There seems to be a recurring theme which is encountered by all Saudis living abroad and engaging with people from different cultures. For some odd reason, having basic courtesy or being approachable seems unthinkable for the typical Saudi. Whereas the truth is that several non Saudis can be surprised to find out how normal and nice some Saudis can be. People might be thinking that I have simply over generalized this; however such a statement does not appear out of thin air.
- There is nothing wrong in having pride in your roots, heritage and nationality, however when it starts to become a trump card to establish yourself as superior to others based purely on fantasy, then it is the time to stop and think. I do not wish to insult any Saudi or their sense of pride in their culture and nationality, which is the epitome of all great people and nations, however I do wish to ask why is it that such an attitude exists. Why are there so many Saudi nationals who think that they have the right to act and behave as beings who are superior to the other humans?
- Another fantasy revolves around a circular argument which is simply “we are better because we are Saudi”. If you are to compare this to the policy of the government then it might be very true, however it is time to address the individualities and relationships in the society. There have been several cases of people being told off or refused service to altogether, just because they were not Saudis in Saudi Arabia. People who are friends with a Saudi, and do not know they are Saudi are shocked to find Saudis hanging out with non Saudis and not being selective of their groups. This is the classic Gulf region attitude of “less than” towards the foreigners.
- Saudis also believe that everything in the Kingdom belongs to them and expatriates are a burden to the economy of Saudi Arabia. Well, they have every right to think like that. Just a short reminder to everybody that the Kingdom was initially built on the backs of the immigrants who had come there in an attempt to earn an honest living for their family, and even to this day the Kingdom is run by an expatriate workforce who amounts to 1/3 of the total population in the Kingdom. A study by the UN in 2015 also confirms that 30 percent of the total Saudi Arabian population is expatriates. They are employed in all the companies, hospitals, construction sector, education sector, domestic help and any other sort of job which the nationals are not willing to do. Does it sound like the nationals are doing them a favor?
- Many Saudis believe that they belong to the land of Makkah and Madina and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W was initially sent to them. Well, they are right in a sense that Allah has selected them to serve Two Holy Mosques and they have served them well over the years. But believe me, just belonging to any particular area will not guarantee Jannah to anyone. It is your deeds which will earn you Jannah.
This issue is highly multi dimensional and nearly impossible to cover thoroughly in only one article, however I hope that my attempt at getting a message across has been successful even to the slightest degree. It is okay to admit faults and it only serves as a sign of maturity and security.
Source: Saudi Gazette
Expats vs Saudis
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- 5 Classes of Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia
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- Why Employers prefer Expatriates over Saudis?