Dear Saudi Gazette and the “Expat Experts”,
I was deeply saddened when I came across an article titled “Expats responsible for most crimes in KSA: Experts“, originally published in the AlRiyadh newspaper, which thereafter was published in the English language daily, Saudi Gazette.
I wanted to address some of these comments and question the reason behind publishing such nonsensical articles in the first place. Many expats including myself, found the statements in this article to be shocking to say the least. Some were quite offended because the entire article is full of unfair generalizations of “expats” residing in the Saudi Kingdom. Many expatriates came here to help build the country and contribute to the well-being of the society in a positive way.
Without expats, what would become of Saudi Arabia?
Why are expats shipped here by the truckload if they’re all illiterate, clueless, possibly violent, mentally and physically ill criminals anyways?? Well at least according to this article they are.
These types of reports and comments do nothing but harm to the expat community as well as Saudi citizens by increasing racial intolerance and disparity in Saudi Arabia.
Lets not forget about this passage in the Quran and reflect upon it:
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” 49:13
On to the article and the first statement:
“Studies have proven beyond doubt that the majority of the crimes in the Kingdom are being committed by expatriates, one security expert told Al-Riyadh newspaper.”
The majority of crimes? One security expert? I’m not saying these statements are false, but this sentence is misleading in so many ways. First of all the actual numbers and facts about these studies have not been disclosed. The ratio may well be non-Saudis 52% and Saudis 48% for all we know. Second, lumping all the criminals as ‘expats’ is a very negative connotation to all the foreign workers in the Kingdom and like stamping a label on expats’ foreheads: ‘potential criminal’.
A little newsflash: Crimes are committed by criminals, often (but not always) the poor and unfortunate who have become desperate. Many of these criminals came into the Kingdom illegally from the neighboring countries for example. They are not expats.
Also, crimes in Saudi Arabia would not be possible without, believe it or not, Saudis, who are often the ones feeding and or funding the criminal activity.
Which takes us to the following statement:
Ali Al-Tamimi, a Shoura Council member, added: “The crimes of drug trafficking, theft, robbery, forgery, prostitution and alcohol brewery are all new to our society. They have been committed by expatriates, particularly those living illegally among us.”
I am truly sorry to break this to whoever believes in the above statement, I really am, but theft, robbery, forgery, prostitution and even alcohol brewery are not new to Saudi society. Not only have these problems existed in this society, they have existed in all societies all over the world for thousands of years. It’s not far fetched to think that they wouldn’t exist in modern day society as well. Sometimes it’s best to take our heads out of the sand and take a look around us.
Wake up and smell the gahwa my friends.
Lets see. Who are the drug traffickers providing these drugs to? Answer: Mostly the Saudis. Saudi students for example and the huge, well documented problem of using Captagon pills as stimulants (it’s amphetamine, in case you didn’t know) and the rampant drug abuse problem among some of the elite. In fact, shocking perhaps, but true, Saudi-Arabia is the world’s largest (by a heap-load) consumer of amphetamine.
Although drug trafficking and drug abuse are two different things altogether, one cannot exist without the other and both are crimes under Saudi law. Such massive consumption of drugs would not be possible without someone “high up in the food chain” being well aware and possibly even funding and controlling it. There must be police officers and other officials who turn their heads the other way, just like there is in other countries where drug trafficking/abuse is common.
Theft, robbery and forgery. Does this exclude corruption, robbery of the Saudi people of their lands by other more well connected Saudis, forgery and all that goes on behind closed doors? Perhaps this was overlooked?
Prostitution. As much as many Saudis would like to deny it, look the other way, or bury their heads very deep in the sand dunes, the majority of the customers of these prostitutes are, you guessed it: Saudis. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Not only have many of my friends and I witnessed it with our own eyes, many taxi drivers have confirmed they take prostitutes to Saudi homes. There are places where prostitutes can be picked up and dropped off. No need to say more about this subject.
