Saudi Arabia: The Face and Voice of Poverty

 

Poverty does exist in Saudi Arabia just like countries all over the world.  However the poverty of Saudi nationals is seldom discussed.

The following video is in the Arabic language.  It is a television interview with a woman living in the Saudi capital of Riyadh,  The woman lives with a number of daughters and granddaughters. She is divorced and receives Sr1400 monthly only (approximately US$350 – 400).  She is part of a family of about 20 people who all live in the same house.  She laments that they may need to start eating donkey due to the severity of their poverty.

 

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172 Responses

  1. The anguish in this woman’s voice is so evident. It makes me feel so badly for her. What also bothered me is that she is covered, even her eyes and you could not see the anguish on her face. It made me a feel a bit detached from her…she is a person who is hurting. Why can’t we connect with her as a human being by looking into her eyes and seeing that pain? Isn’t that part of what motivates people to action? being able to empathize on a very human connected level with her?

  2. Who is she angry with? There are grandaughters so do their mothers get any money from the fathers? Does she say anything about being too good or any of her daughters or grandaughters being too good to be nannies or housemaids? None of them can take in people’s laundry or something to make some cash?

  3. “However the poverty of Saudi nationals is seldom discussed.”

    The poorest in Saudi are mostly women who are usually divorced and abandoned or widowed. They have no means to earn a living in a system, which favors giving them small handouts instead of letting them earn a living. In some twisted piece of logic such a life is defined for them as more honorable than working.

    The case of the lady in the video is a prime example. She was raised with no skills, divorced and abandoned with 5 daughters. 2 of them are also divorced with kids. And of course the men just issue the divorce and leave.

    @Lynn, She is not angry with any one just distraught at a a hopeless situation. And even if she is physically capable of doing housework she will have to compete with foreign maids, who earn about as little as she makes from social welfare while providing 24 hr service as a living maid. That solution would not work, considering she has a a family to take care of and cannot be away 24 hrs a day.

  4. @MoQ – ‘distraught’ in Saudi seems very different from any ‘distraught’ that I recognise (the raised voice and the pointing of the finger appears as anger to me when I don’t know what her words are saying)

    She has 20 people in her household, some are grandchildren which means that most of those 20 are likely adults. There is NO way that I can believe that there is no one in that household of 20 that is capable of work. If the problem is that she has to compete with foreign labor then THAT is one of the complaints that she should be ‘ticking off’ on her fingers as complaints about the government. Too bad there aren’t subtitles on this.

  5. Lynn, get on a plane and fly to KSA so you can actually see for yourself and then maybe, just maybe you’d understand. You really and truly have absolutely no idea!

  6. Although I only have a working knowledge of arabic, I could feel this lady’s pain. When most people think of Saudi Arabia, obviously they think of the vast oil riches of the country and the life style that goes with this —– huge villas, brand new American cars, the latest in technology, designer brands on display in the countless malls to be seen across the cities etc.

    It is true that there is much ostentatious wealth in this country and some of the villas I have seen in Riyadh (while an american expat there 2000-2007) are breathtaking. However, the reality for many Saudis is very different.

    According to an arab newspaper article I read not too long ago, it said that 1600 Riyals/$427 is the breadline in Saudi Arabia and those who earn 1200 Riyals/$320 per month or less are below the poverty line. The article mentioned that there are some public sector employers who exploit workers and fail to set a minimum wage. Many workers are earning 1200 Riyals or less per month despite working long hours and they receive no health coverage.

    When considering low wages in Saudi Arabia and the poverty in which many live, one must also remember that that families on average are much larger than in countries such as the US; families tend to have 4 children or more. According to another article I read in the Gulf news, a staggering 30% of Saudi nationals are living in poverty. Official figures for unemployment in country are 9.8% although some researchers suggest that the figure could be as high at 25%.

    While ksa has the highest GDP in the arab world, it also has the highest number of its citizens who are dirt poor. From my own personal observations while living in ksa, the chasm between the rich and poor is wide and growing. There is a middle class but it is not vast. KSA needs an arab spring, but as most of us know, it ain’t gonna happen soon ….

  7. @Wendy – What exactly do I not have an idea about? I think I DO have an idea. What do I need to see? I know that they raise their girls to think that they are too good to be out in the public eye working like a common ‘slave’, I know that they bring in slave labor from outside the country rather than lower themselves by washing their own dishes or changing their own babies’ diapers. I know that the ‘Kingdom’ (Royal Family) is filthy rich from oil. I know that Saudis discriminate on the basis of the color of people’s skin, I know that when a member of the Saudi ‘elite’ comes to the US for medical treatment the economy in the city/state where they are instantly rises with all the money their entourage spends on shopping. Please can you tell me what you think I would gain from going and seeing for myself? What do you understand that I don’t? I don’t think I need to go there to understand that the culture is f***ed up and changes are needed NOW. I just wish that I understood Arabic so I would know what HER specific complaints are.

  8. @Lynn – While your suggestions for the woman (and her family) make sense from a Western perspective, the reality of life in the Kingdom is different. Changes will take place but at Saudi speed.

  9. So learn it then. There’s nothing stopping you is there? You can’t be an armchair expert on what happens in KSA. It is a screwed up country, nobody denies it. I never totally got the dysfunction until I went there. I still don’t but I can understand what has happened to this woman and her family and how little hope and help she has.

  10. From what I know there’s no escape route for this woman and her daughters. What job can they do? Who is going to give the allowance for them to work? Their mahrams have abandoned them and without owner they are not only nothing, but they can do nothing.
    And what jobs are there for Saudi women? Cleaning jobs? They don’t like for Saudi women to do cleaning jobs, (besides the miserable slave wages), besides I understand a live-in slave is cheaper. And how are they to get to a job? And who is going to give the permission for them to work?
    And what jobs? In a shop? oh no! Only men work in shops. As a cashier? Oh no! They have made the job of cashier forbidden for women. Sell themselves again to the highest bidder? Oh no! A preciously married woman is used goods and not worth anything.
    Which is why women like these are left rot. Nobody cares for them.

  11. Btw, the ”face” of poverty???

  12. ‘Face’ is my own play on words!

    Actually if the Abdul Latif Jamal corporation learns about the woman, it may be an organization which can help them. This organization does have a charitable arm and has provided training and opportunities for the underprivileged which includes divorced women.

  13. @Lynn,

    “There is NO way that I can believe that there is no one in that household of 20 that is capable of work. If the problem is that she has to compete with foreign labor then THAT is one of the complaints that she should be ‘ticking off’ on her fingers as complaints about the government.”

    ” I just wish that I understood Arabic so I would know what HER specific complaints are.”

    Why try to understand or pretend you want to. You seem perfectly content in just building your strawman arguments and develop judgement based on them.

    At the end of the day, it is just human suffering. Why worry yourself about it, since this woman and her divorced daughters are just lazy. They could just take one of those plentiful maid jobs, get paid less pittance for doing it 24 hrs a day, while their kids grow up without them. Seems like a perfect solution, don’t you think?

  14. @Carol – ‘Changes will take place but at Saudi speed’

    Yes, I realise that. My question was ‘what is she complaining about and to whom’ What does SHE want done and what is SHE (and her family) attempting to do about it? Who made this video and what was their intent?

    @Wendy – Why tell me to go there to understand when you went yourself and still do not understand? Better yet, tell me WHY I should CARE to understand? There’s not a thing that I can do about it and I am not attempting to be an armchair expert on Saudi culture. Bottom line, there are certain things that need to be done for a society to work properly for ALL of it’s people and there is NO reason why Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be able to figure out what that is. Actually it seems that they HAVE begun to figure it out – with finally having women selling lingerie, educating their girls and speaking about (if they haven’t already implemented it) limiting the import of workers.

    Can no one tell me what the woman is saying? I guess I just don’t understand the purpose of this post when we don’t know what she is saying.

  15. This Arab News Article ties in with this post:
    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article555272.ece

    It gives a description of the women in shelters in Jeddah, their circumstances and what it is like living in a shelter home.

  16. @MoQ – ‘They could just take one of those plentiful maid jobs, get paid less pittance for doing it 24 hrs a day, while their kids grow up without them. Seems like a perfect solution, don’t you think?’

    Seems to work out well for those foreigners that go to KSA to work and never even see their own children grow up, eh? Who cares about THOSE families?

  17. From that article from Arab News: ‘I spent the lion’s share of my social security allowance to buy medicine,’

    I thought that they had socialized medicine in KSA?

  18. I was very surprised as well to read comments about spending large amounts of funds on medicines.

    My Arabic is not strong enough to translate the entire video. It’s not so much as the woman stating what she wants done but getting the chance to air her frustrations and grievances. This was an interview by one of the television stations so hopefully the exposure has generated a greater awareness.

  19. @Lynn,

    More question. I guess it is your way of sounding like you are interested and care 🙂

    The point Lynn is you left everyone with the impression that this woman and her daughters are lazy, since they did not work as maids (an unworkable solution).

    For foreign maids, if they have children they are usually leave them with a husband or family who they send the money too. Also, who said being a maid in Saudi is a good solution for poor foreign workers? I think it is cruel for mothers to have to leave their children for a long periods of time.

    The issue here Lynn is we do not pretend that we have all the solutions for these problems. We just do not go about judging people as lazy and as contributors in to the misery they find themselves in. We actually have sympathy to their situation. It is a good human trait, try it sometime.

    I have learned to expect comments like you have on this thread. Human suffering never gets in your way of making judgement does it?

  20. Though I doubt these particular women have the necessary skills or opportunity- just thought I’d contribute that female cashiers are suddenly popping up again. It’s really nice to see. I never even saw them the last time- apparently one of the relevant ministries and the religious folks came to some sort of an agreement. About time.

