Stop insulting expat workers!

Stop insulting expat workers!

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Khaled Almaeena

An article in a local Arabic daily focused on the increasing control which expatriate workers have over the Saudi retail sector. The writer Saad Al-Dosari “laments the fact” that retail markets are controlled by expatriates and he adds that most expatriate workers are illegal or undocumented workers!

He says that expatriate workers are a “virus” and asks why the campaigns of the Ministry of Interior have not succeeded in eradicating this “menace”.

He states that the ongoing control of the retail sector by expatriate workers kills any job opportunities for Saudi nationals and negatively affects the Kingdom’s economy. In observing our Arabic press, I have noticed that from time to time negative and racist comments have been made by some writers against expatriates. It may be that these journalists are suffering writer’s block or that they can think of nothing else to write about. However, it should be made clear to them that the use of a term like “virus” is a racist comment. Perhaps the attitude of these Saudi writers is: “Expatriates are an easy target so why not have a go at them?”

Mr. Al-Dosari does not ask why the retail sector cannot retain any Saudi workers. And it appears that he has made no effort to ask the owners of shops for an explanation. Well, I will tell Mr. Al-Dosari that there is a shop and many others that I know of which closed because the Saudi employees did not turn up for work. At a well-known supermarket in Jeddah, six of eight checkout counter clerks were missing on a recent Friday morning. Probably gone fishing!

As for the absence of Saudi women in the retail sector, the writer should be well aware that the mere thought of women working in retail makes the self-appointed guardians of our morals scream and shout. To them the sight of a woman at the sales counter is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Furthermore, when we as a nation are engaged in building coalitions and constructing nuclear facilities, railroad systems and huge airports, how can we attack the workers who are toiling to help us complete these ambitious projects?

The expatriate worker did not land in this country by parachute. He came with a visa which was issued to him by our government. If there is no need for him, then don’t ask him to come. But please do not insult expatriate workers and hurt their dignity. They have come to help and assist us. In this highly-connected global economy, the mass migration of skilled and even unskilled workers has became a necessity.

Why has the United States led Europe? Because over the years, the US has accepted and absorbed those who were determined to work hard in jobs that many Americans would not take. When I was in America, my local barber was a Vietnamese and the laundry lady was a Korean. They worked hard and did a good job.  And nobody complained about them.

The key to economic growth is job creation and not replacement. And once again to the expatriate workers in this country, Arabs and non-Arabs, Muslims and non-Muslims, we right-minded Saudis say a big Thank You! May God allow you to realize your dreams.

The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at kalmaeena@saudigazette.com.sa and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena

146 COMMENTS

  1. A few years ago while working in the Kingdoms flagship hospital, I was asked by a member of the Royal family about work ethics and how they differ between the US and KSA. I took him that by the age of two my boys put away the toys they played with during the day. By eight and nine, they assisted in mowing the lawn, washing dishes and cleaning up after I cooked supper. At ages 13 and 14 they could do their own laundry, fold it and put it away, cook a simple meal and clean up the kitchen after themselves. They cleaned their own bathroom and if it wasn’t done correctly, it was done again. By 16 both had part-time jobs. Even if I had been able to afford a maid-I would have refused it. If children don’t learn to do small jobs around the home till it’s done RIGHT, where else will they learn discipline, responsibility and that others are depending on them? Work ethics are learned from home. He shook his head and said, “We have too many maids”.

    I loved my time in Saudi Arabia. I left behind so many friends. I’m too old to come back, but I would come back in a heart-beat if I could. It is a wonderful, beautiful, complicated place that I miss every day.

    • How beautiful a comment Tanya Morris. I so loved this. Its an advice for the men, to be fathers; women, to be mothers; to leaders of the nation. We all love Saudi Arabia. This land, these people helped us with the grace of Almighty for howsoever little in our capacity we helped this beautiful country.

    • Excellent truth. I am glad that my Saudi exchange student’s mother and father makes him and his brother and younger sister learn how to take care of their house in just this way. They are far from poor, being members of that same extended family as above. But they all help with the housework, work outside and work on their farms. They have some apartments they rent out, and my exchange student at the age of 17 knew how to grout tile for the bathroom and install light switches! His cousins that I have met will do these same things: scrub pans out, do laundry, pull weeds in the garden. Their fathers have some pretty visible high-level jobs, too. The fact they teach their children so well impresses me far more than their relatives and jobs. So not all Saudi parents have forgotten the value of teaching children to take this kind of responsibility.

  2. As always, Mr. Khaled Al-Maeena has lived up to his reputation of an outstanding journalist and more importantly a great human being who always stands against injustice. I just wish and pray that we have more Saudis like him. He has always promoted the cause of universal brotherhood and has been specially kind to the expats working in the Kingdom. I, like many other expats, had reacted angrily to the racist and insulting remarks of Al-Dosari, who was somehow able to get his rubbish ideas published in a local newspaper. Anyone trying to create hatred between Saudis and expats is an enemy of Islam in general and Saudi Arabia in particular. Thank you once again Mr. Khaled Al-Maeena for once again standing for the right cause.

    • Mr.khaled al maeena his yesterday’s article on I wouldn’t apologize ‘ was a great article too. that kind of article should be published to international mass medias like new york times,london times,India times to draw attention to the mass population of the world of different faiths and moderate and progressive main stream to realize what is really happening round the world specially in middle east causing anti islamic phobia who are making the plots against the Muslim and islam.pl.all the conscious writers raise their voice against the real culprits who are ruining the peace and inciting to slaughtering innocent people round the world along with muslim.

  3. Thank you Mr. Khalid. We, the expatriates, know that majority of our Saudi brothers do not endorse Mr. Al-Dosary’s views. However, Saudi Gazette should have avoided publishing such a biased article which hurt our sentiments. The government institutions know better whether we are needed or no. Mr. Al-Dosary do not represent the whole Saudi community and his derogatory remarks shouldn’t be taken seriously.
    Once again thank you so much for defending our presence on this blessed land.

  4. I totally agree with your views honourable Sir, but you don’t understand the writer s view when he insulted expatriates, it shows how mentally sick, upset and racist he is. He is forgetting that only those nations progress who build there foundations in unity, peace and love , take the example of European Union. And take Muslims example, where actions of few Saudis degrade fellow Muslims from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and African countries . Just look around you and you will see in the region , the rise of Iranian power to suppress Arabs and they being backed by other countries, who will genuinely help Saudi Arabia ? Only Islamic countries can save, but if there is no hatred, racism and above all justice in the society, which is not seen here, with justice rulers can be strong and respected

  5. Very well written and a humble reality check to the “virus” proned writer. Being an expate born n grown up here with over 50 years of my family proudly residing here there is not a single day passes by without coming across such “virus” people but we hav adapted to ignore such racist behaviour n people.
    My parents always told me not all fingers are the same and to be honest people like you are the real “Saudis” my grand father used to talk about . He always used to shared his fond memories / stories of how humble soft and appreciative the saudi society was. People similar to your thoughts and attiude are the glimmer of hope for the entire expat community.

    Very good article once again and God bless you

    • There are truly some “real Saudis” alive and well! The best of Saudia is not in the impressive modern society and wealth, but in the beauty of the hearts of these people. Truly beautiful hearts are here. I hope that more people will have these kinds of hearts in the future.

  6. Now that was a good read from a balanced person. Thanks i was really disturbed to read that article and your rebuttal just put me at peace. n21 gun salute ! Bang ! Bang! Bang!..21times

  7. Thank You Mr Almeena for standing up for the voiceless Expats who are the pillar of the economic development in Saudi. I lived in Saudi from 85 to 2012. I was insulted the first time i came in and left the country still insulted in 2012 after spending all these years . The policy has never changed, the voiceless expats do not have any voice even though they are in millions doing all kind of jobs. Those of us who left the country should have been the ambassadors to tell the whole world about Saudi but i have nothing good to tell about the Saudis except places like Makkah and Madinah. I hope people like you make a difference in delivering the voice of the voiceless expats.

  8. Dear Mr. Khaled Al-Maeena,

    Thank you for the excellent article.

    For the way forward to the Saudi economy an effective partnership between the expats and the Saudis is needed. Although some Saudi businesses will object to this due to avoiding the competition. But in partnership lies the future ahead. More jobs will be created, more win-win situations, more trust between the expats and the Saudis and more investment into the Saudi economy. It will also open up investment within Saudi Arabia by the expats who now have no choice now but to remit their money to their respective countries. Having a spirit of competition is the key to success and not providing jobs without the necessary attitude needed to accompany it. Last not the least, a recognition for the efforts of those expats who have spent nearly all their lives here. A person who came 40-45 years ago has the same fear of getting an exit as a person who just came yesterday. I wish all the best for this country and all its citizens and residents.

  9. Congratulations for your boldness and insight Mr. Khaled. Most of the good that is done in this country is due to an attitude of charity more than an act of justice. Most of the human beings including Saudis thank God for their well being and blame poor powerless people for their misfortune. It is an attitude in which they find solace due to its ease of concept and practice but which keeps you in the proverbial “well of a toad who thinks that is his world”. If Saudis want to strengthen themselves, rise up in life, increase the expanse of their mind as well as their heart then they should start accommodating everyone who is unlike them, more on basis of their abilities rather than on the basis of their similarities like race, language, culture etc: It is for Saudis and all similar minded people in this world to realise that ‘inclusiveness’ though difficult to conceive and practice, is what will take them up in life and ‘exclusiveness’ though easy will drag you down because of its key hole vision.

  10. Greatly appreciated, Mr Khaled Almaeena. Being recognize and thanks for our little contribution in various Kingdom Sector development and welfare is very flattering and heartwarming for all expatriates. It lightens up all our sacrifices, loneliness and longing for our family and country away from our sights and touch. Caring a stranger instead of our own Children, parents or wife; using our power, skills and knowledge to improve a developed country while ours remain a developing country is something really hard to do. Many things can be said but, a little thank you and a simple welcome is all we need in this lovely world we live in.

  11. oh, thanks sir,
    i know the majority are with us.
    I am an indian expatriate working in Saudi Arabia .
    Happiest Day in my Life.

    Once Again Thank You.

  12. I was really waiting for some body from KSA to respond to that Article of Mr. Al Dosari. I was surprised that why he used word “Virus” for expatriates. Anyhow we pay thanks to Mr. Khalid who took this lead and responded in a manner as it was required.

  13. Thank you so much for that rebuttal Mr. Almaeena. May Allah bless you for your stand against racism and xenophobia.

  14. Thank you for building the bridge between expats and saudi people. We are living an interdependent global village where no country can progress on its own. Every now and then we see saudi media publishing expats repatriate that big sum of SAR out of the country. This is just one side of the coin without looking at the flip side of it. Please stop publishing one sided stories as it do create hate and racism rather peace and co-existence. When you say something present it in a balanced manner. Can you look at what an expat gives you in exchange of what he sends back home….

  15. Asalam aleikum
    Infact I was in bad mood today; but this article brightened up my day. Thank you Mr. Khaled Al-Maeen and we greatly appreciate your excellent work.

  16. Asalam aleikum
    Infact I was in bad mood today; but this article brightened up my day. Thank you Mr. Khaled Al-Maeen and we greatly appreciate your excellent work. Interesting facts. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Taala) showers his endless blessings on you.

  17. It takes deep knowledge and understanding to write an article such as this. As an expat, I felt my dignity lifted after reading this article. A very simple, humble, and healthy article, and yet striking and spirit-lifting. On behalf of the Filipino Community, thank you Mr. Almaeena.

  18. ”If there is no need for him, then don’t ask him to come” ….only? if it is mutual between the workers and the employer to terminate the contract, the employer should advise the employees to tender resignation and provide them an exit visas and tickets at the end of date of termination and give them their benefits because they are documented expatriates and they came to saudi arabia in legal process, that is the legal procedure..

  19. RACISM AND CASTE PREJUDICE ARE AGAINST THE TEACHING OF ISLAM, HOPE Mr DOSSARY KNOWS HIS BASICS OF THE PROPHET’S (S.A.W.S) TEACHINGS.

  20. God bless you more Mr. Khaled.
    I came from Philippines, and work here as a quality supervisor in the number one Fast Food the country have. But unfortunately I was disappointed how the management treat the people. I should work only 12 hours over that no pay but I work for 18 to 20 hours a day almost I sleep in the restaurant just to give my employer a satisfactory. And for I cannot stand out of my conscience if quality fail because in my degree I finished I believe I should practice it all the time whatever the cost. I give all my effort to my job. But since I don’t see any change or support from them I decided to go exit but they don’t want me go exit. So one month before my contract done I stop duty for them to process my exit but that’s not happen instead they make me hurob and until now I cannot go to Philippines 5 months already. They said wait to cancel your hurob in your iquama but 5 months already I wait. My money near to finished. For me if they don’t need me anymore just let me go I told them I pay for what I need to pay. But they hold me for 5 months already. Now my classmates and friends ask me how is Middle East because they get some offer as quality in food manufacturing what I told is never ever think to come in meddle east. This country for is nice and simple but what I don’t expect is how people treated here. For me it a kind of trauma that I can never imagined this will happen to me. I don’t contact my family for 5 months because I don’t want them to think too much about me. I’m thankful many Pilipino help me financially while I wait when they give my passport and exit.

    • This is complete injustice! Someone who can contact authorities and get you home should read this and take action. Contact your embassy right away. Contact Press department of this fast-food company, especially if it is foreign. Post names of these supervisors and company on every forum- passive resistance is your right! They need to pay for their injustice or they will continue harming people

      • I go already in the embassy but they said its long process since my company is very big and known in country as best but for me if labor conduct investigations how many hours people work as per thier law which against and not follow. But I lose hope since many laws here are just in the paper not for real what I observe. If that so I have no strength to fight my right in this big company. I love my job but I don’t like the way they treated the people. Laws here is very hard to observe in justice. I try to wait to fix my status as what they said but it’s five months waiting is too much. I want to open the eyes of everyone that when you find job, never check if it is good or hard rather find a boss which has a heart for his people and whatever job you have I know with the love of your boss it will make easy and enjoyable for you. Love your employees so that in return your employees will love you and even you sleep for a month they have the heart to take care of your business.

  21. Salam to Mr. Almaeena who always bring the positive side of the Saudi Arabia; when i read the Mr. Dosri opinion its really hurt me, and i kept my self quite not to explode. we are here because Mr. Dosri your fellow saudi are not able to handle the jobs; expats help to grow this country MONEY CAN BUY THE BED BUT NOT SLEEP. so if Mr. Dosri have this phobia than kindly ask your government and don’t call VIRUS who are your helping hand.

  22. excellent article written by a very learned journalist and human right activist , writers like Saad adosary not only racist but also ignorant. He does not know that all retailer market owned by Saudis but they do not want to set in the shops ,so they give it to someone who run it and share the profit . I feel sad that some people in Saudi Arabia are like that.

  23. A/alkm.
    Hats off to you for your article , being a muslim you do the right thing, may Allah bless you Mr. Khaled Almaeena.

  24. Dear Mr. Khaled,

    You are a “MAN OF VISION”, a good muslim n good human being. You set an example to others. From the depth of our hearts with all respect we give you a grand salute and thanks a ton. May almighty allah bless you with his kind blessings.

  25. I Salute Mr. Khaled Almaeena not as an excellent, scholarly, academic, well-educated, and learned journalist but as a human right activist. This is not the first time he is beside the expatriates, always
    He is with expatriates societies.
    I also respectfully remember Mr. Tareq Almaeena and Dr. Ali Alghamdi for their noble activities for expatriates. Through their writing.
    Abdul Aziz Mir
    Riyadh

  26. Mr Khalid al Maeena has given a very fitting rebuttal to Mr Dosairi. I can understand how expats in Saudi Arabia would have felt with Mr Dosairi insults because I have seen/heard how expats work and live in the kingdom during my few religious visits to the kingdom. I hope editors at saudigazette can filter out racist articles from its writers or comments from readers so that it upholds the good reputation of this publication.

  27. Without expats do you think Saudi people would survive, I don’t think so. They (Expats) were been hired with visas in the different countries to work with them and it would be enough to pay there compensation what is due to them. They should be respected with dignity because without them who will be going to work with them…

    • Salam.Mr.Khaled.I read regularly your articles.This story which is a real fact of Expatriates Role in Saudi Economy could not be understood by Some of the Saudi Citizens like Saad Al Doasari.When I was invited by the King Abdul AZIZ university confrerence in April 2014 SAUDI ECONOMY CONFERENCE II conducted by The Dept of Ecnomics and Business Management,I presented a research paper on The Role of Indian expatriates to Saudi Economy due to NITAQAT and its impact.One of the findings was it is difficult to Saudi citizens without expatriates who cook ,cleaning the toilet,baby sitters,barbers and sweepers of your roads.Is it possible by SAUDIZATION or NITAQAT.THE ROLE OF EXPATRATES. FROM BANGLADESH WAS MUCH PRAISED BY THE SAUDI PROFESSORS.YOUR ARTICLE SHOULD ALSO BE PUBLISHED IN ARAB NEWSPAPERS ALSO.ONETHING I WISH TO STATE EVEN THE SALARY PAID TO THESE DOMESTIC WORKERS ARE FAR BELOW THAN THE ILO STANDARDS.

  28. Thank you Mr. Khaled Almaeena, I have tears of love in my Eyes. May Allah Grant you Hasana here in this world and Hasana in the likfe hereafter, Aameen!

  29. Saudis over the past decade has their way of treatment with the expats, especially ever since they have begun the whole saudiazation system. The Saudis expect all their cleaners and all their service holding people like maids, drivers, trashcan, cleaners, waiters, etc just to be expats. Have you ever seen a Saudi do this job? Never will you find this. It is Ajeeb. And it’s against their pride and dignity. And on top of that they don’t pay the wages of the workers on time, infact they pay 1/4th of the wage to the local street cleaner and use up his remaining salary of sr800 in the issuing of iqama renewal. This is haram earnings and this is injustice. Whoever does such practices of hiring people and doing injustice with them should fear Allah and remember they will asked about such an act.
    Every body who is skilled to work for a particular job has to be paid on the agreements also set by the employee and the employer must respect the contract terms and conditions and should pay on time and release the employee from under his authority if they wish to leave after fulfilling a fixed time.
    It’s high time that these work policies are altered and improved because if it doesn’t then not many people will be respecting the Saudis let alone come here for any jobs which will be a great loss of Saudis. Saudis should know that expats are doing them a favor and they should appreciate that rather than being racists.

  30. Thanks for putting the record straight, the previous article was extremely derogatory and had the potential to steer hatred.

  31. Khaled Almaeena at his best again. He never spares anyone when it comes to justice. It is through joint efforts and teamwork great nations are built. The finest example is USA as he rightly pointed out. Blaming expatriates for all ills will not solve the problem, need to detect the root cause and rectify it.

  32. During my stay in Saudi Arabia, I had noticed one thing, there are two kind of human being living out there, 1) the very best souls 2) the worst one could imagine …….. in six years I have tasted both …. but I must say, Mr. Almanena, you stands in category 1, a soul from heaven 🙂 stay blessed.

  33. my comment to Mr. DOSSARI post i think HE is leaving in an URBAN village, for my 13 yrs. here in the KINGDOM and travel almost 70% of the the KINGDOM as part of my job being Field service technician, I challenge HIM to visit QATIF the only place in the KINGDOM that 90% of the businessmen are LOCALS, selling vegetables and fish in the market and even in the road,carshops 100% own and manage by LOCALS with few expat workers…..western and central province mostly YEMINI runs the business and few indian and pakistani’s……..so thank you for being an open MINDED citizen, you are one of those people who believe us and why we are still here contributing your economy…

  34. Thank you for the kind words that is very uplifting. I am a massage therapist here in Riaydh. In the Philippines where I came from, I was a dignified massage trainer. Most of Saudi client here in my area think of me as male prostitute and frequently going to the managers office for complain.

    One Saudi told me if I didn’t go here I would not receive any bad treatment. That is a sad reasoning, but way back to the Philippines in finding employment the advertisement agency post that Saudi Arabia is looking for massage therapist that is why I came here because Saudi needs my service.

    All the pain has been healed now by your kind words thank-you.

  35. Hard work beats negativity. Always there is heroes who inspire people. Saudi Arabia should advertise new era heroes and set examples for new generation to follow. In every field government should motivate people and spread a sense of responsibility in the youth. Work hard in the silence let success make the noise.

  36. The exploitation doesnt only come from a employer but some senior colleagues who takes the business in their hands to dictate terms usually act as a bully.Its time insecurity should be laid to rest and a healthy work environment should come into picture.
    Measures should be taken in firms to not hire more than one person from a family otherwise the balance is difficult to achieve and we may not utilise the right talent at right places.

  37. Dear Mr. Khalid Al Meena,
    You are educated, well traveled and know how the economy works ……thats the difference!!! between you and an Virus writer !

    The guy who wrote about expats as virus will surely not know the meaning of Racism and for him to understand economy will take 1000 years !
    I dont know why the editors allowed this kind a article to be printed at the first place?….

  38. Well the best thing for Saudi Arabia will be that Saudis start doing all the work by themselves. Everyone gets Rizq as per his own share, we will get ours even in our own countries. But human beings have always migrated from one place to another and it is a cycle.

  39. Excellent Article. Honestly till now Alhamdulillah I have not faced such discrimination but I have heard stories from fellow-expats. May Allah guide us all to the right path.

  40. Very well said SIR Khaled Almaeena.
    We salute you. Of course there are many Saudi gentleman who are as good as you, sharing your opinion extra. We, as expats truly appreciate these type of gestures.
    End of the day, this is what a human being expects to hear. Jazak Allah O Khairan.

  41. What an article from a very respected and renowned journalist Mr. Khaled AlMaeena. I have known this person from the very first moment I arrived to Saudi Arabia long a go since 1991. His article was always either refreshing, educating or look in to society as a whole. What irritates me as a Muslim person always is to see our fellow Muslim Saudi’s to feel racist in this way. To some extent that you feel at least they were supposedly to appreciate expatriates for what they have done. Many Saudi families in one way or another are enjoying the service of an expatriate, whether a driver a housemaid or Technician. Yet again we have to know that there are millions of good Saudi Citizens like Mr. Khaled.

  42. Shukran Mr. Khalid Al-Maeen. Am glad people like you exist. Educating the Saudis about the expatriates’ input is key. The Saudi government should preach hospitality.

    I have been to KSA so many times and believe you me, the change is really slow compared to other Gulf countries. Sorry to say, but Saudis in general are the most proud and arrogant of all. I live in Africa where hospitality is a culture. Tourist-oriented countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania start their hospitality crusade right from Kindergarten level. Their education system too is based on hospitality. Their culture too cements that.

    Journalists are like politicians. Their voices have echoes and can be very effective if used in the right way. People like Al-Dosary spew hatred to the Saudi citizens because they do not foresee the negative outcome of their shortsighted views. They should widen up and start creating bridges instead of walls.

    Mr. Khalid, this is a great article. One for the frame really. I see hope now if there are people like you in the Saudi Media.

    On behalf of the expatriates and the wise Saudis I say THANK YOU Brother.

  43. It is an open truth admitted in Saudi media for the first time. Bravo Mr. Khaled Almaeena.
    There are so many other matters to be put in order too. Foreign visitors specially from South Asian countries are not well treated upon arrival at Saudi Airports.

  44. I really appreciate Mr. Khalid Al-Maeena the article who written is really required courageous. I really salute your courage Mr. Khalid.

    Secondly, I was going thru all the comments, the comment I saw from Umm Thani also admire me the real society of the Saudi Arabia how they have cultured.

    Believe me I have no words to write any comments on the said article, the only I pray for the health of Mr. Khalid Almaeena and Umm Thani who really waken the all expatriate society.

    Thank you.

  45. It is so unfortunate to be working in a company who uses its power and influence putting itself above the law. For all we know that such law is made to protect any people of their rights.
    We happen to be going through this at the moment. We have been here for 1 year and 4 months already but sad to say our company have not issued our IQAMA, no health insurance, delayed salary since September 2015, living in unsanitary accomodation, no running water and no heater, no proper kitchen. It is so unfair to experience this kind of treatment.
    We have filed complain to the Ministry of Labor but then again power and influence by the company is a hinder in our quest of justice. Our time are being wasted. We all want to go home in our own country the soonest as possible. For we cannot endure this suffering for long.
    Hoping some else could help us get through this ordeal.
    Thank you.

  46. The impartiality and empathy of the author is definitely commendable. Keep standing with the justice Sir, thats what journalism is about.
    And dear Saad Al Dosari, don’t you know why King Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah was ranked third worst in the world in 2015 in spite of all the infrastructural facilities? Don’t you have a clue as to why your bank counters have the least possible efficiency in the World? Have you ever researched as to why even saudi families prefer to wait for an hour for limousine driven by an expatriate than to ride with a saudi driver? Do you have an idea, by speaking out your mentality, what kind of country’s image you present to the World? Do you know, due to same sick mentality, some countries have already stopped sending their human resource into kingdom; and many are considering it to?
    If you really know nothing then do some homework before getting published in a newspaper… Wake up now; its now or never.

  47. Dear Khaled:
    I would like to suggest there should be work done to start regularize and protect the labor market in Saudi Arabia. A very big number of labor is being exploited by the owners.

  48. Our deepest appreciation to you Mr. Khaled Almaeena. From our family and nation. As always, fair and just journalism.

  49. No doubt brother Khaled is a far sighted person who has the ability to see the issues in its right perspective. On this occasion I would also request him to highlight the issues of thousands of non Saudis languishing in Saudi Jails. Most of them are behind the bars, I understand, because of involvement in petty / non violent issues. If they are pardoned and freed from jails and sent back to their homes, the families overseas will be happy to receive their breadwinners as most of the families have only one to earn and due to absence of their husbands / brothers, they are compelled to live in poverty resulting in immoral activities. I should not write much as I know my brother Khaled has the immense ability to analyze this issue at length. Wassalaam Muhammad Siddiqui Australia

  50. while I am reading this article it was simply like watching a movie….The author observed very carefully the facts going around with expatriates. I really appreciated for his justification and we expatriates weather muslims or non-muslim love to stay in Kingdome and enjoy the living style and the tradition. May Allah s.w.t…keep this country out of evil eye….

  51. Thank you Mr.Khalid for your nice article. i pray to God to give best health ,wisdom and fortune.
    I am Indian, living Saudi Arabia since 1992. Really I love this beautiful country and very beloved people. I am very loyal to this country more than my native.

  52. Excellent piece and to the core. i am glad the author recognizes the value of the sweat and tears of a guest worker who sacrifices so much from his personal life to earn a few extra dollars. By acknowledging and thanking them, Mr. Al-Maeena is truly a man beyond words. Thank you.

  53. the article “Stop insulting expat workers” by Khaled Almaeena showed mirror to the writer, Saad Al-Dosari, for using the inappropriate word for the Expatriate work force. The Expatriates are contributing towards development of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in almost all the fields.
    If some one has disliking for anyone for any reason, he should not disgrace the whole expate community from multiple / different countries. I think there may exist some code of ethics / attequates of journalism.

    Anyway I appreciate Khaled Almaeena’s sense of responsibility and acknowledging expatriate’s services. I reciprocate with even Bigger Thank You. May God bless him always.

  54. As we all know that expatriates can not set up a business on their own and nothing can be done legally without a Saudi sponsor or involvement. It does come with a fee or let’s put it in informal way a kind of tax that many Saudi will charge expatriates to run a business . When someone says that retail or another business sector has been dominated by expatriates; I am afraid that’s true to some extend that all the risk and hard work done by them everyday throughout the year. However; infect the actual owner is still Saudi , who is benefiting from the business without even doing anything. Furthermore; if there is any issue between Saudi and expatriates , in that case expatriates is most vulnerable to loss everything and as matter affect it’s a reality that all expatriates faces in Saudi Arabia. Yes; you do see 90% expatriates working in most business sectors but they do not have the control.

  55. You gave us high hopes to help us together! It is very hard to come here we have a lot of sacrifices left in our country, we left our family to give them hope so does extending our endurance to help each other. Thank you! At least you feel us why we are here.
    To the government please spare us from difficulties our company were to insensitive to pay what we have earned for,salary is too much delay- our family back home suffers, some family are broken already, at worst must of us workers expired resident permit because of companies insensitivity, its not our fault we work here for the better yet we suffer injustice.

  56. Khalid’s article clearly emphasizes that he is fair, sensitive and bold to speak out against comments which are biased, racial and insensitive. May his tribe increase.

  57. Allah Yaa Hafeedh Bro Al-Maeena.
    As an ardent reader of your articles there is little to add as regards your rare breed, a truthful one that says it as it is without fear of favour. Always a pleasure reading your thoughts. Next time around help highlight the crudeness, primitive of the immigration staffers at the KSA international airports. They give the Kingdom an abhorrent image.

  58. Thank you very much for your article of humanity, and to inspire the believers to do good for the good of God and good for self.
    There are still enough believers in Quran and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SWAS who are taking care of the undone creation of Allah, the Merciful and the Gracious.
    Allah the Merciful and the Gracious accept your all good deeds and kindly bless you and your family with endless blessings, here and here after, Ameen.

  59. Thank you Mr. Khaled for the courage you have shown many a times to raise your voice against the visible ills and the recent case of the Saudi job market. but we are not away from the times when the Saudis will have to replace the expatriate work force. This is a reality ad expats need to come to terms. We thank Saudi Govt and Saudi citizens for their support and accommodation shown towards expa in so many long long years. Now is the time for young Saudis to come forward and share the responsibility along side the expa workers.
    I strongly denounce any kind of racist or derogatory comments as noted by respected columnist, as these kind of comments equates the publisher with Donald. trump, i dont see much difference between the two of them.

  60. Thank you mr khaled you have wide of understanding hearth and knoweldge of true muslim hoping that this country may have lot like you we always look for a employer who have good heart wide of knoweldge in being good human and we must give this people same treatment we must care for thier business give and take are good way to anyone may godbless you and your family for your good sample .

  61. The writer owes a load of applause from all expats working here and who are in a constant state of dicrimination bias and prejudice from their saudi counterparts. Expats have worked their blood n swear to make this country a flourishing economy from a barren desert and a few good words of appreciation make a lot of difference for them. Thanks again for giving a realistic view on the issue.

  62. Insult of foreigners specially form South Asia starts immediately upon their arrival at Saudi Airports.
    This has to be stopped. It presents a very bad image of our beloved country Saudi Arabia.

  63. Dear Sir,

    We are wordless after your such a great article .

    We are very grateful .

    May Allah always shower His blessings on you and your family

  64. Nice and heart touching article, nothing can replace human beings regardless of there demographics. I will like to add that I originate from Asia and live in north America and work in KSA.
    In North and West I don’t see any concept of minorities or expats, but unfortunately in Asia and in most democratic Islamic countries there is strong believes about minorities, in particular religious minorities.
    Which i beyond any religious teachings. If you subside someone as minority than you are obligated for there full rights also.

  65. Lots of thanks for your great article, The great mentality of Saudi Arabia is dealing these workers as a real human capital that adds a real value to their business. In fact, each one of tem is not a performer of one job but also holding a bulk of jobs together, and saving much money to the business owners.
    the world is developed not only by money, material or machine, it developed because great minds rejected the fossil ideas- such as mentioned by Aldosari- and focusing in human as a real capital that make the difference.

  66. This Op-Ed by Ustaz Khaled Al-Maeena is a bold one. It has all the signatures of a kind, considerate, compassionate and a bold person as Ustaz Khaled Al-Maeena is.

    This once again proves Ustaz is the best and that nobody can write better than him.

    Bravo Ustaz. More Powers to You!!!

  67. Well knitted article. The reality is out there. Good n Bad are everywhere and in every part of the world. Yes. As the followers of Islam we Muslims should be more careful in our mannerism. Islam gives complete socio-economic and political system.

  68. Thank You Mr. Khaled, you have highlighted the most important subject. Really “GOLDEN WORDS” from you sir. May Allah bless you.

    Kind Regard’s

  69. Ma Sha Allah great writer , great thinker , above all great human being .
    May Allah help you in every step of your life , Allah humma Ameen

  70. Mr. Khalid and Mr Al Dosari represent two segments of Saudi population. Unfortunately, Mr Al Dosari represents the majority.

  71. Dear Khalid sir;
    Assalaam Alaikum;

    May Allah SWT confer you the best of the best here & hereafter Aameen.
    As usual you have raised your voice for expatriates, it shows your greatness and determination.

    You are so intellectual, lofty and matured journalist of all the time..

    Regards.

  72. Labor Policy of KSA: Being the expatriates, I honour the policy of labour of KSA, but this is emotional and cannot be practical. Due to increase in Iqama fees and Maktabe Amal Fees and other expenses the cost of the projects is increased resultantly most of the projects are waiting labour.

    I am of the considered view that new visas should be issued. Without expatriates, no project can be successful.

  73. Brother Khaled
    May Allah bless you and your family for your courage to call a spade a spade and to put the record straight on the issue of expat workers. In many countries, even mine the island of Mauritius, they are being targeted unjustly.
    Eshan Dinally

  74. Yes it is a duty of all to work hard with hands and minds for this holy and glorious country with full honesty and wwholeheartedly and inshallah we will.

  75. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for this beautiful Article. Its completely True.
    I read this article with emotions and happy to find someone who is fighting for the dignity of the expatriates. Thank you Sir! May the Almighty shower his blessings on you and all your family.

  76. dear sir
    many thanks for explaining the reality to mr dosari and supporting the expats.
    we are the people who have left our countries to serve your people and also as human beings
    we deserve respect.
    we love this sacred country and proud to be expats here.
    many thanks to ur support again

  77. Being a Muslim we all condemn his thoughts, and views . What he has said was completely disgraceful.
    What the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has said that: ” there is no superiority of Arabs over Non Arab, And Non Arab over Arab.

  78. Very nice to read a positive article about expats. Very rare too! Nice to see all the positive comments too.

  79. Thank you very much Mr. Khaled Almaeena. I have no words to describe my feelings after reading your article. You are AMAZING. May Allah bless you and your family. Aameen!!

  80. Where there is righteousness in the heart
    There is beauty in the character
    when there is beauty in character
    There is harmony in home
    When there is harmony in home
    There is order in nation
    When there is order in nation
    There is peace in the world
    ———APJ Abdul Kalam, Former Indian President.

  81. Thank you for pleading the case of the expats in front of the jealous and racist minded people , in case the expats leave KSA, would the people and youth of ksa in special would be able to fill the gap?

  82. Mr. Khaled Al-Maeena
    Thank you very much for such an excellent article.
    May Allah bless all of us.

  83. Thank you for this article. I think the Saudis really need to re-think their attitudes towards expats.

  84. Such a great article and eye opener for the haters that five fingers of your hands are not same.

  85. Assalamualaikum, Kudos to you sir. Excellent piece of writing. We hope to see more people like you who could respect the work of expatriates and treat them with dignity.

  86. I have a lot of Saudi colleagues and co – workers . Some are excellent workers , some are average and some less than average . Just like all nationalities there is a spectrum of quality . With time I think sense of responsibility will improve . I do not understand why deadlines are used . In due course the process of Saudization will succeed . It may take a longer period than the current deadlines .

  87. The reality is that only a few Saudi’s have a strong grip on reality as you obviously do.

    Mr.Khalid, promote education and thinking amongst your people and you will marvell at what greatness it will produce.

  88. Thank you Mr. Khalid. I have seen you always to be a safeguard of Expatriates Workers. May Allah Bless you all the time. However, i am not wondering at all by the comments or articles Mr. Al Dousary,

    I always say to them May Allah (Sbht) bless them, though they are far far away from the teaching of Quran and Sunnah.

  89. Mr. Khalid, brother ALLAH THE EXALTED bless for your EEMAN WAY OF THINKING.

    I dont blame all SAUDIS, i can say some of them only, not all, and also some of non-Saudi arabs are also have rude behavior against INDIANS / PAKISTANIS. May Almighty Allah Guide us all — Aameen.

  90. The kind of comments written by Mr. Saad Al-Dosari can, unfortunately, be heard in many, if not all countries on earth. This is a human heart problem, not a Saudi problem.

    Thanks be to God for people like Mr. Khaled Almaeena; someone skilled and courageous enough to publicly rebuke a neighbor who uses hurtful words. I personally have heard comments similar to these while living in America and I am ashamed to say that I said nothing in reply. God willing I have the courage to help my neighbors in the future when they go astray and use hurtful words. I think that is how we can best help and serve one another.

  91. Allah Says’ if you speak the truth and stand by “I will be there as a sheild with you always” and it really shows the example with Mr. Khalid.

  92. i have spent a very little time , just 3 years , in SAudi and now based in Dubai. However still my wife and me cherish the time we had spent in KSA. it was a totally different atmosphere and as most of my felloow expatriates would agree they would like to come back and meet their old friends there. though many times visa is a big issues specially for the family.

    I would like to thank you for a straight forward article on expat workers. I agree with 100% that expats are here since we are needed by KSA , and we also expats need our jobs in KSA, as this has changed many lives back home in our countries.

  93. It is just like “I will do my job and Almaeena is there to handle the aftermath” – stop this nonsense you are unable to function properly without foreigners.

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