than I did by asserting that not only do they come here from other third world countries to "help support not only their own families but all their relatives... They don't speak the language, their passports are confiscated, they have to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They get vacation once every two years [only sometimes, maybe!], and they are lucky if they are actually paid their meager wages and not physically abused." She - Linda - is, of course, quite correct. Linda also had a better idea than I had. I wanted Khalaf Al-Harbi to publish his own picture so we could verbally attack him. Linda thinks he ought to let his poor maid do an article about what she thinks of him, his wife and his children. Now that would make for some interesting reading!
Thanks to Asif and Linda for weighing in. I knew I could not possibly be the ONLY one who felt the way I did about that jerk's column that was published on Tuesday. Nothing short of a written apology to his maid in the newspaper will change my opinion of Khalaf Al-Harbi, who, until that happens, becomes a total nothing in my world. [Not that that is going to have any impact on him, but I would urge others to contact Arab News and let them know that you are appalled that such trashy drivel was published. If my letter, that I sent today, gets published, I'll post it here.]
"Anonymous" commented that he/she didn't think the matter would garner much attention because the Swiss banning new minarets has caused a mini outrage. He/she, "Anonymous," was spot on, there. Yeah. Whatever. I am not going to get in the middle of something like that. Not now, anyway. [I won't hesitate to address some of these kinds of issues in my book, though. Whether anyone ever reads it or not... I have plenty to say that does not and will not be said, here.] Ending on that topic, though. One word about the banning of new minarets: reciprocity.