* Major Saudi newspapers have refused to publish the advertisements, apparently because for them, it was “too shocking”.Â Some writers and journalists have called for an end to the campaign because they believe it shows Saudi people as cruel and heartless. (Gee, who would have thought? Slave traders are cruel and heartless?/ed) Â
Saudi campaign against maid abuse
|By Magdi AbdelhadiÂ
BBC Arab Affairs Analyst
A Saudi Arabian campaign against the abuse of domestic workers in the country has sparked controversy.
There are an estimated 1.5 million foreign domestic workers in Saudi. Many complain of abuse.
A campaign image showed a maid being fed from a dog bowl
Critics say the ads misrepresent Saudi society. Rights activists say abuse is common, and acknowledging it is a first step towards solving the problem.
A report by Human Rights Watch earlier this year said some foreign workers are treated like slaves.
The adverts appeared on Saudi-owned satellite channels and newspapers.
A television advertisement, the first of its kind, shows a Saudi man shouting angrily at a foreign maid for failing to iron his clothes properly.
Another sequence shows the man in his car honking and yelling racist abuse at an Asian man.
The sketches end with him praying, asking God for help and mercy as a caption appears with the words “man la yarham, la yurham (He who shows no mercy, will receive no mercy [from God])”.
This is the slogan of the Rahma (Mercy) campaign which has appeared on Saudi-owned satellite channels , MBC and Rotana, and some newspapers.
* Saudi Arabia holds conference on violence against women, but ignores the elephant in the room
The print version of the campaign, which appeared in the London-based Al Hayat, showed a maid held inside a kennel with a dog collar around her neck, and a foreign chauffeur harnessed like a horse with a Saudi woman holding the reins.
But major Saudi newspapers have refused to publish the advertisement, apparently because for them, it was “too shocking.”
* Beheading video’s are cool, /ed)
Some writers and journalists have called for an end to the campaign because they believe it shows Saudi people as cruel and heartless.
Journalist Terad Al al-Asmari, told Islamonline, that the campaign overlooked abuse of domestic workers in other societies.
“It could lead to hatred between foreign labour and the Saudi citizen,” he argued.
* Nah, we can’t have that. The truth must be kept under the palace rugs…
A Saudi academic, Dr Moutlaq al-Mouteery, criticised airing the campaign on satellite channels. Dr Mouterriy wrote saying that “discussing domestic problems on satellite channels turns them into a scandal [for Saudi Arabia]”.
The director general of the Saudi advertising agency, behind the campaign, Qaswara al-Khateeb, defended the media drive.
“We sometimes forget that those who we deal with helpers are actually human beings,” Mr Khateeb told the Saudi newspaper Arab News.
“We are obliged to treat them well. Why ask them to do things that we can’t bear ourselves? If we have mercy on them, then Allah will have mercy on us.”
Mr Khateeb told the BBC that the campaign was financed by a big Saudi corporation, but he refused to disclose which, adding that the backers did not want the message of the campaign to be associated with any particular group.
One thought on “Saudi Papers Refuse To Print Ad's Depicting Abuse of Maids”
At last the truth is out. Have lived in SA, seen the abuse for myself. It’s not just SA, this cruelty goes on right across the Middle East and it’s time it is stopped. These foreign workers are nothing less than modern slaves, and if they get paid, they’re lucky. They live in slums with as many as 600 to a couple of showers etc., they cannot leave these countries but are tied to their bosses until it suits the boss to let them go. Their passports are held until that time. Wrong, wrong, wrong and I have been angry about this for years. The truth about these scum will out – thank God.
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