Saudi Arabia: Detention of Saudi Blogger


for the truth shall set you free…”  That may be the motto of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but nothing could be further in Saudi Arabia.  Saudi blogger, Feras Bugnah and two production colleagues, Hosam Al-Deraiwish and Khaleed Al-Rasheed were arrested this past Sunday in connection with an online show they have been producing via youtube.  The latest episode, “We Are Being Cheated” pertains to poverty in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh.

The three Saudis go into an impoverished neighborhood of Riyadh where Bugnah, as the point man, interviews residents of the neighborhood and takes us into the heart of their homes.  The residents complain about poor living conditions, minimal salaries and having to go without food and sometimes, shoes.  Each resident interviewed makes an appeal at the end to King Abdullah for help in changing their living conditions.  The producers of the video also are shown bringing gifts of food to the residents who were profiled that were donated by viewers of the video.

One of the most controversial interviews which may account for the detention of the video crew was an interview with a local imam of the neighborhood.  The imam candidly stated that some residents were engaged in sales of drugs or prostitution of female family members in order to acquire funds to make ends meet.

The interviews could have taken place in any capital city in the world but the fact that these interviews took place in the conservative city of Riyadh and then ultimately went public on youtube caused outrage among officials.  Saudi Arabia prides itself on its privacy and showcasing poverty and resulting side effects was a public slap in the face.

Most of the stories told by residents about their struggles to make ends meet were sad and jerked at the heart strings.  One man who did own his very small home was in debt and had 20 family members, including a divorced daughter and her child, who lived there.  Another man interviewed discussed his woes of renting a place which required many repairs but he had no means to get things fixed.  He also shared with Bugnah that he was responsible for two wives and 11 children.  A woman, in full abaya, hijjab and niqab allowed Bugnah in to her home.  Viewers saw an apartment which needed much maintenance work and a refrigerator not fit to put food in.

One on hand I understand the conservative culture which is against showing the lowlier side of life in the Kingdom among some of its residents.  On the other hand, video’s such as “We Are Being Cheated” illustrate the impact on the use of social media in the Kingdom.  However, are Bugnah, Al-Deraiwish and Al-Rasheed having to pay too high a price?


62 Responses

  1. That is really sad to hear. Its so arrogant of the Saudi authorities to ignore the needy, like paying zakat at the appropriate times absolves them from dealing with the poverty in their own country.

    I was very surprised to see that people still live in the old mud brick buildings in the old city in Riyadh. They’ve just patched up the crumbling walls and fed in an electrical line and that’s their home. I can’t imagine how it must be to have to live there.

    I applaud the Saudi bloggers for their work and I do hope that they do not have to face severe punishment for their documentary.

  2. I wonder when those in power in KSA realize that social media has changed and empowered people all over the world. Countries can no longer hide the social injustices or poverty in some corner. I think jailing the two bloggers only makes KSA “lose face” more than showing the real underbelly of a city. Freedom of speech is a basic human right. You would think KSA would have learned from the Arab spring especially Egypt that throwing people in jail for speaking out can bad for totalitarian regimes.

  3. “Saudi Arabia prides itself on its privacy and showcasing poverty and resulting side effects was a public slap in the face.”

    The reason for arresting these courageous citizens (subjects) has very little to do with “privacy and pride” and a lot more to do with exposing the cruel facts about a large ruling family that lives in thousands of gold plated palaces and cater their extravagant meals and flowers from Paris, New Your and Vienna while their marginalized subjects suffer from hunger and diseases as the video demonstrated.

    King Abdullah (crown Prince then) visited the same neighborhood in 2003 and was appalled by what he saw according to the Saudi state’s controlled media. He promised help that never materialized as evidenced by what the video showed. He was not arrested either because he and his family are above all laws.

    The Saudi people can only be subdued and silenced to a point and for so long. The time for the royals and their religious hatchet men may be running out unless they sober up and transform their minds, perceptions, institutions and accept half of the loaf of the bread before they lose it all. Their familiar world is falling apart around them; yet they seem unwilling to open their eyes and realize that the coming storm is not a desert mirage.

    The burning question that must be asked is why are they educated generation of royal men and women are not challenging the ruling geriatric men who rule of a population the majority of whom is 60 and 70 years their junior. The world they were born into and grew up in is entirely different from the world the overwhelming majority of the population can imagine or identify with.

