Now that we’re on the brink of of a long term recession, and given that the Saudi royal family are amongst the few people lucky enough to have the cash to bail out British banks, you might have considered working in Saudi Arabia.
This is part of a balanced, well-informed and enjoyable read on Racism against Asians in the Arabian Gulf.
1. Wealthy pure Arab blooded nationals of whatever GCC nation, Among the GCC, Saudi, Kuwait, and UAE are the best (richest, though as we know Saudi is having big problems these days), with Qatar, and Bahrain next, followed by miskeen, taâ€™abaan Oman, and very miskeen Yemen, which w.out petrodollars, is one of the poorest countries in the world.
2. Non-Arabs or â€œlesserâ€ Arabs who have taken GCC nationality: black Arabs who are the descendents of slaves, part African Zanzibaris, Baloosh, Lawatis, Ajami, etc, plus the occasional Yemeni, Sudani or whoever whose family got GCC status in the 1970s. Plus, poor GCC national â€œpureâ€ Arabs who have not benefited from the nationsâ€™ wealth and arenâ€™t from prominent tribes. (I promise there are lots and lots of these, they are fishermen, date farmers, security guards, petrol pump attendants, and so forth, and also unemployed)
3. North American and Northern European, Aussie, Kiwi, and S. African whites If one looks at global systems of racism and discrimination in terms of the White Supremacist Capitalist Sexist Western hegemony, the truth is that Western economic practices and foreign policy help to create or at least continue the exploitation that occurs here, so in the broad picture, whitey is still the big boss man, even above group #1.
4. Other â€œlesserâ€ Arabs, S. Asians, Filipinos, Africans, etc who are professionals and who have passports and educations from countries in #3. They are basically middle class.
5. Professional â€œlesserâ€ Arabs, from anywhere from Morocco to Egypt. Plus Iranians. who are usually middle class or elites in their countries, and many have Western educations.
6. Professional S. Asians, who are usually middle class or elites in their countries, and many have Western educations.
7. Non-professional Arabs and Iranians who work as laborers, waiters, drivers, etc.
8. Non-professional Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Filipinos, and other non-Arabs who work in the same sectors in #6. These groups are also very prevalent in prostitution (with the exception of Filipinos)
9. Any â€œunskilledâ€ and uneducated laborer from a developing country who is doing backbreaking manual labor or working as a domestic servant
Note that there is a HUGE income gap between the people in #1-6 (excluding poor GCC nationals) and people in #7-9
This isn’t limited to Saudi Arabia, of course. This is the situation in pretty much all GCC nations.
For Southasian Muslims, Arab culture, language and even people are well regarded, as part of the of the collective cultural memory to a time when Arabic was the lingua franca. And of course by dint of religious affiliation. Which is why when they visit and work in the Gulf, they’re surprised to find themselves regarded as little more than untermenschen or dirty, low-life miskeen scum.
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