    Also, I remember a few years back the idea of Saudi maids was bandied about- precisely for these types of low skilled women. The “rules” they made were unworkable. No men in the house during working hours was one- the rest equally unmanagable. I also don’t think Saudi families would be eager to have other Saudi’s see all their personal business- they would rather hire an “outsider” for privacy. Really they need to improve education so that women are more skilled, open up more opportunities and unyoke them from the men.

  21. @MoQ – ‘The point Lynn is you left everyone with the impression that this woman and her daughters are lazy, since they did not work as maids (an unworkable solution)’

    No, I think that is just what YOU took from my comment and we all know that you love to twist things so you can feel superior. Whatever, that’s your issue. But are you trying to deny that it is likely considered shameful for a Saudi to clean another Saudi’s house? That really CAN happen without the person having to work 24 hours away from their families, you know. That is IF they are willing to lower themselves just a little bit or better yet, learn NOT to look down on a person who is willing to do honest work to support their families.

    MoQ, you claim to be a native Arabic speaker, is there a reason why you don’t care to translate what this woman is saying when her voice is raised and she is pointing her finger so hard? What, specifically, is she saying when she is ticking things off on her fingers? I am trying to understand HER and what SHE thinks. I also want to know the purpose of the video who do they want to see this and what do they want to come of it?

    Do they want to make it clear that education and jobs are important for the Saudi women to be able to support themselves?

    Do they want the laws changed so that the men cannot leave the women in these dire conditions?

    Do they want the government to give them a raise in their ‘allowance’?

    Also, the video talks about how much money she receives monthly. Where does this money come from? Do her daughters who are divorced with children also get their own money?

  22. “you claim to be a native Arabic speaker, is there a reason why you don’t care to translate what this woman is saying when her voice is raised and she is pointing her finger so hard?”

    My first comment to you was an attempt at helping you understand the video. Look back. However, your next comment was judgmental instead of asking the questions.

    I simply determined you are not interested in understanding and rather just judge. It is a trait that we all know very well from reading your comments for 2 years. Me translating the video for you and explaining the gestures and the cultural reason behind them will just spoil your fun. Your strawman works much better for your objective.

    I know, I know, we all just misunderstand and twist your extremely sympathetic comments for a judgmental attitude. I think I may need another 2 years to finally understand you for the kind person you are 😉

  23. This video reminds me of the videos we’ve seen by a couple of Saudi guys who are trying to show how poor many Saudis are, and who actively try to help.
    And I know they got arrested for their troubles, but I don’t know how it ended.

    Sandy, did you ever hear out how they ended up?

  24. MoQ, I’m in no mood to play with you today. You can think whatever you want about me and you can take another 2 years if you want but it only takes about 2 seconds to BITE ME! 😉

  25. 20 people in a house should, in a logical world, generate some income of some sort…unless the vast majority are children. I actually think that the woman might have an advantage that Westerners don’t often have…extended family. I know in India often the elder women of the clan watch the children, and take care of the home while the younger, stronger females work doing anything from farming in the fields to carrying gravel to build roads. They don’t say if there are any males which of course would alleviate some of the financial problem. However, I see it much like I do America 200 years ago. How many jobs were there for women? Teacher, maid, cook perhaps…but there were not a lot of options. One thing that the women had 200 years ago that the Saudis do not (I think) is that they did not have to have male permission to move about/travel/work. If they could find work and didn’t mind some scorn of the community by doing “man’s” work, they had a better chance of making it. Plus of course if they had land they could farm it for sustenance. My question is, doesn’t each adult get some sort of “allowance” from the gov’t? Why can’t that be pooled for the betterment of the family? MoQ? What is she saying exactly about the income all the females pull in?

  26. @Oby,

    The women get a total of 1400 riyals (under $400). Half of that for her older daughter who is divorced. She also gets rent paid every 6 months at an average of $250/month. From the $400 she pays over $100 in just water every month. They are basically surviving on handouts for the rest. She also has no surviving male relatives, not even a cousin.

    Note the interview was conducted outside the warehouse where she sometimes gets charity food items. She is upset (not angry) because she does not know how she will feed her family who are mostly kids. Th change in her voice by the way is not anger, it is masking her cry.

    Very sad really…

  27. @Lynn,

    Very classy again!!!!

    And you know no one wants to play with you, they just get dirty…

  28. MoQ…thanks…she really doesn’t have many options. I did understand that she was upset more than angry (in this interview)…her voice sounds desperate…or anguished as I said. Also if you look closely at her hands she looks to be older and I am thinking that she must feel the full weight of the burden of her situation for the entire family. Damn shame that the men don’t feel some obligation to at least feed their own children. That, I am sure would alleviate some of the woman’s anxiety.

  29. “As I have stated before, these women are responsible for their own plight. If they are not willing to fight for their rights, not willing to work, have too many children, let some man or men abuse them—then who in the world can help them?”

    This woman is “sponging” off of society? I don’t think we really get enough info to conclude that. But if you knew much about Saudi you would know that is highly unlikely. Nor do we know whether she is willing to work, whether she had much choice in the number of children she bore or whether she lets men abuse her.

    There are many women willing to work in Saudi. Just as there are many lazy women in the west.

    Collectively, women can change things yes. But social change doesn’t happen that quickly anywhere and that does not make it the victims fault that an entire social and legal system is set up to keep them subjugated. You may not be able to do anything about her plight- and the plight of those like her- but too bad you can’t feel sorry for her. Only an accident of birth keeps you from being her.

  30. “Why should I, as a woman who has worked hard all of her life, feel sorry for this woman who is into sponging off men and society?”

    You should not, unless you want us to mistake you for being humane!!!

  31. Sandy raises very good points. It is really difficult for someone who has not been or lived in Saudi to understand why some things are the way they are.

    I got the impression from watching and listening to the video that the woman is certainly not young and was raised in the old school. If she is in the age group I suspect she is, it is also likely she did not have education beyond 9 years of age either.

    Employers are less likely to consider hiring an older woman seeing that there are so many of Saudi’s youth who are seeking jobs. Plus…with no male relative, that makes it doubly difficult to do much at all in her circumstances.

  32. What a Westerner may interpret as sponging off men and society is a part of Saudi tradition where women are to be protected. If there is not a male relative to care for them, then the society (through philanthropers or charities) should step in and help.

  33. My sil’s biggest regret in this world is “being born as a woman in saudi”. 😦 sad , but if she were born anywhere else ( almost ) then they would not have been in the position they are now.

    I don’t blame them , i only blame my idiotic dead BIL and the govt with their draconian laws.. Unless the laws change — nothing is possible there.

  34. Lynn you start out by saying that the poor family are lazy people and that they should have jobs. Absolutely they should have jobs and would in our world but it is not our world. I have been there and I still don’t understand. Yes I said that. What I should have said is that I understand her plight but I don’t understand how the Saudis can allow this to happen and in a really nice world KSA be a nice place but it’s not and it isn’t. So you go there and see for yourself.

  35. although you are not from Saudi. Most of you are from the west and don’t share the language, the race or the religion of this woman and her family, I must say that i am impressed with the way you show your compassionate and humanity. It seems to me that you love Saudi people and care about them and this is very nice, I did not realise this before.

  36. In fact there are more than 3million people suffer from poverty in Saudi. And the government must allow saudi nationals to reach their follow saudi citizens. At the moment it is illegal to collect donation in mosques and the ministry of interior threaten that any mosque rise funding will be prosecuted and punished. Also any fund rising outside the mosques such as schools is illegal as well.

    There are only 300 charities across the country including their branches and including the government ones. and this number is very very small comparing with other countries, In the UK for example there are more than 180 thousands charities.

    The government allocate small fraction to the poor people. For instance, in the last budget it says only 25 billion saudi riyal go to the poor. this number is very small. And the result is the government don’t help the poor enough and on the same time it doesn’t allow the Saudi to help their sisters and brothers.

  37. Lynn, Lucretia, et al.:
    Society and culture in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia is worlds of difference from the United States. If this was an American woman who was complaining about not being able to find a job, I would refer her to an unemployment agency and government assistance programs. (Of course, I believe the government assistance programs do that already here.) However, society in KSA is a lot different.

    Not only would she need permission to work, but there would need to be a job that she was qualified for that would pay enough to help her support her family. If she wants to go to school (college, etc.), she will need her mahrem’s support. In this case who is that? Is it her estranged husband? How much would it cost her? What social status does her family have? Even if she wanted to, how is she going to leave the country? Does she even want to? Maybe all she had planned to be was just a good housewife, like many American women dream of being. It is not easy to change one’s whole life perspective and life expectations overnight or even over a few years.

    I would expect that in Saudi Arabia, men would be given first priority for jobs (and sometimes women are not even considered). Many of the professional-level jobs require education and experience, the educational part of which younger graduates would be more likely to qualify for.

    I do not consider this woman to be “sponging” off society, but rather wish there was more I could do to help women such as her.

    This woman is not “spoiled”, but rather there are different expectations of her than in “Western” countries. Rather than getting fast food and working, she is expected to do laundry, clean the home, fix home-made meals, etc. I do not know the quality of the place she is living in or if she has limited water/electricity/etc. I would imagine she has her hands full trying to care for the household. If a woman in such a culture does not meet these expectations, she is looked down upon.

  38. And yes, I realized other people pointed out most of these points. Just wanted to say I agree with your points Sandy, MOQ, AB, Radhaa, and Wendy. I apologize for not giving ya’ll credit for the particular comment. Please everyone reading my above comment, scroll up for who said what first. Sorry. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

  39. And I thought all Saudis are very rich and live in luxury. So the oil revenue is not distributed as it should be. Does the King know it?

  40. @Strangeone – ‘Society and culture in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia is worlds of difference from the United States.’

    Yes, I am well aware of that fact. My question was only WHAT is she saying? What does SHE want?

    ‘I would imagine she has her hands full trying to care for the household.’

    There’s TWENTY frickin’ people in that house and none of them work! I’m going to have to go ahead and guess that an individual’s workload in that house, if spread fairly, would be pretty light, no?

