Friday, September 7, 2007

Where Are the Good Saudis?

by Rasheed Abou-Alsamh from Rasheed's World

MY story on abused domestic helpers appeared in the Christian Science Monitor today, and a Saudi friend that I sent it to noticed the difference in the tone I used in it compared to my stories in Arab News. She rightly guessed that articles for Arab News are subject to self-censorship because of the red-lines laid down by the Saudi government and the still-conservative society we live in. She also noted, rightly, that not all Saudi employers are monsters, and wondered when more nuanced articles about life in Saudi Arabia would appear in the Western press. I replied that I had tried to find a Saudi group that advocates for abused foreign workers, but that unfortunately I couldn't find any. I even sent questions to the National Society for Human Rights, but more than a week later they still had not replied. So I ask: Where are all the decent-minded Saudis who treat their maids well? Why don't they speak out against all of these workers who are being beaten to death nearly every month? Why doesn't he silent majority speak up?!

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