” My car was stolen by a Saudi guy the other day!” shouted one Indian employee at a company. Another talked about an incident somewhere. Someone else talked of theft in some other area. These group of expatriates had many tales of Saudi youth stealing from them in BROAD daylight. Their goods were not recovered and the criminals never got arrested. In the group was a Saudi. He listened quietly and was compassionate to the other guys. But then, suddenly his tone changed and he got all serious and he said this ” Why do you blame them? Why should they not steal from you? You come here, make money and they are jobless. I have done the same in my teen age and I have no regret. What else should we do?”.. silence. No one knew what to say or how to react. One very calm Indian gentleman asked very politely.. ” But why? We never CAME here, we were INVITED here. We did not TAKE the jobs, we were GIVEN the jobs.. then why?”.. The Saudi replied.. ” We are jealous when we see you drive a BMW or a Mercedes, make so much money and then take so much with you”.. silence.
Most Saudis consider me a Saudi. They better:).. But, at one time, when I was absent for a long time, they forgot my connection to KSA and so did I. When I came back, my father had just bought a brand new Mercury Mystique. A very nice car at that time. One day , as I drove in the basement parking, the landlord’s son ( now a very dear and close friend of mine) was standing there and watching. As I walked to the elevator , he followed me and got into the lift with me.
” Is that your car??”.. I looked at him and I could see anger, frustration and yes.. loads of JEALOUSY in his eyes. I lied to him. I said, No.. the company gave it to my Dad.. it belongs to the company. I cannot describe the relief I saw on his face. He relaxed. He asked me who the owner of the company is. I told him it is Shaikh XYZ. So, he commented that the guy must be rich and has a lot. I replied with a smile saying that yes, most Saudi Shaikhs are rich. Thats where our friendship started. Years later I told him about my lie and he laughed so hard. I asked him about how he felt at that time. He admitted that he did not like the thought of an expatriate having this, but that it was his stupidity and immaturity to think that way. I told him this:
No it was not. What you felt was right. I would feel the same way if I was in my OWN country, and if it was RICH, and I was deprived of something which someone else from somewhere else comes and HAS. I would. Especially if I am 23 and looking for work desperately. We cannot expect the masses to be Saints. And, that is why I lied. I do not like to throw fuel over the sparks of jealousy and cause a fire. I feel it my responsibility to extinguish it. And , then I have waited for years to see you grow and be able to talk about this without feeling bad. I call this success.
Indeed, why are these kids feeling all this? One of the Indians in that group said , OK.. compete with us. Prove that we are not needed here, and our jobs are yours. But , you are too lazy to do so. I disagree once again. I insist that Saudis are not lazy. I also insist that they can work like any other nationality. And I say it once again – they never got the chance to prove this. Hopefully, now, with the new trends and situations, they will be able to.
You see, jealousy lives in all hearts. But, it is made bigger and stronger by an external force. The force against which this energy of jealousy is acting. Like my neighbors jealousy coming up that moment and me crushing it if even with a lie. Jealousy has to be destroyed or transformed into a better energy through positivity and wisdom. Wisdom we lack. We challenge this jealousy, mock it and turn it into a brutal criminal force. A force that hunts us and then attacks us one day.
I don’t want to get into the debate of why Saudization should be and systems and all that. I have written plenty on that everywhere. But, I want to make a point.
The point is: Do not blame the jealousy in the hearts of people in whose country you live in for now. Treat it with compassion. And, the only way you can do that is by putting yourself in their shoes. Do not think all Saudis are having a ball. They are not. There are many Saudis who have been more deprived of life than most of you. There are many Saudis that live hand to mouth. There are many Saudis who cannot just walk into a showroom and buy a car of their choice.
I have personally taken the CV of a Saudi PHD to an American Head of a Department in a well-known Hospital and that person threw the CV on the ground saying: Saudi? NOWAY. He totally refused to hire the man and instead hired another person from a South Asian country who I KNOW FOR A FACT , has a FAKE degree. Why? I knew the Director, the Saudi and the South Asian. I knew all three of them personally. Who is the victim here? You Judge.
I can go to Pakistan, I can go to India and I can set up easily. I can go to Bahrain, I can go anywhere. There is a community of over a million Pakistanis in just KSA. I have accesses all over the world. You do too I am sure, if you are an expatriate. Where should the Saudi go? Think like this. Think fairly.
The Saudi guy in that discussion about thefts was being very honest. He was , at one point, jealous to see what he saw. He needed guidance and advice and a JOB. No one reached out for him. He was pressurized. He was in debt. Happens. Humans feel all these things and they feel them for a reason. A Prince would not give a damn about a Mercedes 500 SEL owned by an expatriate because he can buy a dozen of those in one day. Right? It is the normal folks on the street that would feel or react.
I know a retired high ranking officer of a law enforcement agency force . When he retired , his salary was SAR 9000. !!!!.. he started off with 2000. He spent his life taking risks. Almost getting killed. He wore a uniform and served his country and protected it’s people, and he retired at a salary of 9000. Fine, he had other benefits. But come on now!.. I also know a western guy with ONLY a high school diploma getting .. get this…. SAR 99,000 per month! Who told me? The bank manager where this guy had his account. I do not , and cannot believe that his job could be that Important. Though, it is no one’s right to interfere with the livelihood of anyone. I am just pointing out some real facts.
Saudis today are criticized for every thing. Their Mutawwa, their culture, their thinking, their everything. Why?
Today, if a Saudi looks at my car and says , does it belong to you? I say, yes, and May Allah give you better and give you prosperity. His heart opens up. I have had talks with Mall guards. I have had talks with Saudis from all walks of life. Even the Mutawwas. I have gone and had Lamb and Rice in tents with Bedouins. I speak their language, I understand their minds. They are not what most expatriates think they are.
If the expatriate has issues, so does the Saudi. Only, he is at home!