Beware of The Expat- The Source of All Evil!

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 brewery.

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,

Yours truly,

A Very Concerned Expat.

P.S. that’s not me, it’s my dangerous expat friend :)


Join the newsletter

Janadriyah camel calendar

Subscribe to get our latest content and updates from Saudi Arabia directly to your inbox.

We won't send you spam. Promise! Powered by ConvertKit
Hello there, I'm Laura, the author of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. I've been traveling around and exploring Saudi Arabia since 2008. Connect with me on social media with the links below!
(Visited 2,137 times, 1 visits today)
|pin this|tweet it|Share to facebook|Contact us
  • Jerry MSeptember 20, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    At a basic level the idea that expats commit the majority of crime might even be true. Since expats are the majority of workers in the private sector, they are more likely to be in a position to steal inventory for one quick example. Saudi Arabia is a paternalistic, tribal society. Many behaviors that might be criminal in the West (such as child abuse or spousal abuse) are almost protected. What annoys me about this article and so many in the English language Saudi press, is that there is no reference to any publicly available data.

    And I do agree with you that any vices mentioned are not uniquely foreign. After all the ancient Arabs were caravan raiders (ie:thieves).ReplyCancel

    • FatmaSeptember 21, 2013 - 2:57 pm

      “And I do agree with you that any vices mentioned are not uniquely foreign. After all the ancient Arabs were caravan raiders (ie:thieves).”

      Um, wow. That’s racist. Should I judge Caucasians by what their “ancient” people did, like enslaving others or being elitist pricks throughout history?ReplyCancel

      • Jerry MSeptember 21, 2013 - 6:07 pm

        Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word racist, since I meant Arabs in the 7th century.ReplyCancel

      • Jerry MSeptember 21, 2013 - 6:10 pm

        Here is a Wikipedia article about caravan raids from Muhammed. He is looked at as a model by Muslims today so I felf the caravan comment was relevant.

        • AichaNovember 7, 2013 - 8:38 pm

          As much as I liked Layla’s article, I wish the comments would stick to what she intended to convey, and not go to the behaviors of one’s ancient ancestors.

          I am not a Saudi , but I am a Muslim. The necessity I felt to reply Jerry is simple because I reckon he clearly did not study prophet Mohammad’s Life. “Our role model”.
          The wiki link that Jerry provided is based upon the general perception from non-Muslims. I went through it, I did not find any reliable sources or evidences.
          Any way, I would Just like to get this fact straight that prophet Mohammed himself NEVER raided any caravan.

          When the Holy Prophet and his Companions came to Madina, and the helpers gave them shelter, all the Arabs combined to fight them. The Companions had to sleep by their weapons, till the morning” (Hakim and Darimi, quoted in Shibli’s Sirat an-Nabi, p. 308; interestingly enough, Darimi is listed by Lings among his authorities).

          The so-called “raids” were, in fact, reconnaissance missions whose purpose was not only to detect any move by the Quraish, but also to approach tribes living in the vicinity of Madina to secure pacts of neutrality with them. Even Lings admits the fact that these “raids” failed to intercept any Quraish caravan, but to fit this fact to his theory he ascribes this to the inaccuracy of the Muslims’ information about the caravan movements.

          For more details kindly see the link that answers this false accusation.

          Aicha KReplyCancel

  • SarahSeptember 20, 2013 - 11:24 pm

    You’re bold sista. Good luck!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • a potential criminalSeptember 21, 2013 - 10:23 am

    First of I am big fan of your blog.

    I came to this country when I was 2 years old. My parents brought me and my brother here.
    I Love this country although was not born here but I consider this land as my home.
    I had lots of dreams here but now those dreams are starting to fade.
    My entire friend are here non Saudis and Saudis.
    I never talked with my Saudi friends on this mater fearing that they feel betrayed or feel like
    I hate them .
    But I think it’s time for me to move on from the Kingdom and find a better place to work where at least i would be considered equal human being as the natives and would have at least some dignity and freedom at least they could hold their passports with them. Where I would not have to beg to sponsors for an Exit-Reentry Visa to travel due to Emergencies or even for pleasure i won’t be looked at as citizen of some strange land desperate enough to be treated like a slave. At least i won’t have to go through the Saudi Immigration’s polite welcome every time they would return from vacation or business overseas.
    I have spent 24 years of my life in Saudi Arabia and I am nothing more than a foreigner Expat “Ajnabi” or to the most “Kharji”… and now ‘’criminal’’
    Thanks to this type of thinking that many like me who used to consider this country as their home are now thinking of moving on for good.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:42 pm

