Why don't Saudis give expatriate workers the credit they deserve?

A few years ago, I lived in Yanbu, a city with a large concentration of expatriate workers who rent dilapidated buildings that are deserted by owners who have often moved to better neighborhoods. Before moving to Yanbu Al-Bahr, I lived in the Industrial City of Yanbu. In my new place, I had a chance to learn and think about the meaning of life. I also became close to people who treat one another the same and do not look at class differences.

When I was living in the Industrial City of Yanbu, I noticed that most of the people living in the city held conservative viewpoints about religion and life. Unfortunately, most of them blame corruption and crime on expatriate workers because they believe that they are responsible for every harm and negative practice in society. However, if you ask me, I think that these conservative individuals suffer from paranoia and only feel satisfied when they have placed the blame for everything on helpless expatriate workers.

I lived in my new abode for a year and a half and intermingled with a lot of expatriate workers only to find that the majority of them are hardworking and exert great efforts to rightfully earn their salaries. They come from different parts of the world and are often single. They have kind hearts and possess ethics and good manners that I had not seen in most conservative people who live in the better neighborhoods in the Industrial City of Yanbu.

Expatriate workers begin their day with a smile while conservative Saudis start their day with a frown and without smiling at each other. Expatriate workers do not miss Fajr prayer at the mosque while conservatives sleep and miss this important prayer in congregation. When they do come to mosque, they frown at expatriate workers because there are so many in the mosque.

Expatriate workers do not look at or harass women who live in the same neighborhood. On the contrary, they make way for women. When they see a woman coming, they quickly move away from the road. In contrast, the conservatives I met seemed to stare at women when they should not be doing so.

This kind of behavior made me realize that expatriate workers are very careful not to act on impulse or to jeopardize their future. They have come here to work and provide a decent life for their families back home. I also realized that conservatives lead a monotonous and unsocial life, which makes them look down on expatriate workers.

It seems that expatriate workers are more pious than the conservatives I met. It seems that conservatives are more prone to heart attacks and high blood pressure than expatriate workers, as expatriate workers are more likely to go to the hospital to get treated for work-related injuries.

Expatriate workers love their home countries and make this love obvious by supporting their national teams and by helping fellow needy countrymen. Everywhere they work, they make sure that they install satellite dishes that broadcast their national TV channels. They want to be attached to their country. When they speak to their loved ones on the phone, they cry. When they say goodbye to someone returning home, they weep.

Conservative people are cold and cruel and engage in negative practices, which arouse suspicion about their love for their country. The strange thing is that conservative people benefit the most from expatriate workers because the latter work for them and obey them. Expatriate workers are hardworking, loyal and social, and wish the best for everyone.


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