Allah asks us to be very aware of His presence and live in His presence as Muslims. This wisdom was sent to us 1400 years ago right on this land we call Saudi Arabia today.

More than Him we are concerned about people, appearances and above all ( since discrimination is officially allowed) .. NATIONALITY. Regardless of years spent here, you are “graded” by your nationality. You are either Grade A ( US, CANADA, BRIT), B ( EUROPEAN), C ( OTHER ARAB) or D ( EVERYONE ELSE). And, you are treated as such. Every nationality cannot do everything here. And, this has been the way for many years now.

What this has done is that it has given people an awareness here. It has caused prejudice to not only breed in hearts but reveal itself loudly and openly.. and shamelessly.

Maybe the creators of this system did not do this on purpose. Maybe they meant no harm. But, harm has been done. Most Saudi people I know don’t really care about nationality.. but they DO have an opinion about every nationality. Some good, some bad and some unfair. Because you see, people are people anywhere you go. There is good, there is bad, there is ugly and there is beautiful in every country of the world.

Not all Labor from India are smelly and Not all Saudi’s are clean. Not all Lebanese are beautiful and not all Palestinians are fighters. Not all Yemenis are killers and not all Bengalis are thieves. There is good and bad. That is why this system of grading populations by nationality is simply : UNFAIR and WRONG.

I love conducting experiments with this. I love to see people react. It shows me what they have in mind. I have walked into the same shop wearing different clothing ( Saudi , Pakistani, Western) and experienced a different treatment each time. I once went to the Four Seasons wearing a White Ghutra and Thobe and the waiters were all over me , offering cigars of all kinds. In that same tea room, I have worn a jeans and t-shirt and been told : Sir,our minimum charge is 100 riyals ( or something like that). Appearance.

What car I drive in, makes a difference. What clothes I am wearing , Makes a difference. And, I love to see reactions each time. I find it funny.

Then there is language. How I say something.

Today, I was in a meeting where I was speaking in Arabic. I was explaining to a guy we recently hired the various things he needs to do in carrying out his job. We sat in a cafe. This guy either knew where I am from, or he was guessing .. but he WAS wondering for sure. Then the waiter came to take my order:

Me: Can you bring me a double turkish coffee, medium sugar? and Water please..

Waiter: Ok Sar.. ( smile)

Me ( to the waiter) : Where are you from?

Waiter: INDIA

Me: Where in India..

Waiter : Bihar..

ME: Aray WAh bhaiyyaaa! hum toka kerala ka sumjhay baithay hain.. aur tum to oo latkay bihari niklay.. Hiyan ka kar rahay ho?  Kabo ayay hian arab mai tum..? ( wow bro, I thought you are from Kerala, and you turned out to be a behari. What are you doing here. When did you come here?)

The waiter jumped in shock. The newly hired guy stared at me, eyes popping out. LOOOL!

I spoke to the waiter in a dialect from the North of India. A style a Bihari would understand. The shock on the faces of these people AND the two Saudis sitting in a table close to us was HILARIOUS!

Bloodline from Makkah, roots in Lucknow, birth place Karachi and Nationality Pakistani.. living in “nationality conscious ” KSA.  Gosh! What a story!

Many people become prejudiced living in Saudi Arabia. I have become global living here. I have learnt to see the good and bad of each community. I have learnt to NOT stereotype nor judge a person by their nationality.

A Saudi told me: You cannot trust Palestinians. My reply: How many do you know personally?

You see, we cannot say that a whole nation is the same as a handful of jerks from it. We just saw the handful of jerks, not everyone. We must be fair.

This nonsense of treating people as per their nationality has to stop. It is sad to see Muslims live with such prejudice and discriminate openly. We have stopped enjoying Variety. We fear someone different from us. We have set unfair standards and live in assumption. And we present assumptions and suppositions as THE TRUTH, which makes us liars eventually.. living a lie and depriving our own minds the opportunity to grow. Sad.

Look at the variety of cultures and nations when they gather to perform Hajj, wearing the same thing.. does it not amaze you? Do you see how God looks at us as MANKIND and not Saudi, Pakistani, Indian or Jordanian? Feel and live that beauty.

Learn to enjoy the variety God has given to mankind.. please don’t judge people by their nationality. It is STUPID.

7 thoughts on “Nationalities..

    • “the SAUDI”, there is no such thing, there is about 18,000,000 of them, and a good number of them are racist (based on personal observation) …etc.
      so ” tell the Saudis that” is more accurate Noor.

  1. I gotta admit, I loved your post, I don’t know where are you from and to be honest, I don’t even care, but I would like you to know that I’m a Saudi, and I understand what you are talking about, and hopefully your msg would be heard!
    May Allah reward you my brother Ali.

  2. And may Allah bless you ya Omar! Thanks brother. If one person understood this and changed their perception for the better, I will feel blessed. I love my Allah and His creation. It is sad to see ppl missing out on happiness and spending moments that never come back, in despair caused by ignorance.

  3. I am not Saudi I am English but I also understand where you are coming from ..we should not judge has you say whatever the clothing or the language we speak (in my eyes we are all one..and I love peace.. I enjoyed your blog)

  4. PS: Actually that would have made for a good TV documentary .Showing someone going around dressing has different types of nationalities and seeing the change in how they are treated..:-)

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