  41. @ Abu Dohem,
    Thank you for your explanation about donations and charities. Were donations at mosques, etc. always forbidden or it is just since the troubles of 911 where mosques where suspected centers for collecting terrorism $$. If it has always been that way then I am very puzzled by this.

  42. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe MoQ did provide a more detailed translation.

  43. Wendy

    since eleven of September.

  44. That is such a pity. I’m sure there are ways around it. Once again like all governments things are not thought through and crisis management is carried out.

  45. @Carol – I was asking for a specific translation of particular parts of the video. I asked:

    ‘translate what this woman is saying when her voice is raised and she is pointing her finger so hard? What, specifically, is she saying when she is ticking things off on her fingers? I am trying to understand HER and what SHE thinks. I also want to know the purpose of the video who do they want to see this and what do they want to come of it?’

  46. @AB, like I said from the begging that knowing what the lady was saying was not her objective. It is just another opportunity for the ranters. Some of your commentators are predictable.

    Cheers!!!

  47. @Lynn,

    I responded previously with my best translation. I’m not necessarily able to answer your questions except to say that she was voicing her concern and anguish.

    The reporters seemed more focused on getting her story and did not go into details on their own motivation. It would have been very nice if they had given enough information so that if anyone wanted to help this woman, they knew exactly where to go.

  48. MoQ, you don’t get to decide what my, or any other person’s, ‘objectives’ are. To constantly try to attempt to do that is what makes you seem like an ass. So, either answer the question or ignore it and fuck off.

  49. @Lynn, Yes I do have full right to make opinion about your objectives. Your issue is that others are seeing you for what you are through these exchanges.

    You can also continue with your name calling. It just keeps adding to the image you have successfully created for yourself. 😉

  50. @Carol – ‘It’s not so much as the woman stating what she wants done but getting the chance to air her frustrations and grievances’

    What I am asking is what ARE her grievances? Who are they directed at? What are her frustrations and is she blaiming someone for them.

    ‘It would have been very nice if they had given enough information so that if anyone wanted to help this woman, they knew exactly where to go’

    That is what I am trying to get to the bottom of. What WAS the point of this video? The makers of it MUST have a point wouldn’t you think?

  51. Shut it MoQ, you bore me.

  52. Lynn you brought these arguments on with your judgement, name calling and bullying tactics. I am just here to expose your behaviors. And you are assisting quite nicely. Next time try to be kind!!!

  53. MoQ, YOU brought these argument by trying to make assumptions of my ‘intentions’. That makes you look like an ass that just loves to try to pick fights. Like I said before, not in the mood, you bore me, go away little bug.

  54. @Lynn,

    I don’t have the answers to your questions. Sorry. All she was doing was talking about her situation. Nothing was stated about options and the reporters did not state their objectives either.

  55. @Lynn

    The person calling others names is the one picking fights. I just think you are heartless and have no compassion. All your intent with these questions is not to understand. Just to blame poor people of being lazy. You reached that judgement before you knew anything. The questions came later and not in a nice form.

    You really could care less for this woman. Just another round of arguing on the internet for you

    I do not rally care what mood you are in. You have the option to turn your computer off. Try this silly high school name calling and bullying stuff on someone else.

  56. MoQ, Perhaps it is some kind of cultural misunderstanding or something but in MY culture, calling someone heartless and compassionless IS name calling and YOU started that right away when you decided to impose your incorrect perceptions into some kind of judgement of me (again… yaaaaawn… ) You are boring because you do the same thing, over and over and over again NON.freaking.stop. If you want to think I am heartless and compassionless then that is fine with me, it does not change any FACTS about who I really am and I think I have told you time and again that I don’t give a shit what you think of me. You are nothing to me but an anonymous, fight mongering troll on a blog. But ok, I’ll just play along for a minute anyway. Ok, I have no compassion for this woman. Would you like me to? How does that do her any good?

  57. @Lynn,

    No cultural misunderstanding here. I truly mean that you are heartless and lack compassion. It is based on your constant dismissal of people suffering.

    Your name calling however, is high school level stuff. It is just cuss words you hear from simpletons. If you do not care what I think of you, why do you keep defending and replying 😉

    You know Lynn we all know your style by now. You make judgement like you did here. Look back to your second comment. Then get upset when people call you on it. The next thing is you start your profanity and claim we are attacking you unfairly.

    We all know you have been here for a long time and you should know enough about Saudi by now to make the judgement that this woman and her daughter have no chance in that system to get jobs unless they are highly educated. We even told you that in a nice way (look at my first comment). So your judgement that these people are lazy is either heartless or you are so stupid that you do not understand the issues they face after all these years. I find it hard to believe you are stupid so I go with the first one.

    “I have no compassion for this woman. Would you like me to? How does that do her any good?”

    No women like her will never get anything from you. You do not care enough toe even sympathize. This likely includes the poor people around you, which you probably think they are lazy and not worthy of help.It is a state of mind for you isn’t it?

    Anyway, I hope you realize that judging people too easily is a bad thing. I just showed you how that works above 😉

  58. My English isn’t strong, I have used REVERSO. I translate it to french so to English. I didn’t translate the man’s questions, and I didn’t translate when she repeat the same information. Hope that helps :

    I have children who want of the food, we eat little, all that we eat results from benefactors; we have only them and God. I have only 700 SR a month of social security and my elder son also has 700 SR. that is not enough for covering loads (water, electricity, rent) I owe another 450 SR of water and electricity. We live in an unhealthy apartment. It has been 20 years since I am registered in a work of charity but so that they pay me the rent it is necessary to me to bring to them the receipt but the rental agency do not give it to me every 6 months. I pay 6500 SR of rent every 6 months. We have nobody, we have only God.
    The composition of the family: a girl divorced with 5 children, a girl divorced with 6 children, a girl divorced with 4 children, a girl divorced with 7 children. A son’s widow, a single girl.
    The husbands of my daughters abandoned them without anything and do not meet the needs of the children. My girls have not all the documents to join the social security of the state. The only one who has all her documents saw itself refused the social security because of its young age, they said to her to go and to look for a work. What I want it is a decent roof, a correct food, some meat, even that of a donkey. I want to fill the stomachs of my family members.

  59. if you read french :

    J’ai des enfants qui veulent de la nourriture, nous mangeons peu, tout ce que nous mangeons provient des bienfaiteurs, nous n’avons qu’eux et Dieu. Je n’ai que 700 SR par mois d’aide sociale et mon fils ainé a aussi 700 SR. Ça ne suffit pas pour couvrir les charges (eau, électricité, loyer) je dois encore 450 SR d’eau et d’électricité. Nous vivons dans un appartement insalubre. Cela fait 20 ans que je suis inscrite dans une œuvre de charité mais pour qu’ils me paient le loyer il me faut leur apporter le reçu mais l’agence de location ne me le donnent pas chaque 6 mois. Je paye 6500 SR de loyer tous les 6 mois. Nous n’avons personne que Dieu.
    La composition de la famille : une fille divorcée avec 5 enfants, une fille divorcée avec 6 enfants, une fille divorcée avec 4 enfants, une fille divorcée avec 7 enfants .la veuve de son fils, une fille célibataire.
    Les maris de mes filles les ont abandonnés sans rien et ne subviennent pas aux besoins des enfants. Elles n’ont pas tous les documents pour s’inscrire à l’aide sociale de l’état. La seule qui a tous ses papiers s’est vue refusée l’aide sociale à cause de son jeune âge, ils lui ont dit va te chercher un travail. Ce que je veux c’est un toit décent, une nourriture correcte, de la viande, même celle d’un âne. Je veux remplir les ventres de ma famille.

  60. The old lady aims at nobody in particular when she clocks of the finger. She complains. The Arabic body movements still have no same sense as the western body movements.

  61. “Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe MoQ did provide a more detailed translation”.

    you are right carol. why didn’t he translate what she says. it took me 20 min to translate what she says in french, a language That I mastery perfectly.
    there is in what she says in Arabic of the subtleties which get lost in the translation.

  62. Nassima, thanks for the translation. I was going to get my husband to do it but you’ve saved the day in more ways than one. 🙂

  63. And you are from where, Lucretia????

  64. @Lucretia,

    And you see me supporting these atrocities where and when?

    You seem to have only one mode of commenting. Rants!! And long ones if I may add!!!

    Catch your breath a little and may be you will notice that others actually know all of this stuff you rant about like it is a new discovery.

    You do not even understand what others positions are before building your strawman and attaching it to them.

    The point Lucretta, is you are watching a poor woman who is looking to feed her family. One woman with a problem. In your ranting you forgot that and just went ahead and appointed her as the representative of every problem in Saudi. Every problem with Islam. Every problem with culture. You somehow you expect this woman to solve all these problems. In all of that you forgot she is just a human that is trying to prevent her family from starving. That is the point where you lose your humanity and compassion!!!

    And please, loose the attitude about people not knowing the basic things you keep ranting about. They are out of topic and you always seem like you are lecturing us. What does fighting in Africa have to do with this woman describing her impoverishment.

  65. Lucretia,
    You apparently have a very surface and incomplete understanding of what things are like in Saudi Arabia with no desire to really understand any kind of total picture. Of course black/white thinking makes it easier to accuse, point fingers and rant about a situation you have no clue about

    No one here has said the Saudi system is working well. It clearly does not. It creates more problems than it solves. That a mass uprising might change things does not mean that this poor woman has the option to work and feed her family right now- and is lazy for not doing so. You seem to have some vested interest in needing to be angry at Saudi’s, you seem to resent the wealth- to the point you’ll even blame a poor old women who’s clearly not getting any of it.

    And nothing you suggested about yourself compares to the type of life/situation this woman is going through. So yes, this could have been you, but for accident of birth. One option she DOES have- is perhaps she could have early on just abandoned her children. Perhaps that would have made her more honourable to you.