    Princes Basma Bint Saud was right when she said on a BBC interview: why not grant people their rights before they resort to force to get it or something along these lines.

  4. wow! that’s awful

  5. It is time like Princes Basma said on a BBC interview: why not grant people their rights before they resort to force to get it or something along these lines.And it is time oppressed and suppressed people
    pay the great tyrant Ghaddafi a fitting tribute by starting an uprising
    in the Kingdom .

  6. i’ve read about that in Saudi Jeans’s blog, it’s hidden part of Saudi Arabia. Even the area where I live there are some poor family, the only way to maintain their family is to prostitution or stalling goods… The government is busy to build some “awesome” buildings and cities. While many of the Saudi people are under poverty level. The crime rate is increasing day by day.

    “That is really sad to hear. Its so arrogant of the Saudi authorities to ignore the needy, like paying zakat at the appropriate times absolves them from dealing with the poverty in their own country.”
    agreed with Stacy, but, not only Saudi Authorities but also a good number of general Saudi People do not show interest in this case for paying Zakat to the needy people.

  7. There are several villiages in Bahrain that do not have electricity to this day. The govt constantly works on a “plan” to get them electricity but considering they are Shiia villages I highly doubt it’s at the top of the Sunni govt’s list of To Do’s.

    When the mere showing of poverty is akin to criminal behavior…you know that culture is severely f**ked up. Bad enough ignoring your needy…even worse by criminalizing the highlighting of their misery. I hope all those Muslims attending haj this year takes a stroll by these neighborhoods…

  8. This is why the song “Dirty Laundry” from the 1980’s is so true. No nation want to put it out there for all to see. Unfortnately in many nations you still cannot do it and expect to have it ignored. Social Media has changed the world because a nation’s leader or leaders can not longer control the message. It may take time for the world to grasp “Freedom of Speech.” If the truth gets out and the leaders are embarrassed things can beging to change for the poor.

  9. The video is really well done.

    Probably the best way to get more people to view the video is to arrest the producers. The government appears a bit clueless in its response to the situation.

  10. KSA needs more brave people to do this kind of thing. Now these video makers need to have their plight front and center in/on the news to ensure they get out of jail. Time for the king to make another grandiose donation of money to smooth things over and lull his subjects (and the world) into believing all is well in the ‘magic’ kingdom.

  11. Two things impressed me about this video, other than that it was extremely well-done. I also liked that the video tried to offer some suggestions for solutions at the end.

    First, having lived in the Middle East for the past twenty years, the level of poverty shown in this video is not nearly as bad as what is existing in some other parts of the Middle East. The people in this video are living at the same level as much of North Africa’s lower middle classes today, for example.

    I am not saying these people are not having a hard life, but I was just struck by the contrast compared to other Arab countries. For example, I noticed all these homes had TVs and hot water. The kids in the poor neighborhood were all dressed in the latest sport shirts.

    Clearly, what makes people feel poor is not how their life is compared to poor people in other countries, but how their life compares to those around them in the same society. The wealthy in Saudi are living at such a high level compared to other countries, that even their poor are living at a high level (when compared to some North African countries).

    The second thing which struck me about this video was the attitude about what should be done about these problems. Unlike in America, there was no talk of any personal responsibility. Whatever is a poor man like this doing with two wives and eleven children? If he had one wife and even two children, he would not be poor with his stated income in the video. Also, the suggestions given never said anything about working harder, or looking for better paying jobs, or improving one’s skills. Each person just asked for the government to “give” them a house. It seems to be the norm in that society to just ask others to give people what they don’t have, rather than taking any personal responsibility for one’s life, and planning accordingly.

    In addition, it’s clear that ideas of personal responsibility don’t even occur to the interviewer, indicating that what these people are asking for seems “normal” for that society. It’s just an interesting contrast. People in this part of the world don’t assume that they are at all responsible for how their lives turn out; they view themselves as victims of fate and circumstance and God’s will, or as victims of “bad luck.”

    In America, by contrast, people are seen as being about 90% responsible for their own fate. Perhaps this is too much. But in Saudi, where people seem to believe that they have no personal responsibility for their fate, this is too little. People should make an effort to “help themselves” and not just wait only for the charity of others.

    –Lynne Diligent, Intercultural Meanderings

  12. @ Lynne Diligent,

    Those little brown poverty stricken Saudis are lucky to live in a country where the rich lives extravagantly and the poor gets the spillover crumbs according to this account. Comparing one of the richest countries in the world with some of the poorest is extraordinarily shallow and poor comparison to say the least. .

