Monday, April 23, 2007

The poor will always be with us

An average Filipino equates Saudi Arabia with work, income, and a brighter future. Few Filipinos would even expect slums and destitution in this oil-rich country. And yet, they are there:

A visit to Karantina, a perversion of the term “quarantine”, was one of the worst of my life. Thousands of people who had been living in Saudi Arabia for decades, but without passports, had been deemed “illegal” by the government and, quite literally, abandoned under a flyover.

A non-Saudi black student I had met at the British Council accompanied me. “Last week a woman gave birth here,” he said, pointing to a ramshackle cardboard shanty. Disturbed, I now realised that the materials I had seen those women carrying were not always for sale but for shelter.

I had never expected to see such naked poverty in Saudi Arabia.

Read more here.

Hat tip: Jihad Watch

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