  66. I very much am against the system in Saudi and never suggested most if what you seem to think I did. Yes some Saudi women have opportunities that others so not and they should use them and many do. This woman quite possibly has had no opportuniy for even a decent basic education- and no, women here don’t necessarily have a choice in marriage which once again shows how surface your understanding of things.

    And clearly you also have no idea of how Saudiazation works especially regarding women. Pls note I am not supporting or approving of how it’s done – but neither am i misrepresenting it and then blaming it’s victims.

  67. @Lucretia,

    “In future I shall consider to follow your example and break my “rants” up into smaller posts for those with limited attention spans.”

    1)This is not about Lynn, this is about your own position.
    2) Really why are you adding all of these rants of unrelated topics all the time. It is a bad habit that makes you look out of touch with the topic. It is a sign of a radical to through every issue in the world together.

    ” It sounds like a family of low-lifes.”

    Whenever someone uses terms like that to describe humans, they already have made their mind that they are not worth saving. You are already thinking of humans as lower than you (similar to animals). This is a very prejudice stance. The sad part is in your mind which confuses issues, it just all gets muddled up into a long rant which I am sure you will entertain us with in your next reply.

    “Africa has lots to do with it because of Muslims doing their deeds in the name of Islam. They want to bring in “superior, perfect” sharia, rather like in Saudi.”

    So this woman is directing Muslims in Africa to implement Shariia.

  68. The ranting on this thread is boring, the total absence of compassion of some commentators is disturbing.

    At least other people, with actual information of life for such women in Saudi Arabia, like Sandy, have provided factual information here.

  69. I am only speculating as that is all I can do without more facts but given that the woman’s daughters were all divorced and abandoned by their husbands made me think that they (the daughters) may have all married men who were brothers. Regardless, the men abandoning them and their children is shameless.

    I feel deeply for the woman as she only wants her family taken care of like any compassionate and caring person would.

    2000 SAR per month would make such a HUGE difference in her life.

  70. Lucretia, where are you from? I ask again. You see I am familiar with life in Saudi and in Sudan. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Sudan in fact. It is apparent to me that you have very little understanding of life in Saudi and especially when it comes to employment for women, the rights of women in a marriage even to her own reproductive system, etc. etc. etc.

  71. Women without mahrem can almost be compared to those who are called “the untouchables” in India. While there are positions which have opened up for women in Saudi Arabia, that does not mean a woman without a mahrem may be able to acquire such positions.

    While the idea of an internet business is feasible in most places, I doubt this woman even has knowledge of the internet or how to use a computer, let alone have the resources to acquire one.

    I wish I knew how to contact the woman and learn more about their situation in order to give them resources/advice. The evident pain in her voice touched my heart to its very core.

    I recognize all will not agree but I see her as a woman who is not happy or proud of her situation. She’s scared and feeling at her wits end. She needs a chance rather than condemnation for her situation.

  72. Why won’t you answer my question???

  73. I’m guessing perhaps a former Yugoslav Republic…

  74. I think this rant really speaks the most about you, You don’t like Islam, Islamic societies, and Saudi Arabia. Because of that, your are incapable of fully processing the collection of “facts” you gather. No one can completely comprehend a place they’ve never been to- that is not the type of lack of understanding you show. You just seem incapable of processing anything in a manner that isn’t black and white- right or wrong. You have a true gift for filtering out any explanation- no matter how true or relevant if it threatens your position You also seem to be a bit insecure about yourself or else you wouldn’t keep telling us about how well you’ve done. This thread isn’t about you.

  75. Just to clarify- I think there is no excuse for the state of affairs in Saudi and I have never said that. I just try to depict the state of affairs accurately before judgeing a poor old women as being unworthy of my sympathy.

    You don’t really care how accurate information is- as long as it allows you to emote distain And yes, you’ve told us all about the brilliant choices you made in your life and how others should do the same instead of “sponging”.

    And I really think you should work on your reading comprehension. You continuously shove words into people’s mouths and then disagree with what they didn’t say.

  76. Lucretia

    I understand where are you coming from. you just need more experience in life, and the more we live the more we learn. You have nice approach to life. I like your determination. But I assure it is passage of time that will change your mind about this subject. Overall, i benefited from your writings that people should change their life by themselves and don’t blame others.

  77. @Sandy,

    “Just to clarify”

    You really do not need to do any clarification. It is obvious that Lucretia, has one mode of making an argument. Long rants filled with strawman arguments. Then she goes ahead and attack those arguments.

    In all of this she keeps forgetting that our argument is not about any of the the following:

    – The Saudi System
    – Islam dominance
    – Islam verses Christianity in Africa
    – Lucretia Charitable donations
    – Lucretia’s background
    – Lucretia’s knowledge
    – Lucretia hard work
    – The moon landing (can you see the ego pattern here,, lots of I’s)
    – nor the existence of Martians

    Our discussion is about the plight of one woman, who cannot support her family. And the lack of compassion some of the commentators show.

    Once Lucretia gets down from her soap box may be you can have a simple discussion with her.

  78. @nassima – Thank you very much for that translation. I appreciate the effort that it took you to make it.

  79. @MoQ
    There’s not much point. She can’t even agree to disagee because how can she do either when she hasn’t comprehended what I said? Apparently because she had plenty of opportunity- albeit it took hard work, she can’t imagine having very restrictive opportunity.

  80. @MoQ,
    It kinda weird all this agreeing we’re doing lately! Happy New Year!

  81. @Sandy,

    I am an agreeable type of guy, except when there is a full moon out

    Happy New Year!!

  82. Happy New Year!

  83. Lucretia, what you don’t understand is the lack of ability for women to work. You are not hearing how difficult it is. Try and do that. Nobody thinks it’s okay. Nobody likes the Saudi system. It is what it is and if you go back and think about the actual short period of time women in the western worlds have had equality and freedom it is really not that long.
    I do not like Islam, I do not like the Saudi system, I do not like the lack of charity BUT…. I understand how it is in KSA. You try and do that please.

  84. OMG- I am speechless because I’m LMAO. Unbelievable!

  85. “Defending or excusing such a system is futile because it is against the natural order of things. ”

    Note, I have never defended the Saudi System Neither Islam in 2 years Islam in my 2 years of commenting on this blog. Quiet the opposite I am in opposition to both. However, you have never got off your soapbox long enough to even consider knowing simple facts. You just keep on going with Strawman arguments 😉

    You also make up stuff like saying “the social services office asked her children to work”. That was not in the video unless you know something we do not know.

    Let’s examine how your logic works

    “Certainly it has a great deal to do with Islam, because Islam is the only religion that is based on its adherents being parasites. The Qur’an is full of commands to conquer the world, then use the resources and labor of those who are conquered by Islam via enslavement or the jizya protection racket. ”

    From that you concluded that this woman in the video does not want to work. What the Hell. Are you an educated person with any sense of logic. Anyone who reads the above can see the simplest of logical fallacies to spot “Non sequitur” or the conclusion does not follow from the premise. I mean seriously do yourself a favor take a logic course and just run the list of fallacies that a first year college student should know against your argument and you will find you broke about 7 of them in a matter 2 days of arguments.

    In any event anyone reading your constant rants can arrive at the right conclusions.

    You are not in need of a debate, you are in need of simple education.

  86. Okay, now your posts are like a joke.
    # 1. Your posts are far too long.
    # 2. You do not have a grasp on the plight of women in KSA.
    # 3. You do not want to understand what is going on or you are entirely unable to have sympathy for a very sad situation.
    # 4. What has age got to do with it? I am considered a senior in Canada and so what does age have to do with anything except that at a certain age one should be able to understand issues.
    # 5. You don’t have to approve of something to understand it.

  87. I do not live in Saudi Arabia, but from what I know, and from what those people who do live there have explained here the only job open for this woman, and all her family, is begging on the street.
    I think it’s about the only ”job” for which a woman does not require permission from her owner?

    Lucretia, you do not seem to understand the reality in KSA. You keep on ranting and everything you say is about a KSA which only exists in your imagination

  88. Lucretia…

    MoQ said that the woman does not have one male relative. Without a male relative she becomes a persona non grata…almost invisible. Her male guardian would be the one to agree to letting her or her daughters work. As someone above stated her daughter is unable to get her papers together in order to find a job or even have a hope of starting that process if it even could be started without male permission. Carol stated without a male she is like an untouchable in India…believe me a miserable caste to be in in terms of advancement/employment.

    When people are facing near starvation I think that situation in general, will motivate people to action even if only to steal to eat. Not that this woman is stealing but desperation causes people to do desperate things sometimes. Also it is an extended family…generally they are all about helping each other and working in unison. I think women, when faced with the starvation of their children, will do almost anything to feed those children including prostitution. Now I know we are not talking about stealing or prostitution, but I bring those up to highlight the fact that in desperate times people will find some sort of way to survive…particularly if it is a woman faced with starving children. Men don’t have the same connection to their children as women do worldwide and as is evidenced by the many men in the world who like to create kids and leave them to the mothers to raise and provide for. The fact that none are working gives me pause. Perhaps it is the SYSTEM that keeps them from doing that. I am not fully familiar with the system but it seems to me that short of begging on the street, they might not have a lot of options.

  89. oops…posted before reading your post Aafke…I agree about the begging.

  90. I agree with Lucretia on many points. This situation that this woman is in is not new. Is this the first time that any news organisation (or whoever recorded this) did something like this? No, it is not. I am not blaming this woman as much as I blame the society/culture that raised her to be nothing but a sponge. Is it not true that even if a Muslim woman has a job it is not HER resonsibility to support herself? It is either her father or her husband that has that responsibility and lookie here they are ALL (even the fathers of her grandchildren) shirking their responsibilites and there is no government organisation to force them to take care of their responsibilities like there is to make sure a woman has her hair covered!! Am I allowed to be sickened by THAT fact?!

