Another Victim of Sexual Harassment

The following post is from masstz_blog. She works as a lab specialist in one of the hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The post was written in Arabic and I translated it to English so I can share it with my readers here. The translation isn’t literal so I asked for her permission first in order to translate the general idea of her post. She kindly accepted.

“It was shocking and painful to know that yesterday one of my friends was harassed by one of her coworkers. The harassment was shocking and painful to an extent that I can’t even describe. It was honestly painful for me to hear every detail of the story. It first started with silence then with fear and shock.

It hurt me that she didn’t speak out and talk about it to anyone. She fears that talking about it would make it worse and that people would gossip about it and that would hurt her more. She fears that people would have no mercy upon her story and would blame her first for the incident.

As for people, they always have different reactions and point of views in regard such an incident. There will be those who would start blaming a woman’s decency while others would blame the mixing of genders in the workplace. In both situations, the women will be blamed for what happened to her without hearing every detail of her story. It is sad to realize that there are still sick people with stupid mentalities regardless of the educational advancement and the modern life that we have.

Her story, in every aspect of it, is painful and heartbreaking. I cried with her when she started crying. I felt her fears deeply that nobody can imagine. I personally lost my trust in people around me and for a moment, I became scared of everyone.

I wish I had another heart, one for all of that and for all other things. A heart that can carry all the pain and another one just for living

  • My Comment:

It is indeed a sad story and to really understand what the woman has gone through, you need to imagine yourself in her situation. What if someone harassed you in your workplace and you can’t talk about it or even if you talk about it, you will have all this fear of being blamed and misunderstood?

Sexual harassment happens in Saudi Arabia just like it happens in The US, so I would not go to blame wholly one specific country or society. In fact, I realized that blaming that and this won’t help solve the problem. I mean, I can write 10 posts about the things I hate about the Saudi society and yet nothing will change. So, in this post, I want to present an analysis and solutions and yes, I am going to write it about it in Arabic so my message reaches as many Saudi as it possibly can.

There are many questions that we need to answer in order to offer a solution for the problem. First, what led that man to harass the woman? Is it because of his sex drive and lust or because of something else? Secondly, why would the society blame the woman first? Does segregation help prevent the problem as many religious people claim? These questions along with many others that I want to address here in my blog. Please share your thoughts, questions and answers!

Thanks to Asmaa for correcting my grammatical mistakes 🙂

He Can’t Walk, but He Can Inspire!

He can’t walk. He can’t talk. He can’t move his hands easily. But, he can smile! he can dream and above all, he can inspire! He is unlike many people I have met in my life who always complains for even the tiny things in their lives, he is always optimistic. I see him everyday with his electric chair, moving from one building to another to sell his coffee. But selling coffee isn’t his only job. His another job is to inspire people around him. He would look at you with this innocent smile that tells you: “Hey, YOU CAN ALWAYS DO IT, regardless of the difficulties and frustration you face in your life, you can always do it”

I love this guy so much.I don’t know his name and he doesn’t know my name but  I know that he impacted my life more than the book I have read and the people I have met.

Is Jeddah Really Different?

“Jeddah is different” is commonly used phrase among Saudi, referring to how different Jeddah is from the rest of the cities. The mater of fact is that Jeddah is unique and different when it comes to its people, culture and its general atmosphere. People from Jeddah are very tolerance and open-minded. Most Sunni & Shia are living together in harmony in Jeddah, unlike other cities of Saudi Arabia where the Sunni-Shia thing is very heated topic. Jeddah’s people are funny, they have this unique sense of humor that attract you to them from the first time.   There is a great mixture and diversity of races and thoughts in Jeddah which enrich the social structure of the city.  In addition to all that, The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice have the least power in Jeddah in comparison to Riyadh and other main cities.  That has given Jeddah more freedom in most of its aspects of life (like mixing between men and women rather than gender separation)

However, there are many things that Jeddah is indifferent than the rest of cities in Saudi. The poor city infrastructure system, the bad hierarchy system in government agencies, the poverty and the high unemployment rate are almost in every side of this country. For example, The government spends millions and millions of riyals into the infrastructure of Jeddah and just this month, the city turned upside down because a heavy downpour. It is shocking to see how the infrastructure of such main and important city of the rich kingdom is poorly built and managed. People are wondering where the millions of riyals that we hear about it year after year in the newspaper and TV goes? The visionary king request an urgent investigation for what has happened in Jeddah and Saudi people want every official has a hand in this disaster, to be held accountable. Let’s hope that this event will send a message to all officials in this country that they will always be held responsible and accountable for any mistake or manipulation they make.