  13. I thought Lynn made a good point. The US has many of these same situations (although I haven’t heard of anyone being jailed for pointing it out and trying to help!!!).

    I always like ideas about “empowering”, “teaching to fish rather than giving a fish” or “a hand up rather than a handout.”. (Sorry for the string of overused cliches here). I’m a perpetual do-gooder and have had some experience with the failure in that venue – deep sigh.

    I also like that these young men actually tried to do something. Whether they succeed or fail at improving the lives of these people, I applaud there efforts.

  14. Oops, I mean their not THERE.

  15. Poor one, who did those eleven children to his two wifes? King? this is the end of the Inshallah street.
    He was taught – ok, lets´have children, Inshallah, Allah will provide for them.
    Their father can have two wives, and just to wait – Allah will provide. I can simply sit on my bottom and I do not need to study, nothing.
    This is result of islam – induced passivity. Passive people will sit in the corner because imams told them – Allah wants you to sit in the corner.
    How you learn induced passivity? when you are hit by imam every time when you try to do something you are not told.
    So, Imam who helped him with marriages should now nourish his children.

  16. education system should be changed, i saw many of them with out job but will never ever try in any shop as a sales man or in a restuarent as a waiter…. They have been taught this way. … But government also has some responsibly to rise awareness among them. Change the social point of view by changing the educational system……

  17. Didn’t we see a video of a celebrity or a royal that was going around distributing food etc to the poor? Did he get jail time too? BUT I have to say that these people seem to be better off than the people in that video. Weren’t they living in tents and other shanty type places? The people in this video seem to be living in luxury compared to them.

    I have to agree, 20 people in a small flat with little money coming in is horrible. It even calls for some of those people to become housemaids or cooks or drivers or tea boys, whatever. Too bad they are probably ‘above’ that kind of work but drug dealing and prostitution is cool. I agree with Lynne, Annie and of course Flame. ‘This is result of islam – induced passivity’.

  18. When you raise “your” people to depend on you for medical, education, charity, housing etc then they grow up seeing you as the entity that will make everything better. People in Bahrain are exactly the same…the govt owes me a house, money, cancel my bank loan etc. I could never understand the mentality that Bahraini’s have that they are entitled to something from the govt to the point of…I will sit on my ass and bitch until someone knocks on my door and gives me what I KNOW I deserve.

    Having said that…9 times out of 10 the govt (the King) will give out gifts in the form of housing, cancellation of bank loans for those that qualify, scholarships etc every now and then…just to keep his people expectant and waiting for those handouts. And to keep them mollfied and compliant as far as Im concerned.

    As far as the 2 wives lots of kids scenario…plenty of those too. God told me to have lots of kids and god would provide….but until god owns up to his promise….im waiting for the govt to step up and do the job instead.

  19. Oh please do not get me started ont he many wives and kids, We support my 2 SIL’s anthey many children since my good for nothing BIL upped and died. I’m tired of them doing nothing, ofcourse i understand they can do nothing .. since they are women and god forbit they sully their family name by getting out and doing work, of course lack of a driver and car and any kind of skills doesn’t help… Everytime i think of my hard earned money supporting them and get mad at my useless BIL who had so many kids without thinking of their future i see those kids pic and can’t stop the funds. I’m waiting for each of them to finish a college degree and then i will be kicking their behinds to go get a job. no more handouts from me… i don’t care if they have to wash cars or work in a store …

    What we’ll do with the girls though i have no idea… hopefully by then women will be allowed to drive and can work in most jobs or else heaven help them..

    Now that the older generation in my inlaws family are past their childbearing age ( mostly) .the next gen has taken up the slack and ar churnign out babies on a regular basis… every time i hearof one more pregnancy and they are struggling i really don’t know what to say to them, anything i say will be met with a “god will provide” for some reason god chooses to provide for those 2 SILs and their kids thru me !!! Makes me think their god has a link to my god and makes me do it 🙂 🙂

  20. @radhaa – ‘Makes me think their god has a link to my god and makes me do it’

    Yep, sounds like it! What if you gave up your God (s)? Would that then cut the ties that force you to give them your money? Simple as that! C’mon, radhaa, do it! Come over to the dark side… 😉

  21. I think part of it comes from the fact in Saudi- the government is taking all that oil money and living lavish lifestyles. Why is it theirs? Why shouldn’t they share? They should via QUALITY
    education, infrastructure, medical, police, abulance etc. Still waiting.

  22. […] American Bedu wrote about a video-blogger-journalist who was arrested in Saudi Arabia for this short….  I especially liked that the journalist tried to offer some positive suggestions for help to the poor at the end.  The reason he was arrested was for violating the Arab cultural norm of never speaking up in public regarding in one’s own country (or any other Arab country); speaking up publicly is considered more shameful than letting a shameful situation continue. […]

  23. It is not just the Saudi’s who have this kind of poverty. Look into how the poor live in Brazil, Africa, and even the Carribean Islands, parts of China etc. The difference between rich and poor is vast. i have often told my students in the USA your idea of poor is so different that those in the rest of the world. My students feel they are poor if they do not have two color TV’s and cannot go on a summer vacation to Disney World. This is not to say there are people here that have less but abject poverty is usually due to some kind of problem in the family. I once saw a special for our PBS broadcast in France when I was there and it showed the poor in Appalachia, poverty like you saw in this video ,and I questioned why when there was so much available to these people that they lived like this not wanting to change. It occured to me that since they knew nothing else they feared moving on. Dependence of someone or some government causes people to accept their plight. It is also true that the idea of having 20 people dependent on you or having two wives with many children makes no sense, but I guess that is the culture, and since I was not raised in it I cannot comment on it.

  24. @crantode – the difference is that KSA is a kingdom and the royal family have vasts amount of money from mostly the oil of the country. It is perverse that they all live so lavishly on the money the country provides and that they allow severe poverty. That is where it goes wrong. The people are controlled by the King and the religious leaders and with little freedom allowed the royal family should ensure that all KSA nationals have decent housing, food, etc. They should also look after their expat domestic workers as well.

  25. I agree that there is a difference and that is why I felt I could not comment on the culture of the Kingdom, but the poverty around the world is as bad and many of those nations are run by ditators that live lavish lifstyle. I just wanted to say that the situation is not unique. i do think that the one person who posted why have 2 wives and in another instance there were 20 people in a small flat is a choice that should have been thought through.

  26. @ crantode, “I just wanted to say that the situation is not unique.” This is hard to believe.

    So, it’s okay if Saudi women are marginalized because they are still better off than Afghan women under the Taliban rule. Is that what you are saying?

  27. A no it is not ok for the way that women are treated, but there is a vast difference between accepting a miscarriage of justice and pointing out that there are other nations where poverty is as bad. And from my comments I do not see how you can gleen that i think the way woman are treated is a good thing. As a matter of fact in the video it is mostly men that were shown. One woman who was not visible due to haveing to be covered. I will also say that Afgan women under the Tailiban were in a no win situation and that is why I think it was a good reason for the US to go there to get rid of them. There is a video about education throughout the world and Afgan girls were part of it. in the video the girls father took them out of the country until the Taliban was defeated and later came back. In his village including the gils mother wanted to know what good was education because there wasno work not even for the boys. This is a PBS series on the
    WIDE ANGLE program. If you have the opportunity to look at it there are two parts from two different years you will see what I mean.

  28. crantode … it’s like comparing apples to oranges – you can’t. Nobody is denying that there is extreme poverty around the world. I have travelled to many of those countries and I’ve also traveled to ME countries including KSA. I think you are missing the point, though. We are talking about poverty in one of the ‘richest’ countries of the world. Women don’t have a choice about being a second wife or having as many children as ‘Allah’ will provide. These people are told to have many children, etc. etc. etc.. It is not right that the royal family does not take care of the situation and they are well able to do so. Kuwait seems to have eradicated poverty and so should have KSA.

    Listen to what Ali has to say!

  29. It’s not about the poverty. Sure, there’s poverty everywhere and you can always find someone worse off than someone else (and it’s all relative). The PROBLEM is that they would be jailed for calling attention to it. The other problem, of course, is as Flame said ‘This is result of islam – induced passivity.’ Fine, the government isn’t doing as it promised when the country was created then DO something about it!!

  30. I agree with you that is what I am trying to say, and perhaps the idea that one has to give to the poor escapes the royal family. It is Education that is needed as well as a helping hand, but who will educate people when you are thrown into jail for pointing out the problem.

  31. Which is what I said in my first post.

  32. @crantode – ‘I once saw a special for our PBS broadcast in France when I was there and it showed the poor in Appalachia, poverty like you saw in this video ,and I questioned why when there was so much available to these people that they lived like this not wanting to change.’

    If that is the same special that I saw DRUGS was the main reason for their continued impoverished state. The companies that had good jobs available had much difficulty filling the positions because they couldn’t get people to pass the pre-employment drug tests. Was that the same PBS special you saw?

  33. ‘and perhaps the idea that one has to give to the poor escapes the royal family’

    Which should be impossible considering that they are the keepers of the religion that tells everyone to give to the poor.

  34. No this one was many years ago nothing to do with drug testing. Just people afraid of the unknown. That was the life they knew and did not want to change. Slowly it is changing but not fast enough.

  35. Maybe they have their own version of the religion. If they are the keepers they can also interpert. lol

  36. And they HAVE!! lol

  37. One major problem in places like these are that even when the government gives money to cities, for example, there is a lot of corruption that takes place and the money does not always get to the people it was intended for. I know it sounds like a problem that is easily fixed, but there are a lot of intricacies involved in handling such problems particularly if it becomes a “normal” part of business/government. It’s obviously not right, but not necessarily easily fixed.

    As for the poor having a lot of children, I think this may be a cultural thing (their parents’ parents’ parents’ did it, etc. so it “must be right”) stemming from when there was a much lower survival rate among children in given families or when the extra hands were needed to help with working the family business, etc. Nowadays, I find it messed up when someone has more children than they can afford to take care of.

    In some cases, it has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with the said person’s laziness in obtaining birth control. For the people who don’t believe in birth control, all I can say is get educated and get a good-paying job so you can afford the 10+ children you may someday have. I plan on getting a good job myself so I can support a family (or at least children of my own someday soon)- and I’m a woman! Luckily, I’m in a country where that’s relatively easy to do.

    I have some sympathy for poor people in places where there is some sort of caste system in place but as for the poor in the US and similar countries, I don’t have much sympathy. Go get educated and get a good job. Nothing’s stopping you other than laziness (typically).

  38. “And there but for the grace of God/Allah go I”

  39. I once read that about half of the Saudi oil income goes to the Royals and the other half goes to the ‘rest’. This info is not confirmed. Even so, say the net income is 200 billion per year, so that is 100 million for each group. Consider that there may be 40,000 ‘royals’ (my estimate), that means about $2,500,000 each/year. Say also that about 10 million commoners split the other 100 billion, that is a whopping $10,000 per year each.

    Of course these numbers are just raw speculation but there is an element of truth there, somewhere. Of course not all royals are created equal (or plebes either). Even so, this indicates the extent of the problem. The people are being used, abused and sacrificed on the altar of greed and corruption. My opinion.

    It is nice to see everybody on the same side for a change.

    Crantode, leave the poor of Brazil alone. If I were to be poor (poorer) I would want it to be in Brazil (good weather, moderate prices, good food, pretty women, fun people).


  40. Strange One, you are right. In many Western, developed countries there is poverty, but it is more a matter of ‘poverty of the spirit’, not body. In American, the poor often live well, too well.

    I know, I am in the welfare business. I see ‘poor people’ almost everyday at work. Usually they have cell phones, they drive cars and many are fat. Their homes have every appliance that I have, including nice big flat screen TVs. They also have kids galore.

    They are the product of our educational and welfare systems. They have no skills, are barely literate and have no sense of responsibility. They couldn’t hold a job to save their souls, even if jobs were available. They have no sense of family or commitment to the general good. They are the picture of modern America, the product of 40+years of misplaced compassion. If that were not bad enough, then consider the additional effects of a coarse, materialistic, narcissistic, eroticized, ‘anything goes’, idol-infatuated, vulgar culture that defines America today. I think we have a problem.

    Many of the poor around the world have no choice; no hope. Most of the poor in America, but not all, have done it to themselves, or at least let it happen. They use the system, and the system uses them.

  41. Individual choice in Saudi Arabia is considered sacrilegious, therefore bedah (novelty, un-Islamic) and could incur flogging and imprisonment- Unveiled women fits in this category.

    Comparing a country where the individual is totally free to choose and a country where the individual right to chose is forbidden is an insult to one’s sense of objectivity, let alone defies basic set of obtrusive facts.

  42. I think the quote below quite applies to the people of KSA and other ME/Islamic countries.

    “No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)

  43. @Wendy – ‘“No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)

    Very true, I don’t hold out much hope for those bloodthirsty people in Libya. Doesn’t look like much has changed there in spite of all the HUGE changes.

