With a shameful human rights record, and daily reports on the oppression of women and migrant workers, I had negative thoughts in my head from the get-go.
Migrants are treated as slaves there. Long hours, poor pay and no worker rights (an example: saw a cleaner in a food court remove some leftover food from the carrier bag it was in inside a bin, turn to his colleague and ask if he had eaten (he hadn't), and that was their dinner sorted). The same guys you'd see at midnight would be there the next day after midday. Favouring their own is another huge issue- non-Saudi's aren't allowed to own their own businesses or ventures, so every business (say a taxi firm, or a barbers) is owned by a Saudi who is the majority stakeholder, the law stipulates at least 51% but it's usually more in reality. They contribute **** all to the business though, so sit at home all day whilst South Asians or Africans work 18 hour days to put food on their families plates and rake in the majority of the takings. Each Saudi has about 7-8 of these business "ventures", hello £80,000+ a year.
Their treatment of women was an eyeopener though. It's far better than any other country I've ever seen. They're often elevated above men, treated with such respect by the local authorities (as opposed to the male population lol) and it's one of the only places where females are completely safe to walk around alone (particularly at night) and be devoid of any danger or harassment. My thoughts on their laws with regards to females before were that they were demeaning and degrading, but now I feel that they genuinely have set them out of respect for the woman (driving is a good example; the attitude is that women shouldn't have to drive, it's the man's responsibility to provide that service for her). Although I don't necessarily agree with this stance, I can certainly respect it.
The police on the whole were OK, compassionate enough to give people due warnings when behaving inappropriately, and strict enough to maintain some sense of order.
The purpose of this post was mainly for myself, and hopefully others can't reflect upon it too. A cliché yes, but the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" really does ring true.
NOTE: The purpose of this thread is not to have a slanging match over the barbarism of KSA, nor is it an Islamic debating ground either. It's an observation and an opinion, one which many will undoubtedly disagree with (especially on TSR).
Went to Saudi- thoughts on their policies. watch
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Last edited by BeFoUr; 19-04-2016 at 17:43.
- 19-04-2016 17:41
- 19-04-2016 17:44
How do I know you went to Saudi Arabia?
- 19-04-2016 17:44
Very good country where the laws are strict but fair, its a shame they're demonised by the western media. The UK could learn a lot from their legal system.
- 19-04-2016 17:48
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- 19-04-2016 17:53
the religious cities of mecca and madina are surprisingly relaxed. women can go about freely by themselves without covering their faces (other areas need covering - likewise with men - minus heads). In fact, on the aeroplanes I was on, women were wearing loose t-shirts and skinny jeans. traffic in mecca is a friggin nightmare so your better off not driving (be it man or woman)
I agree they need to treat migrants more fairly but I know indian people who are from poor families in india who work as accountants for luxury car firms and oil companies, and nurses in saudi and and they earn enough to have 5-6 bedroom houses and drive a mustang (the law about business is a tad unfair I agree but I do see the logic behind it)
I will admit their police staff needs to understand english, especially security at airports / mosques (how dare they think speaking english is the same as urdu :| ) but they are otherwise ok . I have no idea about the rest of saudi but will say mecca, madina and jeddah are surprisingly americanised (heck a lot of pharmacies were displaying boxes of condoms in the windows, including the one in front of the main mosque in mecca when I went).Last edited by quasa; 19-04-2016 at 17:57.
- 20-04-2016 00:34