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7

Saudi Gazette, Saturday, March 25, 2017

Perspectives

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LOCAL VIEWPOINTS

LOCAL VIEWPOINTS

#Mended_Minds

“A

MERICA needs

to understand

Islam because

this is the one

religion that

erases from its society the race

problem. Throughout my travels

in the Muslim world, I have met,

talked to, even eaten with people

who in America would have been

considered ‘white,’ but the ‘white’

attitude had been removed from

their minds by the religion of

Islam”. Malcolm X.

When asking a person “The Ques-

tion” Are you racist? Their answer

would be “absolutely not”, but that

is not necessarily true. A person

could say something while think-

ing of the complete opposite that

is because racism is an Ideology

which is learned, taught, and

practiced.

I was not sure which story to

begin with so I am telling you the

most horrible thing that happened

to me.

In 2010, I took my first steps on

the land of free, I was a novice

20 years old girl who used to live

by “voir la vie en rose”, certainly,

that did not last for long as I have

been called several names except

my real one. Astonishingly, people

could be so creative in terms of

hurting each other. “Towelhead” is

my all-time favorite.

I did not mind being called names

because I knew that I looked

different from the outside also I

was certain that I had a beautiful

heart that absolutely flourishes

with love for others. Until Sept.

17, 2011 when I was rushed to

the biggest and most prestigious

hospital in Chicago. I was going

through preterm labor — about 35

weeks pregnant — while I suffered

throughout my whole pregnancy

from several complications.

I was thankful that my doctor was

going to be there for me

on the next shift. During

the first shift, I met a nurse

who was very nice, her

middle name was Moon,

I thought things were go-

ing to turn out just fine.

Until the next 8 hours of

terror began. It all started

when the next nurse came

into my room introducing

herself very nicely to me,

she went out to bring in

some warm bed sheets for

me but when she entered

the room she spotted my

husband praying, I would

never forget the look on

her face, her whole face

changed while she started

to look, talk, and treat me

differently. In fact, she

was not treating me in a

cold way, she was secretly

abusing me, starting with

mental and verbal abuse.

After a bit, she took that

to a whole new level of

’physical abuse’!

I remember when she

tried to make me feel bad

about my body by saying,

“I have never seen a belly like this,

it just looks so weird, there must

be something wrong with her,” she

said that while trying to explain

to the midwife the reason why she

was not able to place the moni-

tor properly. I know it was not my

fault that I came in with a big belly

— pregnant — but I also knew

she was so disgusted to touch me.

Sometimes she was disgusted by

me to the point she had to say

“Ewww” while touching me.

I truly believe she was aware that

I speak and understand English

too well so she had to make sure

I hear such remarks every five

minutes. She was so smart while

playing her games on me as well

on my husband, that even when I

tried so many times to explain my

discontent to him he would not

believe me because she used to

smile at him all the time and while

he was asleep or out of the room

she switched back to her normal

self.

So, I had a hard time making my

other half, believe me, it was such

a horrible feeling when you know

that you are alone.

Eventually, he believed me when

he walked into the room and spot-

ted me crying and begging her

while she was taking my pressure.

I was begging her repeatedly to

stop for a second because she

took my pressure four times in

row nonstop. My husband had to

tell her to stop for a while and she

replied to him “she is just too sen-

sitive because she is pregnant”

I did not mind all of that until I

saw my dear doctor’s face and of

course the nurse started the same

games on her too, she was pre-

tending to be supportive by saying

“good job” the whole time and pat-

ting my shoulder, “you are

amazing” I knew she meant

the opposite.

Later, I had my preemie

baby girl and I did not have

the chance to touch her, I

was dying to finally hold

her in my arms while the

nurse was privileged to

touch her first. I was afraid

that she might hurt my

baby the same way she was

hurting me the whole time

and that is why my husband

and I decided not to tell

anyone because we were

thinking about our daugh-

ter’s safety. Funny thing,

she told me “stalker, you

are a stalker” just because

I was longing for my baby

and dreaming of looking in

her eyes.

The worst was yet to come,

another nurse came in to

help my nurse performing

exams on my baby, she in-

troduced herself to me then

said “congrats, that’s a cute

baby” after that, I heard

both of them laughing then

my nurse said while talk-

ing to the other nurse “you know

sometimes you have to tell people

that their baby is cute, you just

have to”, the new nurse said: “Yes,

absolutely right, you have to”, then

my nurse said: “That baby is ugly,

ugly, it is so ugly”.

Her last words broke my heart be-

cause I was dreaming of this mo-

ment for 8 months and I was to-

tally blessed that she was healthy

after suffering from complications

throughout my pregnancy.

At last, she asked me to stand up

on my feet while being paralyzed

entirely, so I told her: “I cannot

stand up, I had an epidural”, to

that she replied, “I know, but I

cannot carry you as you are too

heavy for me” so I was forced to

try and of course I fell off the high

bed. Luckily, my husband grabbed

me from my back few seconds

before my face hit the floor, my

husband had to carry my numbed

body from the floor all by himself

and for sure she stood up there

watching us struggle. Plus, she

knew I am a Muslim but she did

not bother covering my shoulders,

hair, thighs, or chest and when I

asked her to cover me she threw

another gown on me which was

useless. We took the elevator to

a different floor where we met

another nurse who told my nurse

“Why she’s not wearing her gown,

you did not tie it” my nurse pre-

tended to fix it.

This ugly baby girl has parents

who would throw themselves in

front of a train for her, and this

ugly baby aspires to be a scientist,

she is smart, compassionate, and

funny. Today, I am so glad she

told me that she was ugly, so that

would be a reminder to raise my

child on seeking her inner beauty

instead of making her the next

toddler and tiara’s beauty queen.

During my six bittersweet years

in the US, I have witnessed and

experienced numerous types of

discrimination including color,

sex, language, religion, social sta-

tus, and origin. My birth story by

far was the worst situation I have

ever been in.

Dear Sara,

I remember when you first walked

into my room, I was thinking

“wow this woman looks so won-

derful, that short ash brown hair,

petite body” you were beautiful

from the outside. Six years have

passed now, I wish you have be-

come beautiful from the inside as

well, I still have dreams about you

every now and then, I guess I will

never forget but I chose to forgive

you a long time ago. Today, when

I think of what happened to us at

that prestigious hospital I wish I

was older or wiser, I also know I

was mistaken when I gave up my

rights as a patient and a human

being.

SOHOUB

BAGHDADI

Abdullah Al-Jeaithen

T

asattur is the illegal understanding

whereby Saudis permit foreigners to

manage businesses in their names in

return for a portion of the profits. It

can have grave negative social and economic

effects. It is the reason why many Saudis

cannot find jobs in vital sectors such as

contracting, transport, maintenance and

sales. Saudis cannot compete with expatriate

workers over jobs in the above sectors

because the latter control these sectors.

Expatriate workers usually collaborate

with one another to ensure that Saudis

who venture into these fields end up losing

business. For example, expatriate workers

can work up to 18 hours a day because

their ultimate goal is to raise money quickly

and transfer it to their families abroad while

Saudis cannot do that because they have

their wives, children and families to look after.

Expatriate workers who engage in

tasattur do not transfer money through

banks but use different methods so that

they do not get caught. They are the ones

who control businesses and the market,

and they are the ones who drive Saudis out

of the market. As a result, Saudis become

unemployed. We should remember that

unemployment is dangerous and can have a

negative impact on the national economy.

The huge amount of money transfers

done by expatriate workers can exercise

pressure on the Saudi balance of payments,

weaken the money turnaround inside the

national economy and have a greater

negative effect on the Kingdom’s credit

rating.