      Thank you for the comment. I’m truly sorry that you have come to the point of considering leaving the Kingdom which you call home..Do you find that the racism directed towards you has gotten worse during the past few years?ReplyCancel

      • a potential criminalSeptember 22, 2013 - 10:48 am

        Don’t get me wrong I still love this place.
        But if you segregate some nationality from other and give them upper hand then it’s become harder to cope with it. In recent years it become lot harder ..ReplyCancel

  • messiSeptember 21, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Oh my .. u r so true. I fueled with anger when I read that pathetic piece some days back but didn’t comment bkoz i fear dey might pik me up n put me in jail.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:42 pm

      lol for what? Having an opinion :)ReplyCancel

  • RawyahSeptember 21, 2013 - 11:03 am

    I don’t care for such newspaper articles. They are mostly written by racists claiming to be nationalists. Such people like to point fingers at others so that readers and listeners won’t notice their own faults. I am sure that if you read the rest of the articles in the newspaper, you will find many locals caught with similar crimes. However, they are not put on the front pages to protect their family names and tribes.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:43 pm

      yes true Rawyah..
      I usually try to ignore such articles, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way and I could not help responding to the unfairness.ReplyCancel

  • jo malcolmSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    a satisfying rant indeed . brava ! :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:44 pm

      Thank you! My (Saudi) husband enjoyed it too :)ReplyCancel

  • TaherSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Atta girl! I have been here for just under 2 years, but whatever you said rings true. I had just one objection. You mentioned Yemenis as a class of thieves. That shows your own prejudice … either substantiate that one or remove this as that makes you one of them.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 21, 2013 - 3:47 pm

      Thank for the feedback, however I think you have misunderstood or misread, I by no means meant to imply such a thing! I gave an example of where many if not most of the illegal immigrants come to KSA from, through the Yemeni boarders!
      Racism is in the eye or mind of the beholder.ReplyCancel

  • […] KSA – Expats are root cause of all evils in Kingdom, – Monarchy Gone Nutz حي علي الفلاحReply With Quote […]ReplyCancel

  • BaldrickSeptember 21, 2013 - 5:29 pm

    After this latest article, and numerous similar racist ones, I’ve stopped reading the Suadi Gazette and ‘unliked’ their Facebook page.
    The reporting in this rag is at best biased, but often out and out fabrication.

    There was a recent article incorrectly attributing a train photo as being for the Haramain high speed railway, where the picture was clearly of the KAFD monorail carriage. They published numerous comment of congratulations and how useful it will be for pilgrims, but refused to publish my two comments as they obviously didn’t like to hear the truth,

    “The tone of truth and moderation” my arse!ReplyCancel

  • Aafke-ArtSeptember 21, 2013 - 7:20 pm

    Let’s not forget yourself, a dangerous criminallu inclined illiterate deviant….
    btw, good article for an illiterate mentally disturbed nutter….ReplyCancel

  • AmalSeptember 21, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    I hate to generalise but as an Arab myself, I know that saudi Arabians are they most small minded people on this earth, 99% are hypocrites with split personalities possibly the majority have mental illness undsiclosed. They travel to US and Europe to commit adultery, consume alcohol, spend their time in strip clubs around soho london, mayfair and yes I will generalise here that I believe 30% of the men are gay. As a Professional marriage counsellor I have heard from married women who are still married to these men to prevent shame and execution. Leave the expat alone, if they all pack up and leave we will not have a country as Saudi Arabians spend their whole lives sitting on their fat asses instead of been responsible they rely on the statement Insha’llah.

    Who ever wrote this article probably paid someone to help them pass their Journalism course


  • AmnaSeptember 21, 2013 - 8:39 pm

    You’re article deserves standing ovation, I dont know if you’re a Saudi or not But if you are you have my Oscar layla, I wish there are more people like You this world would become a living heaven!!ReplyCancel

  • SaadSeptember 21, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    Great excellently well answered!ReplyCancel

  • anoxxxSeptember 23, 2013 - 12:35 am

    Do not take it personally.ReplyCancel

  • iNoufSeptember 25, 2013 - 12:44 am

    Saudi journalism is the worst even I as a Saudi stopped reading it.
    Most of us are not only rasict towards expats but even to Saudis themselves based on their tribes & root which sickening tbh.
    Please don’t be hurt by that they don’t know what they’re talking about & they only wanna contribute to our false image of being perfect, innocent & the only ones who truly knows Allah.
    I think because everything in the paper is monitored by the government anyone who would blame Saudis might get in trouble so why not please them by blaming everyone else.