Alcohol? In Saudi Arabia? Noooooo. All Saudis are law abiding citizens and not a single soul had ever, EVER consumed or manufactured even a drop of alcohol before the sinful expats came in, right? Right.
How many a times have I come across an alcoholic (Saudi) patient? Definitely not as many as in Finland, but when I did, the cover-up and denial project was massive. The truth is: Saudis are among the customers of these criminal brewers and some brewers are actually Saudis.
Moving along with the astounding ignorance, this statement:
Tamimi said apart from the economic, social and ethical threats to Saudi society, expatriates are also depriving a large number of Saudis of employment opportunities.
I beg to differ. See, expatriates did not come here to steal the managerial positions (some of which btw have now conveniently been reserved to Saudis ONLY by law), they came here to do the jobs Saudis don’t want to do. Like picking up trash thrown in the streets, nursing the elderly and sick in the hospitals, driving females around or cleaning up after everyone. If you haven’t heard of it before, there is a Saudization program which ensures that companies have to hire a certain number of Saudis, even if the position is just cosmetic.
The next statement must surely have a typo in it, so absurd it is:
“Many expatriates do not shy away from physically and verbally abusing citizens. “Some of them have gone too far in this behavior. “If they are not checked and properly punished the foreigners will continue to commit crimes.”
First off, the way that expatriates are referred to in this and other comments in this article just seems as if expats are in fact sub-humans. Almost as if talking about animals of some sort that need to be controlled and trained.
It would be VERY interesting to see some proof of this alleged physical and verbal abuse directed toward Saudi citizens by expats. Most expatriates I know would not dare to say a word against a Saudi, let alone physically touch someone in fear of being immediately thrown out of the country or in jail.
Maybe the article mistakenly reversed expatriates with Saudis here? Perhaps it was meant to read “many Saudi citizens verbally and physically abuse expatriate workers.” That sounds more believable somehow.
“The expatriate men and women should also be checked at recognized psychiatric hospitals.”
Again a gross generalization of all expatriates, we may all well be lunatics. I wholeheartedly agree though that any person hired to take care of children such as nannies, nurses or even teachers should have some sort of background check-up done but this would also include the Saudi employees.
“The mosque imams should enlighten expatriates about the importance of respecting the country’s norms, values and traditions.”
It’s important, naturally, for all the foreigners to be aware of the country’s norms, values and traditions. There is no doubt about that. However, how shall the mosque imams ‘enlighten’ all the expatriates? First of all 90% of those expatriates that would hear the sermon would be male. What about the females? The expats coming to the mosques are of course Muslim, so they would already be familiar with the values of Islam. So what about the non-Muslims then? Not forgetting the language barriers.
Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to educate and enlighten people (expatriates AND Saudis) about equality and brotherhood? Which per Islam should be the duty of the imams.
According to Ibrahim Bin Ouwaid Al-Otaibi,
“Some of them arrive with physical, mental or psychological diseases. Many of them are not properly educated, if not completely illiterate.”
Just as a side note here, mental and psychological are actually the same thing. If more Saudis were to take up some of these ‘menial jobs’ such as driving the Saudi women around (because we all know how they are treated like queens by their expat drivers), there wouldn’t be a need to hire mentally and physically ill, illiterate men to perform these duties, would there?
And finally, Al Otaibi said:
“When humiliated or badly treated, the foreigners will react negatively.”
REALLY?? Are we talking about some unknown life form, aliens, who react and behave in abnormal and uncertain ways? When treated badly, ALL humans react negatively.
Dear people, expatriates are human beings just the same as Saudis.
I will finish this letter with a quote from Prophet Muhammed’s final sermon:
“An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.”
It’s deeply disturbing and worrisome to see such articles which actually go against the very basic teachings of islam being published in the Saudi media. It’s as if they were merely published to reek havoc, deepen disparity, cause anger and hate in both Saudi and expats readers and strengthen our prejudices of one another.
Peace to all,
A Very Concerned Expat.