Previously, most domestic helpers were from either Indonesia and the Philipines and after a growing number cases of unpaid wages and abuse these two countries decided to put a ban on sending their domestic workers to Saudi Arabia, and I think other Gulf countires until a better wages and rights for their workers. The governments were n’t able to come ot an agreement and there has been a shortage of maids ever since, with families struggling to find help, and having to do without in Ramadan (when there is a high demand for maids as ironically cooking and parties increase).
So, when it was announced that Saudi Arabia would getting maids from Morrocco, you would think Saudi women would breathe a collective sigh of relief. Instead, this was received like a stab in the back, a sprinkling of salt on the wound.
Why, you may ask? Well, it is a well known fact that Saudi men, tend to vacation in Morroco-alone. It is how should I put it politely… considered an adult playground. I once went to a travel agent with a sibling to plan our summer vacations, we’d been thinking of Tunisia/Morocoo/Jordan and wanted more information so that we could decide. You should’ve seen the travel agent’s face when my brother asked about Morroco, he first froze, glanced slightly in my direction, then looked back at my bro, and as my bro was still looking at him naively for an answer -quietly said its not appropriate for families. Needless to say, we were very embarassed and almost afraid to ask about any other country in case we made a similar mistake!
That’s not all, Saudi women feel threatened due the unfortunate reputation the country has developed for practising Black Magic (as Muslims we believe in it to be real and it uses Jinns(spirits) to cast spells), and often Saudi men are said to have been deceived into marrying them. It helps that they are considered pretty and full of feminine qualities and ‘know the way to Saudi man’s heart‘.
Some Saudi women have threatened to quit their jobs and stay at home to do the housework if the alternative is to hire Morrocan maids-or they could continue working and do the housework as well like women all over the world. And what about those who don’t work but cannot even fetch a glass of water without a maid let alone take care of their kids? I think its a devilish plan concocted by Saudi men, its a win-win situation for them, if their wives don’t hire the maids they will save the salary spent on the maid, and if they do-at least they will have some one pretty and sweet to look at :-). It would be funny, if this step ended up turning many Saudi women into domesticated and caring non-creepy version of Stepford wives.
Personally, I don’t like the idea of live-in help unless absolutely crucial, as it creates numerous problems regardless of nationality. Would you be willing to hire a live in Morrocan maid?