culture, discussion, Make a difference

Two Open Letters

Dear American and foreign countries,

I want you to discriminate against Saudi, Kuwaiti, Omani, and Emiratis so badly. I want you to treat them exactly the same way they treat Indian, Bangladeshi and Filipino workers. I want you for example to force Emiratis to work under the heat of sun for less than 2 dollar per hour. I want you to make fun of Saudi exactly the same way they make fun of Asian workers. I want you to never allow Kuwaiti to eat with you in the same table and when he asked why, tell him that you are from a better social class than he is just like some Kuwaiti assumes that they are from better social class than Asian labors. I want you to get Omani maid, and force her to work 24 hours without rest just like Filipino maids work with no rest for Omani families.  I want you to force every Saudi that comes to your to convert to Christianity, or whatever religion you like just like Saudi force foreign workers to convert to Islam.

Maybe when we feel how is it like to be under oppression and discrimination, we will become more aware of how bad our actions and treatments to Others. Maybe our governments will understand that  the discrimination against forign labor workers will lead to a discrimination against  our own citizens.

I hear everyday a discrimination and an insult against some labor workers in the Gulf countries and nobody stands against it, no newspaper write about it, no government official speak up against it.  But when one Saudi, or Kuwait, or Emiratie guy has been discriminated against in the West or in America, the Gulf turn upside down and every newspaper write about it and every government official stands against it.

Now dear Saudi, Emirati, and Kuwaiti,

There is a simple rule in life, it is “treat others the same way you want others to treat you”  so If you don’t stand up against discrimination on any country, race, or religion, then please don’t ask others to stand up when some people discriminate against your country or religion.

You have an obligation to stand up against discrimination wherever it is, just like you have an obligation to pray five days times a week. It is not like saying “oh, that isn’t of my business” because your silence is counted as if you are supporting the problem.  So, please never allow any discrimination to happen in your home, or in your neighbor or in your country.

Note:

I made a generalization in this post just to emphasize the urgency of the whole society to speak about this problem. I know that there are many Saudi, Kuwaiti, Omani, and Emiratis who are strongly against discrimination on labor workers from all the countries. So please don’t take the post personally.

Make a difference, personal

Kathryn Monet

Kathryn Monet! you may not have heard of this name before, but many Saudi students in Oregon have. She used to work for Saudi Cultural Mission as an academic advisor on Saudi students.  We  have never seen someone dedicated to her/his work as much as Kathryn does.

From the first five minutes you talk with her, you will quickly realize how caring she is. I told her in my first conversation with her that I felt as if she is a darling sister to me.  Kathryn to me is more than just an advisor. She is very inspirational person. She gave me an example of how sincerity in your work impacts the life of others and how the little smile and kindness have the power of transforming people lives.

In fact, the day she decided to leave her position in SACM, was very sad day for all Saudi students in Oregon. In my five years experience with Saudi Culture Mission, there has never been someone like kathryn.

Sometimes, saying “thank you” to a person that has been so kind to you isn’t simple because these two words aren’t always capable of carrying our gratitude and appreciation. There has to be something more especial and valuable and I find it important for me personally to acknowledge this person and to talk about how she made a difference in my life.

I have so many wishes in my life and one of them is eternal happiness for Kathryn. I really wish and pray that her life is filled with happiness, health and joys.

Make a difference

Saudi and Climate Change!

Picture 1

Whenever I open a discussion about the climate change with my Saudi friends, their reactions are either one of the two. They are either careless and think that climate change is a joke  or think that climate change and global warning are  just signs of the end of our world and the beginning of God’s punishment for all the sins we committed.

My respond is the following:  If you are careless about this global problem and you don’t want to be part of the solution, that is fine but for god sake don’t be part of the problem. If you are someone who thinks that global warning is a sign of god punishment, please know that you would be punished first by god in that day of judgment for not saving this beautiful gift (The Earth) that has given and created it for you. So now let’s be realistic and more proactive about this problem.

  • Turn it off, please!

It is so simple, so easy. If you aren’t going to be in the room, just simply turn the light off. I don’t understand why people like to leave the lights on when they leave their rooms. Reducing the electricity power can save money and a lot of energy.

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Don’t throw anything that can be reused again in the trash. Be creative. I feel guilty whenever i throw one blank paper without reusing it twice.

  • Don’t use plastic bag

When you go to shopping, try to use paper bags or buy one these special design bag. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable and they have  harmful affects on the environment.

  • Walk instead of driving.

Here in portland, I don’t drive at all. I always enjoy walking even for the long distance places. The public transportation are amazing too. I know that there is no such a public transportation in Saudi and the sun’s heat make it impossible to walk around, but at least try to reduce your fuel consumption. For example, when you plan for a trip, you don’t need to have 7 cares for only five people! two cars can be more than enough.

  • Stop Smoking:

I can’t express how much anger I feel when someone smoke cigarette or hookah in front of me. I would turn my apartment up down if i knew that someone is smoking in my balcony. If it is up to me, I would get all the smokers in one place and then do them another Holocaust 🙂 but what can I say if even my father is addicted to smoking cigarettes 😦 .

Note: this post is part of my participation on Blog Action Day 09.  Thank you Hning for publicly reminding us to participate in this project.