Keep an eye on maids, police tell sponsors

Updated 27 June 2014
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Keep an eye on maids, police tell sponsors

Nawaf Al-Bouk, Jeddah police spokesman, announced Wednesday that the police in coordination with the Passport Department recently apprehended more than 50 domestic workers who had run away from their sponsors in lure of better salaries in upcoming Ramadan.
He told Arab News that the incidence of maids and household workers running away from their sponsors’ homes typically increases before Ramadan due to the increased demand by housewives for such workers to carry out household chores during the holy month. Reports indicate that salaries of domestic helps can increase to more than SR2,000 for the month, he said.
Al-Bouk advised sponsors to avoid tempting household workers to leave by giving them a cell phone of their own to use throughout the day or allowing them to go out into the street alone to avoid the possibility of someone trying to contact them.
A number of cities including Jeddah have recorded instances of maids escaping their sponsors’ homes before Ramadan. Reports say that organized gangs are involved in smuggling these maids to larger cities where they can find work for better salaries. The phenomenon has been growing despite the Labor Ministry’s regulations which stipulate a prison sentence and a fine for any household that employs a maid who has escaped from her sponsor.
Wajdy Al-Sanaa said the number of maids escaping from their sponsors before Ramadan has grown significantly. His family witnessed the escape of eight household workers, one of whom was employed with him and five who were working for his brothers and relatives.
He blamed gangs and traffickers for helping the maids to escape and expressed his confidence in security authorities to identify the culprits and bring them to book for causing the tremendous financial losses to the sponsors.
Mohammed Al-Rifai said a domestic working for him was only employed for a few days before she escaped a few days before Ramadan. He said she had indicated she was using her mobile phone to call her family, but it appears she had devised a plan to call someone else to help coordinate her escape.
The Kingdom plays host to thousands of domestic helps from different countries around the world such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Yemen and some African countries. Sponsors pay large sums of money including airfares to have the household workers gain legal entry into the Kingdom and therefore suffer substantial losses when the domestics abscond leaving them in the lurch.


Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 21 May 2018
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.