    Love your blog btw :)ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 25, 2013 - 11:54 am

      Thank you so much for the comment iNouf :)
      I realize that most Saudis don’t think in this way but it IS shocking to see that there are such racist attitudes and that it would actually be published..would not call it journalism by any means!

      I hope that readers don’t get the false impression that the article reflects the opinion of the majority of Saudis because that was not my intention at all!


  • Syed HassanSeptember 25, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    My brother’s kafeel is asking for S.R 15000 for providing him release papers and he threatened him that he will mark him as a “fugitive” in the system if he did not bribe him and yet we are the criminals. Bravo !ReplyCancel

  • Mrs BOctober 6, 2013 - 5:46 am

    Fatma, I agree with your comment. It is far too convenient for westerners to play amnesiac when it comes to their own bloody vile history of enslavement, imperialism and looting of natural resources from their colonised lands. As for the ignorant comment intended to besmear our prophet…firstly I suggest searching for a more reliable source since any layman can put and edit whatever they please on Wikipedia…did he not read the policy of that website? For 12 years suffering tortures and other atrocities by the Meccans, Muslims were forced to leave their home bare handed leaving their wealth and property to be occupied by the disbelievers in Mecca. Let me also emphasize that the caravans, by the way, should not be seen as being run by innocent tender heart business men, as orientalist wishes us to believe. They were the same evil people who carried out torture and atrocities on the Muslims in Mecca and occupied their wealth. Next, we should give some right to those who were forced to leave their homes bare-handed. In war, it is permissible to attack logistic supplies of the enemy, while ensuring, non-combatants are not harmed. Making use of the captured material is legitimate and by no means is a violation. The war was already declared, when Muslims were forced to migrate. Let me ask you, if you were forced to leave your home and robbed off your wealth, should I blame you for trying to take back your haq?ReplyCancel

  • KathrynOctober 8, 2013 - 6:22 am

    Truly I cannot understand why you live in a country that spouts nonsense such as this and clerics state that women driving can “damage the ovaries”.
    If I had a daughter my tickets would be booked and my bags packed. The most ridiculous thing would be asking permission to leave because I am a helpless, ovary-damaged, fragile, weak-minded female.

    You are elegant, intelligent and I love your blog but your adopted country needs a massive overhaul in the human rights division.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 9, 2013 - 3:10 pm

      Hi Kathryn thanks for the comment and kind words, you are right MASSIVE changes are needed.
      But a few jerks making idiotic statements are not enough reason to leave, I mean there are jerks saying idiotic things in all countries, even in Finland :)
      I try to take the ovary nonsense from a humour point of view :) Maybe I should write a post about it hmmm..ReplyCancel

      • KathrynOctober 11, 2013 - 5:01 am

        Not just this subject but abuse of women, animals with nary an apology. The niqab, lack of respect for any religion other than Islam (although it is expected/demanded when traveling abroad), mutawa running unchecked.

        I simply cannot understand the extremes of this country or religion. My best friend is leaving her country because her small village is no longer allowed to have Christmas lights (the is a Christian country) but they hang a big “Happy Eid” sign over the bridge. The Muslims live in one part of town that is the historic area and is sadly run down and crime ridden now. The Muslims make very little effort to socialize with the locals despite many attempts to cross those boundaries.

        I digress. It just appears that Islam is about extremes and why anyone would want to live in a country that embodies the extreme of the extremes I will never understand.

        My father in-law has been to KSA several times and states that the people could not be friendlier, more welcoming or accommodating except when they saw his bible.

        You really are amazing at seeing the good.ReplyCancel

  • DanielleOctober 28, 2013 - 3:45 pm


    As I read your blog I couldn’t help thinking that the statement “foreigners are responsible for most of the crime” could have been the title of an article in any Finnish newspaper as I have seen similar sentiments but worded more subtly in Finnish newspapers. However some people will actually openly say that foreigners are the cause of all the crime in Finland. So I guess it is not a purely Saudi idea/sentiment.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 31, 2013 - 12:21 pm

      You’re right Danielle! That is very often the case in Finnish newspapers, unfortunately and the people too!ReplyCancel

  • AmberJanuary 24, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Layla, some of your articles are really eye opening but also quite saddening and depressing…perhaps because they tell the reality and arent utopian.

    I genuinely am wanting to get a job in the ME where whilst sins occur, atleast right is regarded as right and wrong as wrong.

    I got particularly upset after reading this article because I did have some high expectations. Please advise me Layla as a near future expat? Inshaa Allah I will come as for me it’s a matter of religion, but I’d like to have some peace of mind that all is not bad? What will help me to get by? (apart from the help of Allah)


Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked * *