Some have no remorse for such vile acts


THE following is based on true incidents. Mohammed checked his mother in a local well-known hospital, and as all private rooms were reserved, his mother had to occupy a shared room until such time that a private room would be available. Once he got her settled in, he could not help but notice a frail heap of humanity occupying the adjoining bed. It was a near lifeless form of what seemed to be a young Asian woman.

The woman lay there still, and her breathing was very shallow. A near semi-comatose state as far as Mohammed could tell, and her only visitors were the doctors and nurses who frequently entered the room to check up on her and monitor her vital signs.

Her face was badly bruised with red and blue welts, her hair was cropped short near to the scalp, and she looked very malnutritioned. Her skin tone was very sallow, and complexion unusually dark.

Over the next couple of days, while still waiting for a private room to move his mother to, Mohammed could not help but wonder as to the circumstances surrounding the condition of this poor woman as he sat by his mother’s bed. While he sat there amidst a group of family members comforting his mother, he could not help but feel a heart-wrenching tug of sympathy for this individual, who but for the visitations of the doctors and nurse, apparently had no other visitors.

Gradually over the next couple of days and through the hospital staff grapevine, Mohammed came to know of the mystery behind this lady. She was a domestic worker employed by a very wealthy family of means. It seemed that her madam was a very vicious and vindictive employer, who for no apparent reason had taken her wrath out on this lady.

Coupled with the constant torment of the madam were the continuous beatings and insults of the madam’s juvenile offspring. To express their displeasure, they would resort to kicking her savagely. This worker had apparently been tied up and forced to spend several hours a day up on the roof during sunlight with nary a stitch on. Needless to say, with the force of the summer sun beating on her frail body, she was blackened beyond just a suntan! The gossiping staff at the hospital continued to fill Mohammed’s ears with horror.

Her meals were taken on the floor of the kitchen. She slept there as well. She had no sympathy from her sponsors, and would come to expect none. Her hair, once said to be long and flowing to her waist, was brutally cropped by her madam in one of her fits of anger. What remained was a jagged crop above her shrunken head.

Mohammed went on to say that when she was brought to the hospital, it was reported that her weight was down to 39 kilograms! Apparently, her condition was so pitiful that the admitting doctor, an elderly Egyptian MD could not help stop tears from forming in his eyes. Her employers, in order to avoid unwelcome civil and criminal litigation in the event of an unfortunate demise, were compelled to admit this domestic worker into the hospital.

Not only that, but the employer’s wife checked herself in the very next day, and at the same hospital, claiming psychological disturbance or temporary insanity! No doubt a ruse at the advice of some powerful friends to escape prosecution for what was clearly an abuse against another human being.

The nurses assured Mohammed that this domestic help was on her path to recovery, in spite of the remaining visible signs of abuse. She had looked much worse during her first few days at the hospital, and the sympathetic nursing staff readily volunteered their free time to nurse her back to recovery.

The sick nature of such employers was an aberration in society, and not a true reflection of what we Saudis are. We are generally a humane lot, and when those few among us commit such dastardly deeds, it is not something we condone or ignore.

And what enrages us even further was the thought that while the madam soon checked out and flew with her family to Cannes or Nice to purge herself from this minor and temporary inconvenience, the poor domestic helper lying still on a hospital bed would carry the scars of abuse for the remainder of her life.

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