Training on arrival for maids suggested

Updated 09 February 2015

Training on arrival for maids suggested

Crimes committed by maids in Saudi Arabia have become a society-wide issue.
This has led to a call for reconsideration in methods of dealing with maids and has kick-started investigations into the reasons behind such crimes, especially in light of the growing phenomenon of the recruitment of housekeepers.
The annual report issued by the Labor Ministry showed alarming figures in the number of visas issued for housekeepers for the year 2014, as there were 714,593 workers and housekeepers who had been brought to the country by Saudi families.
The report revealed that more than 65,000 workers had escaped from their sponsors. Fifty-one percent of them were male. The escape rate was 9 percent of the total number of workers, meaning Saudi families lost SR1 billion, taking into account the fees and guarantee money paid by the families for these workers.
Walaa Abdul Moneim Al-Ashri, psychology professor at Princess Noura University, said: “Most people do not care much about the mental state or circumstances experienced by housekeepers in their native country. So many big problems occur during their tenure of work here.”
She added that sometimes the maids deal aggressively with children due to many factors including depression, anxiety or the obsessive-compulsive disorder. “These psychology problems may be a result of illness, personal attributes, or related to leaving their homeland, as well as different customs and traditions of Saudi society.”
Al-Ashry said the family should check the mental and psychological health of the housekeeper with a psychiatrist. Families must respect maids, give them time for rest and holidays and not order them around with extra or unbearable tasks.
Criminologist Fahad bin Ali Al-Zahrani said that there are other factors that may induce maids to commit violent acts for enjoyment or as a retaliation and revenge after exposure to injustice and humiliation, and that this criminal behavior is the most dangerous type.
Al-Zahrani said: “The perpetrator of such crimes has a psychopathic side of her character, and does not feel guilty. Her concerns are confined to getting immediate satisfaction.”
Al-Zahrani called families to take into account the cultural and social differences between Saudi society and those of the maids, and to treat them kindly as Islam enjoins on Muslims to give other humans their rights. He said that most of those accused of committing violent crimes against children were found to have their beliefs rooted in superstition.
“Most Gulf families nowadays are small families that need housekeepers during working hours. So we ask authorities to provide nurseries in malls and workplaces to limit our dependence on housekeepers,” Al-Zahrani said.
Psychologist Nawal Al-Hawsawi said that housekeepers must be trained for at least three months after their arrival in the country, during which time they should be treated patiently, not punished nor left with children without supervision.
“We must also prevent children from insulting housekeepers or abusing them,” Al Hawsawi said, pointing out that children should respect adults and rely on themselves.
“The housekeeper is not a substitute for the mother, and mothers should take care of their children and monitor any changes in their health and behavior,” Al-Hawsawi concluded.


Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

Updated 06 December 2019

Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the field of archaeological research in the past five years, a major exhibition in Rome was told.

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, director-general of archaeological research and studies at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said that 44 international archaeological missions had been carried out this year in the Kingdom.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the “Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages” exhibition, which opened at the National Museum of Rome on Nov. 26.

The groundbreaking exhibition was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan and Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Dario Franceschini.

Al-Zahrani said that the Kingdom “has become one of the most advanced countries in terms of archaeological disclosures.”

“Recent discoveries by local and international missions have highlighted the Kingdom’s historical status and cultural depth as the cradle of the beginnings of human civilizations,” he said.

Archaeological discoveries continue to “instil the civilized dimension of the Kingdom,” he said.

“The religious, political, economic and cultural stature that Saudi Arabia enjoys is an extension of its long cultural heritage, in addition to its distinctive geographical position as a bridge and hub of cultural interaction between East and West that made it a meeting point for international land and sea trade routes throughout all ages,” he added.