    I want to know what the intended purpose of recording her anguish was. Is anyone going to get together and protest for her and all those like her that are also in her situation? How many children in KSA are still being born without proper ‘papers’. Not having the proper paperwork to prove their citizenship seems to be one of the issues that is working against her and her family (according to the translation provided by Nassima). So is there any caring organisation going around to ensure that every child born has the proper papers? Or are these women’s children perhaps not even legally Saudis but have Yemeni fathers or something?

    There are probably millions of women in KSA that don’t have anything better to do all day than go shopping. Couldn’t THEY find some compassion for their own people and ‘Occupy Riyadh’ or something? Yes, yes, I know that there are rules against protests. However that only serves to get MORE attention for the cause. If this woman and her family got thrown into prison for illegally protesting then at least they wouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal was going to come from, would they? (oooh, look how cold and heartless Lynn is) Until some big changes happen to the mindset of the people in KSA we will STILL have women in this woman’s position 100 years from now. Whether or not my heart bleeds for this woman or others like her is completely irrelevant to her and her predicament. No one does her any favors by crying over her, what she needs is ACTION by brave and unselfish people in her own country that are willing to rock the boat! No worthwhile change EVER happens without someone, somewhere, being a hero and making sacrifices. Unfortunately KSA seems to be woefully short on heroes.

  91. Jobs for children?????
    They should create jobs for women, abolish the mahram system, and give all women a car and a driving licence.
    That would really help.

  92. @Lucretia,
    Besides making a speech about stuff we already know- and name-dropping, you still don’t seem to see why we were disagreeing with you. I’m sure your “habibiti” friend (whom I have a lot of respect for) would feel sorry for this women. And how fortunate for her she either had the resources-including financial to illegally smuggle her children out of the country for their education (more financial requirements)- or their mahrem approved. Apparently she also had access to their documentation. I know many women who do not have that for their children. Also, of course the ability to get permision/Visa etc. for her children to reside in another country. Not everyone can get that.

    She is a woman who HAS opportunities and still fights for other who do not. She is not just fighting for herself alone, and know there are many women who are very stuck indeed, and does not blame them.

  93. Sandy – You seem to keep getting stuck on whether or not we ‘feel sorry’ for this woman. Of COURSE we feel sorry for her. Her situation, like that of ALL the women in her position, is disgusting. But that does not change the fact that there is absolutely nothing that will help them except for a change in the way their culture looks at women and the only way that that will happen is by SAUDIS caring, not us. Whatever WE feel is completely irrelevant to the lives of Saudis. Lucretia was actually pointing out the fact that there IS one that cares about their fellow Saudi EVEN though SHE personally may have an easier time of it. I betcha that the advice that this Saudi ‘heroine’ would give to other Saudi women is ‘get educated and learn to take care of yourself BEFORE getting married’. What percentage of Saudi women do you think would shudder at that thought?

  94. @Lynn,

    Here is a direct quote from Lucretia

    “Why should I, as a woman who has worked hard all of her life, feel sorry for this woman who is into sponging off men and society?”

    Hence, Sandy is correct in her comment to her. Note she is also correct in Lucretia lecturing everyone. She writes long posts mostly with out of topic items and topics that everyone already knows. Some have long copies of articles. There is no conversation here, just strawman arguments.

    After many days of back and forth with you, you finally say “Of COURSE we feel sorry for her.” Note you do not speak in behalf of Lucerita in that because her posts spoke to what she feels. You could have wrote that 5 days ago instead of constantly shifting the blame to the victim of the system. Hence, this is why I feel you are not into this for understanding, you like to create controversy and long arguments. I hope you improve on that.

  95. MoQ – Shut it, my position has not changed one bit notwithstanding YOUR ‘strawman arguments’ about my completely irrelevant level of ‘compassion’ or concern. Now that you know that we DO feel compassion for this woman’s situation (otherwise we wouldn’t even bother commenting on how it can be improved) can you finally answer the question I had posed to you earlier? How does MY compassion help that woman? It doesn’t, does it? But perhaps expressing our feelings about HOW she ended up in her predicament will be read by someone who CAN help affect some kind of change in that society even if only for the sake of their own daughters or granddaughters.

  96. Many women here would LOVE the opportunity for more education and life skills.

  97. Lucretia has made it clear she has no sympathy.

  98. Sandy, will you have any sympathy for that ‘revert’ on the other post that is happily living in KSA where she is treated as prized jewel if/when she ends up in this woman’s position? Actually, that woman has the option of going back home if the going gets too tough but do you think that she is going to raise her daughters to be self sufficient, productive members of society or ‘jewels’?

  99. I have not seen any sympathy or understanding for this one hopeless Saudi woman from either Lynn or Lucretia.
    Neither have I ever seen moq use a strawman. Accusing him of using strawman arguments is a strawman argument.

  100. Accusing me of being heartless is a strawman argument. LOL As I have said many, many times, my sympathy or understanding for this woman is irrelevant.

  101. You know what? I would even be sorry for women like what’s-her-name, to me she seems a really stupid shortsighted deluded brainwashed woman. Yes, one’s first thought would be ”serves you right” if she gets into trouble and has to learn the hard way how little worth a ”jewel” has once she is cast off or abandoned by the slave keeper, but is this just? I think simple stupidity is sad. And her suffering would be just the same for all her shortsightedness, her selfishness and stupidity. And so so yes, I would feel sorry for her too.
    And of course she will do all she can to bring her daughters up to be stupid useless bigotted slaves. So I think we all would feel very sorry for any children she might have too.

  102. @Lynn,

    “MoQ – Shut it”

    Your ego is really running away from you. You know you cannot tell me to shut it. Try that one with someone that responds to your tactics. LMAO

    You spent days arguing about the responsibility of the victim and never about compassion until it became obvious to everyone that you had a bad position. Then you wrote the comment about caring to save face. That is what it looks like to others. So if you have anyone to blame it is you for lacking the ability to communicate.

  103. I answered on the other thread I would feel less sorry for her- and that is true. But I would feel sorry for her for different reasons. Clearly some defiecency leads someone to limit themselves this way. I would definately- and do feel sorry for any children. I don’t know how she will raise her daughters. Some female followers of the “jewel” school of thought work very hard in the home. Not all of them have staff taking care of all their needs. Cooking, cleaning and childcare are hard work. Not all of them are lazy.

  104. @MoQ – What people think about my ‘bad position’ is as irrelevant (perhaps more) as my concern for this woman. I feel absolutlely NO need to ‘save face’ so why would that be my purpose in a comment? Once again you attempt to try to read my mind and put your own spin on the purpose of my comment. You are woefully lacking in that ability, my friend, so you might want to hang up the practice for good 😉 And yes, I CAN tell you to ‘shut it’. Of course we all know that you won’t but that’s ok because I won’t either. 😉

    @Aafke – ‘And so so yes, I would feel sorry for her too’

    Which is a complete turnabout from your previous stated feelings about people that willingly CHOOSE that life. No?

  105. @Sandy – We don’t know enough about the woman in this video to make a judgement on her ‘blame’ for her position. She may very well hold, or have once held, a strong position about ‘jewels’ and how loosley they are guarded in the ‘west’ but we just don’t know. If we could trust a person’s dress style to tell us how they think then we would think that this woman with the covered eyes feels pretty strongly about the protection of ‘jewels’ and she would be listening to abu Mussab and cheering him on for his ‘devotion to allah’. Bottom line, there is more evidence presented to us here that she believes that she, as a women is owed ‘protection’. When Carol can get an interview with HER or her daughters THEN we can decide how much sympathy she/they deserves. I don’t think anyone has made any judgement on the laziness of a housewife who cooks, cleans and takes care of children but rather the housewife who has maids and nannies I did say that the workload for this woman must be pretty light shared with a family of 20 where no one has an outside job.

  106. I don’t know how I would have managed without the assistance of a housemaid and I did not have young children to worry about either. In addition to the usual aspects of caring for a home, the sand and dust are also factors in Saudi. Windows and floors always need cleaned. Curtains need to be cleaned regularly too. Sand will easily gather behind furniture so it was always important to pull out furniture to sweep and mop or vacuum. These are not tasks that would be done multiple times per week in most other places. Then being married to a Saudi there were always more visitors than in a Western family. Thankfully housemaids are considered a part of life and affordable — without having to be made or treated as slaves.

  107. Her clothing gives no indication of whether or not she subscribes to the “jewel” philosophy or not. That is normal dress here. Many people even wear it here and take it off when abroad.

  108. I think we have coined a new term with “jewel philosophy”

  109. @Lynn,

    Your arguments that you do not care about how people think of you are just false 🙂 We have seen you going back and forth for a long time trying to repair the impressions you leave from your comments. Of course you have a big ego, so you never admit you took a bad position, you just go on and on about how people misunderstand you. You know Lynn after using the same tactics, we just know you too well 😉

  110. @Sandy -‘Her clothing gives no indication of whether or not she subscribes to the “jewel” philosophy or not.’

    I know, that’s why I said IF we could trust her dress. I am well aware of the fact that many women in KSA have no say in how they dress. BUT considering that many, many women in KSA do not cover their eyes and this woman does not have an owner telling her how to dress, her choice was all her own (perhaps due to brain washing perhaps due to her personal beliefs) but again, we just don’t know.

    MoQ, I am not saying that you misundestood me. I said that you intentionally attempt to state my ‘true’ position with NO regard for what I actually say. That is all about YOUR ego and I think we are all on to YOU. LOL You have no choice but to accept the fact that my positions are not EVER based on what others think of it. If you want to go on and on about how I DO care about insignificant things like what on-line fight mongering trolls think of me then feel free but it doesn’t change the facts Bub. 😉

  111. @Lynn,
    Women chose to dress in the culturally (and legally) accepted way. It has NOTHING to do with having a man in her life in most cases. Why bring up this issue if you know it’s not reliable??? She may also uncover more when not being videotaped. You just seem to like to spin things out and keep to conversations moving all about rather than on topic. This whole tangent is pointless and just for the purpose of trying to argue or make some irrelevant point.

