Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taking a short break

I'm out of Kuwait. Therefore I have no more cases to relate to you at this time. However I do hope to have the ball running sometime in the near future.

It pains me that I'm not able to keep the fire burning in people who feel a degree of enthusiasm for this issue. It upsets me that where I could be spurring people on to action, telling them to listen to that small voice in their heads. The one that tells them - this is all there is to life so go out and do something worthwhile. If I miss a week of blog entries do people forget that this exists?

I'm not so self important to believe that is true. But we all need reminders. Have any of you guys seen that graphic online - of a man in a white disdasha reclining in a relaxed position on the heads of expat labourers? I've pondered putting that up here because I think it encapsulates in perfect cartoon form, the problem we are dealing with and the humiliation and greed behind it.

But then I would piss off so many people and get plenty of posts telling me that Kuwait is and always will be 100 percent amazing and if I don't like it , then GTFO. Ok I exaggerate probably. Either way maybe its not time yet to put that cartoon up.

Anyways - So I'm going to take a break until I actually hear of another case... till then, please please please don't let this issue die in your mind. Because once you stop thinking about it, the people depending on you are as good as dead.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are religious groups keeping up with the problem?

I'm at the end of my rope. There are no options left. No one wants to help.

Ok that's not entirely true...

One or two local charities want to help. Individuals sometimes want to help. Isolated church groups want to help and indeed are helping. Over the last few years we've seen an increase in church groups offering solutions to the hurting people in Kuwait - working with labourers, getting supplies together for the camps, in preparation for the cold wintertimes, providing options for maids.

Since I am not a Muslim, I don't know much about what's going on in Islamic religious circles. Is this a hot topic, is it being handled by Islamic charities, is it being spoken of in mosques so that devout men are more aware and concerned? People who believe that this is morally and religiously wrong should actively be going out and working to better things. If anyone has any knowledge of what's going on, please do let me know.

But you know what, credit should go to the Red Crescent. I have seen them hard at work at Al Razi hospital in the maids wards. I even stood as one of the nurses related a story of a raped maid to me and a girl from the Red Crescent. We both shook our heads in horror at what was being said. Coming from two completely different backgrounds and with different beliefs, we were still on the same page.

And don't tell me that a person has to believe in something to feel compassion for a human being. Secular society is more than able to take on this task. So where is everyone?

All over the ME - it's the same old story!

Saudi police drop case vs 18 Filipinos
Philstar.com - Monday, August 24

MANILA, Philippines -- Saudi police have dropped prostitution charges against 18 Filipinos arrested inside a head quarters of a non-government organization.

Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS) is a group that assists runaway Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Saudi Arabia and the criminal case was against 18 KGS members and Runaways. The Filipinos were nabbed by the Saudi cultural police during a raid at a KGS safe house on Aug. 14.

Charges were dropped as case officers were able to convince the police that there is no 'prostitution' and that those apprehended are members of a legitimate organization providing relief to distressed and runaway OFWs. With the case dropped, Saudi authorities are expected to release KGS secretary general Mike Garlan and member Rustico Marcos within the day. The two KGS personnel have been imprisoned for 11 days.

Monterona said runaways Clemia Corpuz, Rosa Salazar, Amauri Meriz and Reynaldo Balagtas will all be deported while two of the five detained runaways -- Sarah Gumansing and Elvira De Guzman -- have already been released to their respective employers.

To our conservative estimate there are about nearly 26,000 undocumented and runaway Filipino workers in the Middle East mostly in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon - By Dennis Carcamo (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)

As usual this article has been edited slightly for ease of reading.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kuwait Skyline - it was so worth it!

Obviously I'm being sarcastic, but of course it shouldn't surprise anyone out there that a large segment of the population probably, at the end of the day, think it was worth it after all.