Saturday, August 04, 2007

I can't believe al Jazeera is framing a debate about Asian migrant workers in the Gulf as either "a threat on the Arab identity of the area and people's privacy" or a story in the exploitation of cheap labour. Is there even such a debate?

Asian workers are exploited, racially abused and treated like a sub-human race throughout the Middle East, where is this "tsunami" of migrants al Jazeera is talking about?


sasa said...

I agree with you Wassim...anything aimed at masking the exploitation of migrant workers in the Gulf is shameful.

And it's not right to juxtapose that with the immigration debate. But there is an argument to be had about whether there is a Gulf Arab culture any more, considering that about 93% of the Emirates (for example) is non-Arab.

My response to that is that the 7% Arab population would still be living in shacks if it wasn't for the immigrant population who - effectively - built the Gulf.

And as for a Gulf culture. Don't make me laugh.

alzaher said...

it can be seen both ways wassim,yes of course asian workers are exploited in gulf countries but on the other hand dont the citizens of these countries have the right to fear the increasing foreign labour in their countries

Maysaloon said...

al zaher. You bring a good point, however I have to say, having been in the Gulf that there is a fundamentally racist attitude to these migrant workers which indeed does make them the victims rather than any form of threat. In fact, a part of me does wish they overthrow the rotten infrastructure which exploits them. This increasing foreign labour is only there because they are too lazy or too few to develop their nations and in many cases because they consider that kind of work beneath them.

alzaher said...

wassim, you can't the entire gulf countries as lazy , i have been to bahrain for example and throughout the whole trip the drivers and the photographers were bahrainians

Maysaloon said...

You are right alzaher, I am generalising quite broadly. However, to what extent is that because people want to work as opposed to the economic benefits from oil and gas dwindling? I think the Saudisation program is largely because of that or am I wrong?