    Feel sorry for whoever you like. You apparently care a great deal about how others view your opinions. Enough to extend converstations far and wide irrelevant to anything except proplonging arguments and distracting from any point that perhaps can be made.

  112. @Carol,
    Absolutely! I’m going to be using “jewel philosophy” all the time now. There certainly are enough subscribers to it- time it had a name 🙂

  113. I agree, the term ”Jewel philosophy” is now officially added to the English language.

  114. @Lynn,

    I am not intentional trying to understand your position different. Others had the same impression on the same thread. Perhaps you need to reevaluate. Try it, it is really a sobering process. It may even help you get rid that chip you have been carrying on those tired shoulders.

    Note go look back at my first comment on this thread. You will find that I have not changed positions. You finally came to the same place after arguing for days with no purpose. Of course you will never admit any of this and will put a spin on it, but others can see it.

    Arguing for the sake of arguing is your only purpose!!

    Cheers

  115. @Sandy – ‘This whole tangent is pointless and just for the purpose of trying to argue or make some irrelevant point’

    I believe I also said that this whole POST is pointless to discuss due to 1.The video is in Arabic and the majority of the people here do not speak Arabic 2. Even when translated it doesn’t give us enough information about how she came to be in her position other than that 100% of the men in their lives let them down and the government is not picking up their slack. To say that she deserves some kind of empty gesture of sympathy (I say empty gesture because OUR sympathy does NOTHING for her – Well, perhaps yours could IF you chose to do anything but I don’t live there and my opinion is neither relevant OR wanted) is assuming as much as if I were to say she does NOT deserve any. We simply do not have enough facts about this woman and her family to make a judgement on anything other than the society that she lives in that can help create her situation. But, IF she is of the ‘jewel philosphy’ then no, I can’t feel sorry for her. Some lessons just have to be learned the hard way.

    Fortunately things seem to be changing there since women will not need their owners’ approval to vote or run for office and education and jobs seem to be opening up more and more for women in KSA.

  116. MoQ – ‘Note go look back at my first comment on this thread. You will find that I have not changed positions.’

    I suggest you do the same with mine lol.

    What’s funny is that you can go to almost ANY comment of yours (on any subject) and find the same trite remarks and insinuations of others’ intentions whether they make sense or not. It’s like you just say the same things over and over again as if repetition creates facts. LOL

    ‘Arguing for the sake of arguing is your only purpose!!’

    Here’s a good example of that for you.

    Me: ” I just wish that I understood Arabic so I would know what HER specific complaints are.”

    King of ‘strawman’: ‘Why try to understand or pretend you want to. You seem perfectly content in just building your strawman arguments and develop judgement based on them.’

    So, who’s the one looking for an argument? LOL

  117. @Lynn,
    I believe other people answered the questions you had directed at me?

    @Lucretia:
    “The fast food comment was a cheap shot, Strange One”
    On the contrary, I used to eat fast food as a child quite often because 2 items off the 99cent menu at chains like Wendy’s was sometimes just as cheap as cooking a good meal. Of course, “value meals” were never really an option for me as a child. And it’s what was easy to grab when there were extra-curricular activities after school. When my family was really poor, it was tomato soup (Sometimes when we could afford it) with cheap grilled cheese sandwiches or the many flavors of ramen. Occasionally, we were able to add meat to the ramen, but not very often. Cheap cereal and milk were usually what was for breakfast, and we got free lunch at school. I didn’t even know there was a farmer’s market in the town I grew up in until a few years ago because my family never had enough money to buy food from there; the organic stuff was waaaayyyyy too expensive. Of course, my family did eat much, much healthier for the few months we were on food stamps. But thankfully, that part of my life is behind me.

  118. I think the main misunderstanding here is the misunderstanding of resources available to a Saudi woman such as the one in the video. Also, you cannot expect every poor woman, whether Saudi or not, to be a great leader and pull herself out of her own troubles or even know where to begin. Most people are just average, ordinary people. A lot of people have trouble with the day-to-day things. How then, would you expect such a woman to handle a situation such as this?

  119. Consider that this woman may very well be illiterate. My husband’s oldest sister is illiterate, while his youngest is a school principal. (in Saudi) However, we just recieved news that his oldest sister just finished a class equivilent to finishing 1st grade. I am so proud and happy for her. She is a wise and resourceful woman, and I can just imagine how empowering it is for her to be able to finally read!

  120. ‘She is a wise and resourceful woman, and I can just imagine how empowering it is for her to be able to finally read!’

    I am very happy for your SIL. I LOVE seeing the pride on the face of an adult who has just learned how to read! Are you aware of how she came about the decision to learn to read? What kind of difficulties, if any, did she encounter?

    Strangeone – ‘… you cannot expect every poor woman, whether Saudi or not, to be a great leader and pull herself out of her own troubles or even know where to begin’

    Which is why I said that KSA needs heroes. Much like Kristine’s SIL found in whoever convinced her to get educated.

  121. @Lynn,

    Your position was putting the blame on the victims on the system. Only after 5 days of arguing did you come around and actually argued about the unjust system as the cause of the problem. 5 Days of circular arguments, finger pointing, name calling, etc. and some how we are to believe that you are in this because you “do not like to argue”. Many of us know better and you just have to live with the impressions you leave with others here. But I forgot, you do not care what others think of you 😉 The big Chip on that tired old shoulder does not allow you to do so!!!

  122. MoQ – You are now beginning to seem a tad delusional. And you still have not answered my question of how my sympathy for this woman has ANY relevance. I don’t know this woman, YOU don’t know this woman. WE do not know her complete situation and how she came to be in it and you refused to share even what you DID know due to understanding her language and I can only guess as to what your reason was {{shrug}}. Even before Nassima so kindly went through the trouble to translate it for me I understood that this woman lives in a fucked up country that promotes a fucked up ‘jewel philosophy’ that CREATES a situation like the one this woman has found herself in. Whether or not my heart is frosted over or is bleeding out with compassion for her is completely IRRELEVANT. Hopefully, this woman’s anguish will inspire a Saudi hero or two and I don’t just mean one that will pay her rent or food but one that will also go around and help educate girls to the truth about the dangers of allowing themselves to be ‘jewels’.

    I hope if you have anything further to say to me regarding this post it will be to finally answer my question about how my bleeding heart is going to help her.

  123. @Aafke, Sandy, and AmericanBedu,
    Is one of you going to add the “jewel philosophy” idea to wikipedia…just a thought…. 😛

  124. I think that expressing empathy and sympathy for the woman does help. I can attest that there are many in Saudi who read this blog but may not be commentators. Hearing how much many of us, regardless of location, feel her pain can make a difference even if we may not be aware or see the effect.

  125. Well, Carol, if they are reading this then they are educated enough to go out and do something to spread the word that this ‘jewel philosophy’ does not benefit them (their society) in the long run. I hope that they will be inspired to get out and help an illiterate learn to read. That they will get on the bandwagon and push to allow women to drive (which could even create jobs for women to be paid drivers for women who don’t want to drive). Maybe they would be willing to open their homes to a poor Saudi woman who could clean for them or be their nanny (it REALLY is possible to do that in 8 hours a day or less). Sure, these might be things that are not very palatable to a Saudi but they are things that are necessary to ensure that more Saudi women do not end up like this one and her daughters.

  126. @Lynn,

    Note no one here started by saying we can help that woman. You are the only one that is focusing on having direct impact as the only way for people to have this discussion.

    Look back and you will find my answer, but here it is again since you insist. I do not even expect you to help people next door to you, if they are in need. Seriously Lynn you come across like a person that has no compassion and cannot be counted on to help others.

    Now for others, I think having compassion is a great trait. It makes people active in their community to help the poor, they see the humane reasons for offering health care for an entire nation, they understand that they are a part of a global community and take stands against oppression, etc.

    Lynn, I know people like you call humane traits such as compassion names like “Bleeding Heart”. You unwisely think using such words does not leave an impression with others on who you are and how you judge others. Same for focusing on how the woman should get a job as the primary first comment. This is added with the hundreds of comments that you make in this site which dismiss human suffering easily.

    I am trying to make you understand because you asked. I know it may be a losing goal as in my opinion you do not have the capacity to understand. Not because of lack of ability to process information, but because your focus is very self centered.

    Now, Before you get mad, realize you asked and you got an honest answer….

  127. MoQ, – ‘… I think having compassion is a great trait. It makes people active in their community to help the poor, they see the humane reasons for offering health care for an entire nation, they understand that they are a part of a global community and take stands against oppression, etc.’

    Congratulations! You DO understand! But what do you know about what I do or don’t do in MY community? You are Saudi, right? If not Saudi then at least an Arab. What do YOU do to help YOUR community except run from it? ‘Cause there ain’t a damned thing I, as an American, can do for them except show them the errors of their ways and maybe encourage them with examples from history that their world WILL be better for the change IF they have the courage and compassion for others to actually make the change. ‘Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ How in the world you manage to spin that philosophy to mean ‘self centered’ is beyond me. But whatever, I guess it’s just another one of those cultural misunderstandings. 😉

  128. @Lynn,

    LMAO, you ask more questions because you do not like the answer I gave you for the original question. Now where would that take us.

    Note no one ever asked you to do a thing for anyone. Just to show compassion and understanding.You fail to show that every time!!!

  129. MoQ, you don’t even know what the original question WAS you’ve gotten yourself all mixed up with all your strawman tactics (doncha just LOVE that expression?).

    You say you want nothing from me but a little compassion and it is SOOOOO very important to you that you have to keep harping on about it for FIVE days (isn’t that right?) then just now you go on more to say ‘I think having compassion is a great trait. It makes people active in their community to help the poor,’ and now you say you never asked me to do anything for anyone. I think you might want to ask your psychiatrist to up your dosage buddy. I think your delusions are getting the best of you. Maybe you should take a break from your endless on-line arguing and go make some money to send to the poor. Maybe that will calm you down. 😉

  130. “go make some money to send to the poor. Maybe that will calm you down.”

