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Friday, September 17, 2021

Bitter truths about maids

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Arab News published a hard-hitting editorial this week on Saudi Arabia’s employment of domestic workers.

The kingdom needs to re-evaluate its servant culture, the editorial asserts, so that young people can learn how to be independent, self-reliant and responsible adults. 

It is an unhealthy position. In Saudi Arabia, daughters traditionally learned household skills, such as cooking, cleaning and managing the home. Those skills are now in the hands of servants.

The situation now is that young women are getting married who do not know how to boil an egg, let alone iron a thobe or stitch a pair of socks. If that appears somewhat discriminatory, the reality is that young men do not know how to look after themselves either.

The story of young Saudi men studying English, when asked the question “How do you change a tire?” responding with “Tell the servant to do it”, may sound apocryphal but hits the mark all too uncomfortably.

Read the full piece here.

Qatar is similarly reliant on maids, and we’ve been resisting the idea of getting a full-time nanny for years.

We might change our minds if our family grows such that the kids outnumber the parents, but found this editorial to definitely be a cautionary tale.

What do you guys think? Is there a way to employ someone in your home without losing that ability to take care of yourself?

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