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.


Pilgrims from all nationalities took part in Saudi National Day

Updated 25 September 2018
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Pilgrims from all nationalities took part in Saudi National Day

  • A number of pilgrims from various nationalities participated in a national initiative, organized by the Hadiya Association, in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah
  • This is the first time that pilgrims, who have now finished their rituals and will leave on Sept. 25, have celebrated this special day with all of the people of Saudi Arabia

MAKKAH: Pilgrims from all nationalities took part in the celebrations to mark the 88th Saudi National Day, paying thanks to the Saudi government for the services provided to the two Holy Mosques.

After Saudi Arabia announced the success of this year’s Hajj season, the Umrah season kicked off. It also began to receive pilgrims from all nationalities, all of whom stressed that they cannot forget Saudi Arabia’s support in granting them their rights and helping them throughout their economic hardships.

“Every year I come to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. I am used to performing Umrah every year, but this year is special because it coincides with the National Saudi Day,” said Hamdi Abul-Enein, from Egypt, adding: “For the first time in my life I see the Saudi people celebrating their National Day, reflecting the cohesion between the citizens and their leadership. This is not surprising because we know the core of Saudi people are keen on the security and stability of the country.”

Hamdi added: “In Egypt, we share the joys of the Saudi people. For decades, there have been strong ties between Egyptians and our Saudi brothers. Sincere ties based on the Islamic religion joins us. Congratulations to Saudi Arabia and its citizens.”

Ali Al-Saradi, a pilgrim from Yemen, said: “I roamed the streets of Makkah and Medinah, and found people celebrating the national day. We admire the unity and loyalty of our Saudi brothers to their leadership. I am keen on sharing these celebrations with my Saudi brothers. In Yemen, we are happy for the Saudi citizens’ happiness. We consider them as our brothers and therefore we are happy for their joys and are sad for their sadness.”

Kuwaiti pilgrim, Abdullah Al-Ajami said: “This occasion is not only celebrated by the Saudi people, but also by all those who love this country. I can confirm that the rulers of this country are very generous and put all efforts to serve the two holy mosques. So it is no surprise to see so many nationalities celebrating the National Saudi Day.”

“The Saudi leadership and people stood with their Kuwaiti brothers during the brutal invasion; they opened their hearts before their homes. They were the first to work for the liberation of our country, and this is what strengthened the blood ties between us for decades. I ask God to perpetuate their joys,” he added.

The Hadiya Association involved pilgrims and visitors in celebrating the 88th National Day Festival.

A number of pilgrims from various nationalities participated in a national initiative, organized by the Hadiya Association, held during a reception and farewell for pilgrims, in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The Association distributed Saudi flags and gifts to the pilgrims. They received traditional Saudi hospitality and were given a presentation on the National Project, conducted in sign language in order to engage deaf people in the celebrations for the first time. The presentation, which was part of the Association’s project entitled “Nourishment of the Soul”, was conducted in 67 languages with the participation of both volunteers and multi-national students currently on scholarships in Saudi universities.

The Director General of the Association, Sheikh Mansoor Al Amer, expressed his joy seeing the pilgrims enthusiasm and willingness to engage in the celebrations for Saudi National Day, which commemorates the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and expresses appreciation of the services provided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during their spiritual journey in Makkah, Madinah, and Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah.

This is the first time that pilgrims, who have now finished their rituals and will leave on Sept. 25, have celebrated this special day with all of the people of Saudi Arabia, in what has widely been seen as a practical application of the Kingdom’s new 2030 vision.

Sheikh Al Amer added that a number of volunteers from different fields were cooperating with the association. They have circulated a clip on social media showing the Saudi national anthem being translated into sign language. The anthem was produced in association with Saleh Bin Hamood Al Nefaie, a sign language translator for the Friday sermon, which is regularly broadcasted from the Holy Mosque in Makkah and aired on the Qur’an Channel.