    Check. I make plenty, give plenty and glad I do. Now you need to ask yourself if you do the same or you just one of those that point fingers, judge people as lazy. If I remember correctly you do not work 😉

  131. i bet if we were in their shoes for just one day we wouldn’t be so quick to judge and point the finger…

  132. Ummmm Lynn…..I have often disagreed with MoQ and I am sure I will again….but he is very consistent and clear in his arguments and does not use strawman arguments. That remark didn’t even make sense. Yet you are the one that turned the topic yet again to what MoQ may or may not do for the poor. Converstations with you take place on shifting sand.

  133. Bella, trust me, the only one judging and pointing fingers around here is MoQ.

    MoQ, I don’t believe that you have EVER spent a CENT on anyone but yourself. Your comments here have proven that you don’t have the capacity to do anything but argue anonymously with strangers on-line. Yep, see I can make shit up too!! LMAO!

    Oh, and no, I’m not working right now (it’s called retirement) but guess what? As I am an American ALL of my husband’s money is also MY money and I am free to do anything at all that I want with it (thanks to my beauty and charm ;-)). So I do give a lot of it away to charity. WAY more than my husband feels is necessary but how can he argue with me? He’s learned YEARS ago that I am always right. Oh, but guess what, I don’t just give money to charity, I also give my time and I have done that for probably more hours than you have spent working in your whole lifetime but that’s ok, we aren’t all blessed with the luxury of being able to give of our time like that.

  134. @Lynn, too funny. For someone that does not care what I think about you seem to go to great length trying to tell me what you do.

    Another, of your arguments that I just proved wrong. You are too easy to get rattled 🙂

    Now remember, all of this started because you asked a question and you did not like the answer I gave to it.

    Seriously Lynn, drop the chip off that shoulder and may be some day you can learn what we are telling you. You come across as a judgmental heartless person. If that is what you want others to think about you, then continue with what you’re doing. If not, I think you should consider what your comments make you look like.

    Cheers!!

  135. @Sandy, Thank you!!

  136. Sandy, I intentionally used the term to be obnoxious because he uses it ad nauseum. See if you can count how many times he has used it just on this one post even though it does not even fit. I thought it was kinda funny because instead of discussing this post and the ways that this poor woman may have found herself in her position (not to judge her but for others to learn to avoid the same fate) or how KSA could avoid others finding themselves in a similar situation he wants to discuss and judge MY level of compassion and what I do to help others (sounds kind of strawmanish to me especially considering that he argues that based on garbage that he makes up in his own argument mongering little head). Notice that HE was the one that said this ‘I think having compassion is a great trait. It makes people active in their community to help the poor,’ So HE’S the one that brought that into it.

    Here’s the thing. When I see a problem I like to deconstruct it for the purpose learning from it (or others learning from it) in order to avoid similar situations in the future. I think that is a wise thing. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have compassion but rather that I am thinking along the lines of FIXING it so that no one else should have to suffer the same fate. I think the worst thing in the world is for the same things to happen over and over and over again and no one ever bothers to try to fix it. I don’t get your ‘shifting sand’ comment. I’ve tried to keep it about the Fuckery that is KSA but y’all want to keep trying to make it about whether or not I have compassion instead of thinking of ways to prevent others from the same fate.

  137. @Lynn,

    Too funny. You will need a lot of lipstick to sell the arguments you made in the last comment. People can read your previous arguments and discern your shifts. I am very happy with my consistent position on this topic and pointing out your behavior.

    No more to add really!!!

  138. MoQ, This is at least the second time you mentioned this ‘chip’. Where does that come from? It seems like it is just one of your ‘standard argument phrases’ that you like to throw out even when it doesn’t even fit in the conversation in any way. I’m not sure why you think I am rattled. I’m sure that is what gets you off and I’m sorry to disappoint you but you just can’t rattle this bird. I actually find your continuous attempts humorous when they aren’t boring me, that is. You come across as a judgmental ass of a person (i.e. MoQ to me: ‘Why try to understand or pretend you want to. You seem perfectly content in just building your strawman arguments and develop judgement based on them’). If that is what you want others to think about you, then continue with what you’re doing. If not, I think you should consider what your comments make you look like. 😉

  139. ‘I am very happy with my consistent position on this topic and pointing out your behavior’

    Your persistent position has not been on this topic but rather on my less than compassionate (in YOUR mind) disposition. Don’t you think that that should have been taken to the debate page ages ago? Perhaps you can get a new blog rule made that people without compassion are not allowed to comment on any posts. Perhaps you can help make a questionaire that should be required to be filled out before an individual’s comments will be allowed? LOL

  140. @Lynn,

    “This is at least the second time you mentioned this ‘chip’. Where does that come from?”

    You know I cannot resist answering questions when asked. I Just hope this time you are ready for the answer and not get upset like the last time:

    So why do I think you have a chip on your shoulder:

    – You talk down to people
    – You come across judgmental on others
    – You call people names
    – You have a superiority complex when it comes to people from the third world. You will deny this, but others see the pattern from your comments.
    – You do not re-examine your positions even after you make so many shifts.
    – You never admit you were wrong even when presented with evidence.
    – etc.

    Again Lynn you asked and I answered. I know just like the last time, you will go off into another set of arguments about why I am wrong, start another round of finger pointing, name calling, rude teenager comments, etc. But realize Lynn this is my opinion and I am skipping my consultant charges to provide it to you free of charge, since you asked so nicely 😉

  141. I can’t stay quiet. I personally know MoQ and I do not want any false impressions about him. Ihope he does not mind but I want to say that he is a very generous and compassionate person. He gives so much to those in need both in the US and in the Arab world. Not surprisingly, he is also a very very successful businessman.

    Now back to the topic of the post, generally when you see and hear a woman like the one in the video, she is not very educated and also raised in a traditional (old school) environment. She can speak but may not be able to read or write beyond elementary level. People in Saudi tend to marry within their “class” and circle of family contacts. Chances are the daughter’s have not had educational opportunities either. Speaking up about these kind of circumstances is important as it emphasizes the great need for educational reform.

  142. Well, Carol, your personal friend MoQ comes off as an arrogant, fight mongering ass and the only thing that I have found him to be generous with is his disdain for religion, quick judgement and finger pointing when he thinks he might come out looking superior. Who really cares if he is a successful businessman or what he does or doesn’t do for others if he doesn’t believe in the philosophy of ‘teach a man to fish’? If he has done anything at all to try to prevent these uneducated women from ending up in this woman’s position then he should have shared that since that is the topic of this post. If he hasn’t done anything for them then he should just STFU because he is in a better position to do that than this American is. Carol, I asked before, what was the point of this post that was in Arabic? Where did you expect the discussion to go? Isn’t it kind of ridiculous to sit and talk about something that is nothing but speculation since we don’t know anything about this woman and we didn’t even know what she was saying (since our resident ‘generous and compassionate’ 😉 Arabic speaker was unwilling to share – I wasn’t asking him to summarize I was asking for a translation)? Carol, you say ‘it emphasizes the great need for educational reform’ I say it emphasized a great need for some heroes to force change since you always stress that ‘things move at Saudi pace’. This family, and I’m sure that there are MANY more like this one, can’t AFFORD to wait for things to change at Saudi pace. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m willing to bet the woman on the video would. Or would she? I don’t know her, she very well might be one who believes in the ‘Jewel Philosophy’.

  143. MoQ, you might want to study up on the term ‘chip on your shoulder because you are using it wrong according to your ‘list’. 😉

  144. I don’t think MoQ comes off as arrogant or as a fight mongering ass at all. He has his opinions, he expresses them logically for the most part (even the opinions he is wrong about :)). Apparently you care about what he does for others since you brought it up (one of the many and endless shifts in topics you instigated on this thread) and no where did he say he didn’t believe in the philosophy of “teach a man to fish”- yet another shift and straw man on your part. Oh, and you didn’t ask for a translation. You acted like you were entitled to one. Big difference.

    Carol in my opinion this was a post-worthy video, in spite of a lot of the foolishness that followed and continued to follow. Certainly most of us got the gist of what it was about.

  145. Most Arabs will not speak of their good deeds as they prefer their acts to be silent acts of kindness.

    Lynn, let’s just leave it that there will be different points of view which do include my choosing to share videos that may not be in the English language but do illustrate the many aspects of life in Saudi.

    I’m going to be offline for a few days due to a medical procedure so I will not be available or able to respond to comments.

  146. Sandy – ‘Apparently you care about what he does for others since you brought it up’

    HE brought that up re: my compassion (as he defined it as doing for others). I really don’t care what he does or doesn’t do but if he is going to talk about what others should do then he should walk the walk himself. No? if Arabs don’t like to speak of their acts of kindness then I would think that they wouldn’t ask about others’ acts. No?

    Sandy, maybe you have lived with the Arab’s in their world too long but in the world that I live in this is a rude, fight mongering, arrogant ass of a response to my legitimate question.

    Me: I just wish that I understood Arabic so I would know what HER specific complaints are.

    MoQ: Why try to understand or pretend you want to. You seem perfectly content in just building your strawman arguments and develop judgement based on them.

    Carol, to a non Arabic speaking person all that video illustrated was a woman appeared to be very upset about something and your title told us she was poor and that was all we had. Well, that an MoQ’s summary which left out the crucial details that I was asking about 😉 I still have not heard anything about what the people who shot this video’s intentions or goals were. They MUST have had a purpose.

    Oby said:
    ‘ Why can’t we connect with her as a human being by looking into her eyes and seeing that pain? Isn’t that part of what motivates people to action? being able to empathize on a very human connected level with her?