Saudis who engage in tasattur are

usually lazy and do not want to be active in

society. They prefer to sit at home and get

easy money at the end of the month. The

more Saudis engage in tasattur, the greater

the number of lazy Saudis. This means that

we will have a large number of Saudis who

do not have any business and practical

experience.

Tasattur increases the control of

expatriate workers over the market and

drives Saudis to compete with one another

over public sector jobs. Some Saudis will

have no choice but to accept a low paid job

at the private sector.

The authorities should impose stricter

penalties on tasattur and carry out

extensive and intensive inspection visits to

curb this menace. Because of tasattur, the

government cannot collect zakat because

some tasattur-based businesses tend to

conceal information about their sources of

income.

We welcome all expatriate workers

who comply with our laws. But anyone who

violates them, be it a Saudi or an expatriate,

should be punished.

Khaled Al-Suliman

I

used to get complaints from a lot of

unemployed readers whenever I wrote

about a topic relating to employment.

Now I get complaints from readers who

have lost their jobs. This shows that the

number of people getting laid off in the

private sector is increasing.

Unlike the US, we don’t have precise

numbers of vacant jobs in the private sector.

The Ministry of Labor and Development

never issues such details. The private sector

is not offering new jobs and people becoming

unemployed is expected due to the decrease

in government spending.

However, are more employees losing

their jobs? Yes, this is what seems to be

happening. In the future we will have precise

data about the negative impact on the

decrease in government spending and the

recession. These changes will impact a lot of

people and there is a need for professionals

to prove it has occurred.

When the budget of 2017 was

announced, officials spoke about the financial

balance program in addition to the expected

effects of austerity and that we should be

prepared to face it because this will last till

2020. They added that the economy would

eventually improve and that the private

sector will open up to more employment

opportunities.

There is one more question – will

the layoffs in the private sector and the

recession threaten small companies and

organizations and push them out of the

market? Will they be able to last until 2020?

Alaa Labani/Makkah

E

conomic problems and crises leave a

society no option but to transform and

change. Both women and men should

participate in the workforce and play

equal roles in improving the economy. To do

that, both men and women should be provided with the necessary resources.

Unfortunately, Saudi female participation in the labor market is low while the

unemployment rate among women is high due to unavailability of jobs for them in the

private and public sectors.

The current economic conditions in the Kingdom should be utilized to increase

women participation in the workforce, as this would have a positive impact on the

gross domestic product and social welfare, especially for women who are the sole

breadwinners of their families.

There is no doubt that this would also decrease the financial burden on these

women. It should be admitted that the real freedom and strength of women lie in

their financial independence. A financially independent woman would be able to

support herself and control her life better.

Some people seem to be unable to understand these facts. I saw a Muslim

scholar on TV opposing women working in hospitals and certain businesses for fear

of intermingling. There is a large number of scholars and college professors in our

country who have called on the government to give women money and spare them

from working in jobs where they would be mixing with men.

However, despite this fierce opposition against women working, the Ministry

of Labor and Social Development continues to work hard to create more job

opportunities for women. Women could not work as cashiers and salespersons 10

years ago as a large portion of society was against it. This situation has changed

with more people accepting women working in supermarkets and clothes shops.

It is sad to see some women who hold the same negative viewpoints about

women working. They believe that women working is evil and a cause for sedition and

corruption. Those women criticize women working for the simple reason that they do

not want their husbands to interact with a saleswoman or a female cashier. This is all

based on jealousy. However, their viewpoint is completely wrong and does not make

any sense. I say to these women that there are good and bad people everywhere.

If we really want to empower women, we should create job opportunities for

them in all sectors, not only in the health and education sectors. We have a large

number of women working in these two sectors. This is the only way we will be able

to reduce female unemployment. We already have a large number of men working in

the public sector while women have been ignored. There is no way that the ministries

of education and health can absorb the large number of female graduates.

Stricter penalty for Tasattur should be imposed

The nightmare of getting laid off

Women empowerment