  44. Jay…

    I liked your summation. Not long ago my father and I were talking..he is 78 so he remembers a time before welfare. He was telling me about a study he had read that basically summarized by saying that although welfare was a shot at being kind and helping the unfortunate it also had the unintentional effect of disempowering people, taking away their dignity and their drive to succeed and had created an entire subculture of entitled people who were not only NOT grateful for the welfare, they loathed and resented those who took another path and worked hard rather than rely on welfare. In addition it was abused and not used properly Ie: generations of people with their hand out instead of using it as supplementation or temporarily. Because it is increased with the number of kids one had there was no incentive to not have lots of kids. I have long thought that there should be a limit on how much one gets. If someone with a job has more kids he doesn’t automatically get a raise to compensate. They have to make due on what they have. It should be the same with welfare.

    He said he remembers a time when those who would now qualify for welfare instead worked hard and made something of themselves. Many of them worked menial jobs, but found a sense of pride in doing a job well. And before I sound like a rich conservative let me say my father and for a good portion of my growing up years our family, would have been in the category of which I am speaking. As a kid we were temporarily on welfare. When dad got a better job or should I say a supplemental one we got off of welfare. One of the jobs my dad did was as a nightwatchman watching a truck yard. It was cold, he only had a little shed and a portable tv to watch. Nowadays that type of work would not be “good enough” for a lot of welfare recipients.

  45. I don’t know about the USA but in Canada human rights dictate that we can’t force a welfare recipient to work for their money. I think that is a big shame for all the reasons Jay said and Oby elaborated on. Money doesn’t mean much when you are given it. That being said the issue of poverty in KSA is something else again. As is continually being said – KSA is “special”. 🙂

  46. ‘Nowadays that type of work would not be “good enough” for a lot of welfare recipients.’

    More like nowadays that type of work has been replaced with cameras and dogs so that they don’t have to pay a person to do the job. My dad had a bunch of kids and he was fortunate that he could walk into a place and get a job because he had to work 2 and 3 of them at a time to keep us all fed. Nowadays people are lucky to get ONE job since most of them have all been taken away to China or replaced by robots and computers. Do not ever use those self checkouts in the grocery stores, they take a job away from a human.

  47. SUre lots of jobs are replaced by technologie but i agree that most people simple don’t want to work in jobs when they can get the same amount of money free !!!!

    we need at least 3 people for hour house and atleast as it stands now we don’t have anyone reliable, we need a cleaning person ( i rpefer ind) rather than a service . i have yet to find someone reliable.
    The ones who are good seemto be undocumented ( i don’t know for sure) the women who were on welfare i hired and paid $126 a week were unreliable and lazy … if you say you scrubbed the tiles you must scrub the tiles .. even if i’m not at home, it takes about 3 hrs to clean my house weekly , i don’t think that’s hard to do ( since i do it now) It’s not heavy work , no lifting, no dirt, nothing hazardous.. we rarely stay at home, Both me and F shower most of the time at work ( since we work in the germ pit) . My daughter cleans her bathroom.

    Yet NO one. the only word that comes to my mind is LAZY!!!! if someone is giving you free money why bother to work.

    oh well , no one to rake our leaves and do yard work either and i need help with cooking ??? the only ones are the companies hiting undocumented workers out..

  48. oh in case someone takes offense at the $$ its $125 for 3 hrs of work.. plus i could give them refrence to a ton of my friends who need the same help…

  49. I agree, where in the world would you find someone that would rather scrub toilets than get a free check? That’s just nuts. Fortunately it isn’t really all that easy for the able bodied to get on and/or stay on welfare these days. Did you see how many got off the welfare roles when Florida (?) started requiring drug screenings in order to get the check. All states have different requirements.

  50. Radhaa, why do you prefer individuals rather than hiring a service? With a service it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the cleaners are reliable and trustworthy and INSURED. I’m sure it costs more but at least you are getting what you want.

  51. oh no, a service is horrible, we don’t know who we get , so i’m a bit worried abotu leaving my daughter alone. Plus for all that money we pay they give min wage or less to the peope doing the work and most of them use their own products.. etc., etc.,

    i guess it’s what you are used to. I had a lady clean for us for 6 yrs in MI, She was wonderful and great and i gave her my keys and she came in cleaned and the house was spotless..

    She was a single mom too with 2 kids and cleanedhomes for a living and she said she’d rahter die than take welfare… she used to bring her daughter on some days when she was off school. i miss miss miss her.

  52. I’ve never had anyone clean my house but me (or my husband or kids) and I don’t think I would like it but I would think that a good service would ensure that their people are good quality.

  53. @lynn – you are self sufficient 🙂

    Except for when we were residents and living in apts , we’ve had someone help clean. at times it’s been once a month .

    I’m picky too, but then after working weird shifts and hrs and just because it’s not a 9 to 5 type job we hate to clean. many a time i’m in the middle of cleaning when my pager goes off… I’d much rather spend time with family , than clean. but then in summer my son and daughter take over cooking and cleaning and it’s so much nicer… free too 🙂

    But i don’t think poverty in america is comparable to saudi, that’s a diff set of circumstances. Even apart from the many kid issue, they are really poor with no avenues to earn anything. it’s a sorry plight. I hope these 2 guys gets released soon, how can you jail someone for showing the thruth.. sad.

  54. Radha…

    You might try Angie’s List. You have to join…I think about $40.00 per year but it has been invaluable to me. When we bought our house I used Angie’s List to get all my estimates. I used them for most jobs. The businesses on there are referred by customers who give an honest account of their experience and generally an estimate of what it cost them. I can honestly say that so far I have not been disappointed by anyone I have used off of Angie’s List. Businesses cannot buy their way on it…they have to be referred by clients. so it is more honest that way. I am lucky because it started in my hometown so we have many choices but they are in many other parts of the country so you might check into it.

  55. thanks OBY

  56. Wendy…

    Sorry I missed your earlier comment. I think anyone who gets a handout (welfare) should have to do something to earn it. Being poor is not enough of a qualifier for me. If they can’t be made to do some form of employment to earn or supplement it then they should be required to do some sort of community service. There are so many agencies in need of volunteers to help people and the elderly. This creates a circle of goodness IMO. The people who need the help can get it and the ones giving it can feel better about their contribution and not think of the welfare as a “hand out”. In a way they are earning their monthly money and so can feel good about getting and giving. As a bonus they might learn some skills that they can apply in a work or salaried environment.

    No parent worth their salt thinks that giving their kids everything without any kind of product or work in return (good grades, household chores, etc.) is going to produce productive and empowered citizens. They know that they are creating entitled and lazy people. They know instinctively that they are crippling their kids for the future. Why would poor people who need assistance be any different? Everyone needs to feel that they have a purpose in life whatever that may be and that they are not a charity case to be pitied. People need self worth. I think either working or volunteering can go a long way to providing that.

    I also think this will be unpopular but I think everyone…every adult citizen of the country no matter how poor should pay taxes. Obviously commensurate with their financial situation. If they have income of any kind they should pay something. Even if it is tiny. That is not a statement of greed…If people feel that their hard earned money is going to the government all of a sudden they have a sense of ownership in how that money is spent and I think it makes people more aware of what is going on with the taxes that the government uses. They now care how the government spends their small amount. Now they are a participating citizen. Obviously their tiny amount is not really going to clear the national debt. That is not the point. The point is to make them an involved and active citizen of the country who feels that they have earned their right to be concerned about how the government spends their “hard earned dollars.”

  57. I think that people have gotten off on a tangent here. The original post was not about how the poor people take money and do no work or if they are lazy or what Islam says about taking care of the poor. The thing that is most shocking and sad is that two men are put in jail for pointing out the situation. Too many wives, too many children, too little money, too little work, not enough helpfrom the royal family, all of the above posts may be true but it is a shame that if someone wants to put a light on a situation they cannot unless they are willing to find themselves in jail. Just a thought.

  58. @Crantode – ‘I think that people have gotten off on a tangent here.’

    LOL Where have you been? That’s what we do here at 😉

  59. Crantode – you are right but we all know KSA is ‘special’ and I’m sure we all agree that the whistle blowers should not have been sent to jail but we’re so used to hearing about people being thrown in jail for reporting facts, driving cards, etc. so it’s much more interesting to rant and rave about royalty, extreme wealth vs poverty and so forth. 🙂

  60. Poverty video-second part.

    So what, it could be worse in comparison with some neighborhoods in Sub Saharan Africa or even in Bangladesh. No?

  61. @ Lynn, “LOL Where have you been? That’s what we do here at”
    Lolzzzzzzz so true

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