    Why doesn’t MoQ attack her for her inability to connect with her as a human being? lmao! Sorry oby 😉

  147. ‘Don’t get my personality and my attitude twisted because my personality is me and my attitude depends on you’

    I just saw this and thought it fit quite perfectly here. 😉

  148. @Lynn,

    We are back with you acting mad and engage in name calling. You do not seem to be able to stop that. You are pathetic.

    Note: I do not take orders from you to translate or whatever you ask for. Obey asked nicely like all polite people do and she got a very good summary of the video. Too bad you do not have manners that make people want to do things for you. You come across as a demanding person that has very little knowledge of human relations. As old as you say you are, you should have learned some of these basic skills by now.

    By the way I knew you will ask a question and when someone gives you their honest answer, you will get mad. In all of that, you will deny that you get impacted by what we say. I hope that gives you a clue about who is delusional 😉

    @Carol and Sandy,

    Thank you for your kind words. I really do not mind Lynn acting the way she does as it ultimately reflects on her. With every aggressive comment, she is sharing a bit of her ugly personality with the readers. It is how she looks that gets impacted and she is unwise to continue showing her ugliness.

    As why do I keep replying to this, it is the simple philosophy of not allowing her bullying tactics to work. I have gave her the courtesy of having the last word before (if you remember the Dr. Lynn Queen of all things episode). However, being polite just added to her ego.

    I may also add, her name calling is just your typical sign of a person who is incapable of winning arguments on merits, so he/she resort to the only thing they know. Bad language of a high school level thinker (the flunky type at that) 😉

  149. If that’s what you want to think Lynn, fine. But MoQ isn’t being rude or using straw man arguments- and my living with Arabs has nothing to do with my seeing it that way. But nice try at shifting the topic some …again…

  150. Lynn – I have stated repeatedly that the interviewers motives or intent were not made known so I can’t answer your question.

  151. @ Sandy,

    “no where did he say he didn’t believe in the philosophy of “teach a man to fish””

    Actually Lynn knows full well my position on this since my main contention against the Saudi government was the fact that they leave women with no skills or a process to earn a living. My first comment on this thread addressed this directly (even before Lynn even mentioned it). Here is the pertinent part:

    “The poorest in Saudi are mostly women who are usually divorced and abandoned or widowed. They have no means to earn a living in a system, which favors giving them small handouts instead of letting them earn a living. In some twisted piece of logic such a life is defined for them as more honorable than working.”

    You know she is not just into strawman arguments, she is also into lying about other people’s positions.

  152. LMAO another rant form Lucretia. Addressing things no one ever claimed (the definition of a straw man argument).

    “This non-opressed woman is demanding a handout for her whole family. That is a fact and not a strawman argument.”

    Those are not facts form the video by the way. She never demanded hand outs. She was asking for help (big difference between that and a demand).

    Another claim of yours is that American homes are larger than Saudi. It is not true. Saudi’s live in very large homes.

    This is really not an important issue, but it just shows that you are really not knowledgeable about Saudi. This of course is on top of other simple questions you asked Carol on another article. All of this lack of knowledge, and you still feel qualified to lecture us constantly with long rants about the topic you know so little about.

    May be a little listening to people that actually know more than you do is in order. Consider it.

  153. Your ignorance continues to astound me. If social services told someone to get a job perhaps they might suggest one? A Saudi cannot work as a maid as the law is now. She could easily be arrested for Khulwa. Stupid law? Yes. But this woman has no power to change the law. Yes there are twenty of them. At least they consolidated to one household. It’s not like the woman is living with 19 children.

  154. @Lucretia,

    You really just do not know what you are talking about on many topics. Sandy lives in Saudi. I lived in Saudi for many years. I speak Arabic.
    Studied Islam for many years. Sandy is a practicing Muslim. Etc.

    I can safely say we are experts on topics like Islam, Saudi, etc.

    You make up for your lack of knowledge by volumes on comments. They go in circles and you keep people occupied just trying to reply to every bad fact or assumptions you made.Never mind they contain of many out topic strawman arguments that you set for your attacks.

    I am not reading your long comments any more, just going to skim over them.They are a waste of time. Again you are not in need of a debate. You are in desperate need of an education…

  155. @Lucretia,

    Now you are becoming like Lynn another troll with no ability to make her arguments stick without name calling. Very sad and weak.

    Here are some of the jewels of your argument

    “There have been countless articles in Gulf papers about Saudi and the maid issue. Virtually every one of those articles, and the comments, question as to why Saudi women need maids when most women in the world with small or large houses seem to manage without them.”

    And who is debating you about maids?

    You also listed articles about jobs. Somehow that is evidence that woman could have got a job. 1. those articles are fresh like last week. 2. They talk about possible jobs. 3. They do not even say what type of jobs they are. 4. they do not say of these jobs are offered to women. 5. If you know anything about Saudi, you would know if the government is involved it is probably just smoke and it best it will materialize in a few years with much less numbers 6. The unemployed in Saudi is over 1 million, mostly men. What makes you think that this woman and her children may get any of these jobs. 7. the video was made in the past so jobs offered today are irrelevant.

    Again Lucretia, you are just googling stuff and somehow you want us to believe you are stitching a credible argument.

    Stick to name calling and prejudices that is the only thing you are good at. Making logical arguments requires some knowledge and thinking.

  156. Again, enough now! Everybody: keep on topic, stop repeating yourself, don’t paste/copy, don’t make every comment three pages long, don’t be a blog hog, and stop the name calling!

    MoQ, Lynn and Lucretia, please take this to the debate page

    Lucretia, you have been warned, you did not heed, you have now been put in moderation.

    Moderator

  157. @lucretia – regarding the housemaid,

    I live in a good old USA and i have had a house cleaning service for the past 14yrs !!! Nothng wrong with that. I seriously do now want to spend 4-5hrs cleaning my house every week when i can afford to pay a cleaning service ( and generate employment ) .

    We also have a lawn service and i have for about 4-5 yrs in between had a wonderful lady who would comehome to cook couple times a week. Any part larger than 4-5 couples have ALWAYS been catered. I do not have the equipment to cook and serve large groups.

    and this is not just me. Most of our friends have a maid service int he US. Most of us have had caterers to a party ( something as simple as ordering a few dishes and picking it up) .

    Now this is in good old USA. When i was in saudi I had a part time maid, to clean the unimaginable amount of sand that coats everything everyday …I would have died without her or atleast been all gritty 🙂

    The rest of my life i spent in India, where we have ALWAYS had and my parents still have a part time maid who comes daily to sweep/mop the floors and yet another part time helper who comes and helps my mom cooking. So in my over 40+ yrs on this planet, the only time we have not had a maid service was when we moved to the US and lived in a tiny tiny apartment and spent most of our waking time at work , EVEn then if we had a gathering we catered , hired the apartment club house etc.,

    and i’m in no way over the top wealthy. the sub division we live in now has about 80 homes and i can guarantee you atleast 25-30% of them have a maid service, my cleaning ladies alone work on 6 other homes 🙂

    I don’t even want to comment on saudi – just the thought of that sand brings back scary thoughts .

  158. Lucretia, as I said before – you don’t know what you’re talking about. Having lived in a Saudi house and visited many others a maid often is a requirement. Don’t go on about something you claim knowledge about when you really have none.

  159. Before anyone comments on house maid requirements in Saudi i’d suggest a stint in the sandbox and no cleaning for a week 🙂

  160. Good one!

  161. This post holds a lot of revelations.

  162. @bigstick
    This post just holds a lot of……er…….stuff.

  163. this a propaganda video their govt has litterally given them all the oppurtunities one can only wish

  164. I have always chosen to make the investment in either a housemaid or a cleaning service regardless of which country I was living in. Also, the home my Saudi husband and I had in the USA was 4000 square feet. It was like a doll’s house compared to the size of the one in Saudi.

    In Saudi, most bedrooms have their own en-suite bath and also engineered for segregation with two salons (living room’s) and in some, even two kitchens and two dining rooms. Plus, all homes come equipped with rooms for domestic help too. no….they are very much unlike the typical American or European home.

    Until being unable to do so, I’ve always enjoyed working (outside the home) and preferred to spend my time outside of work not cleaning! Cooking though is another story…I love to cook!

  165. I live in the U.S. with my darling Saudi husband and I have a job, a cleaning lady and a nanny. Who do you suppose looks after young children of working women?

    The life you describe where a woman must work AND cook AND raise children AND clean AND do laundry, AND look awesome, or else mean Lucretia will up and call her nasty names, sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.

    If you can afford domestic help, but refuse to get it because of some weird rules, you don’t get any sympathy from me. There is no glory in working yourself to the bone when you don’t have to.

  166. I’m not too comfortable with a live-in maid but then again i’ve had family to help raise the kids and my mom and grandmom and aunt help out, else i would have like my other collegues gone the live-in au-pair route , how else do kids get raised with our kid of schedules?

    Even with older school going kids i’ve had trouble, day-care closes at 6pm but an emergency at work will not consider that 🙂
    It’s hard to get part-time help in saudi with all the sponsor details etc., etc., + where will the poor things live, it’s not like they get paid a lot they don’t want to spend on housing being all alone.
    i was lucky i didn’t want a live-in so i shared my friends maid and it worked out fine.

    We still have a live-in cook at home in india, no one remembers she is the cook , she’s just grandma to my kids and she will not hold back the yelling if she thinks youa re wrong 🙂 .

  167. @ Sandy

    Obviously you missed the sacasm.

  168. Seeing as how the KSA government levies zakat on both businesses and individuals…why is this woman still having to live like this???

  169. I missed it too.
    That’s why we use emoticons.

    I don’t want a live in housemaid. I want my house to be cleaned by the elves while I sleep. I am trying to attract some but haven’t been successful yet.

  170. @Radhaa,

    Your comment reminded me of India and Pakistan where it was more customary to have a cook, gardener, nanny, chokidar and sweeper! It really makes a difference on where one has lived and what cultures/customs they’ve been exposed to. What may sound like decadence to one is standard living for another. Even my cook had a housekeeper!

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