My heart goes with the families who have lost their loved one in this disaster.

Open Panorama

My monthly panorama is the most important section of my blog. It is a collection of observations and saying from people around me, illustrated on short sentences. My goal is to represent others’ views of different topics on their own words.

This month, I would like to make the panorama open for my readers: so basically, think of a saying you have said on specific topic  or think of anything you have heard from your friends, or from person in the street and write it down here. When you write it down as a comment in this post, I will add it directly to my original post under your name so that everyone can read it. I will start first one

  • “Dear Murtadha, you and many Saudi bloggers have the abilities to write and criticize the society and that is good but we don’t need that anymore. Everyone can write and everyone can criticize. It is easy to criticize but It takes courage to go, do change and offer solutions.That is what we need. We need someone who offers us a solution, a path or a correction rather than continuously saying we are wrong” Said anonymous in his email to me.
  • “We live in a “Culture of Silence” and generations of our people (Muslims) here have suffered so much because of it. What’s even more sickening, outsiders get a distorted image of Muslims because of this. Because of our silence, we let selfish people rule over us, and because they know we don’t speak up, they think they can scare us forever. Don’t be like us. Change the order of things. Stand up and show to the world that we don’t like what’s happening and we’re willing to change it. Let’s not wait for the next time that another large group of people will be shot, crushed by bulldozers and then thrown and buried in a pit” A professor’s statement while discussing the gruesome killings of 57 people, mosly women, in my country. via coralbead
  • “In America, I see Islam, but not many Muslims. In Saudi, I see many Muslims and not a lot of Islam.” Said to me by a Saudi student studying in America. via Baker
  • “We are alive Alhamdillah. We are not among the 77 [now 113] who died in Jeddah as a result of 3 hours of non-stop rain. Shame on us!! Shame! No plans, no engineers, no brains in our beloved KSA?! I hope the number of casualties will not rise.” from a Jeddan friend, in reply to my email asking if his family were affected. via Chiara
  • “When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight” One of my favorite quote of the poet Kahlil Gibran.
  • “But more and more I believe it’s our impact on individuals that matters most. I want to use my wealth and my life for that purpose, not to add to my personal comforts. I’ve got too much of everything as it is. Every single thing we own actually owns us in some way or another — they all have to be cleaned, or maintained, or fixed, or appraised, or insured, or some such thing. It all takes time and that, I’ve realized, is an absolute finite commodity. Wasted time can’t be redeemed. And a wasted life? Well, that’s a tragedy.” From “A Thread of Truth” by Marie Bostwick. via Susanne
  • “It is possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard” Hermann Hesse
  • “When someone does you a big favor, don’t pay it back… Pay It Forward” from the movie Pay it forward

If you wanna see my previous panoramas so that you can have an idea of what is all about, click on the following: October 09 Panorama , Aug/Sept 09 panorama, July 09 Panorama, Bloggers Panorama, Dec panorama, the 6th panorama, 3rd panorama, 2rd panorama, Different panorama.

Your self is talking, Are you listening?

I am writing now because writing allows me to express myself to myself. It makes me feel my existence in a world that steals your identity in one way or another. I feel peace and loved when I write something to myself. Isn’t that odd! I mean myself and I are assumed to be one thing, and yet I needed to communicate with myself more often! How could it possibly for writing to have such a power of carrying and transforming my feeling from and to myself. well,I don’t know! but I do know that I need to keep writing in order to survive and to be who I am.

I try to spend more time with myself. To be honest, I like to be alone most of my time, I like to be away from people’s interference. The process of explaining one’s self to others is just painful and wasting of the time. Loneliness give so much value to a person’s life more than his social life. People have no idea how much loneliness can transform their lives. I am not talking here about loneliness that is mixed with depression and self-defestating. Nop, I am talking about how your self represent a unique, very special and remarkable power that can give you everything you need.  Loneliness, if understood right, should give you your happiness, your life’s adventure and above all your self. So write something to yourself, invite yourself for a coffee or buy a gift to your self. Express yourself as simple as possible.

Every week, I invite myself for a coffee and when I go for a walking alone, I try to dress up as If I am going for an interview or wedding. Last year, I bought a gift to myself simply because I did a good job in my classes. In fact, I am working in finding more creative ways to build more connections and bridges with myself.

so what about you? how do you communicate with yourself! Do you write to yourself often? Do you find it difficult to understand yourself? What is your view on loneliness? and does it make any difference in your life?