Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Maid - Unholy Acts In The Holiest Place (11)

Daring Escape

A newly arrived Asian housemaid, in her 20s, had a fall three days ago, from the third floor of a residential building in Alkhobar, eastern town of Damman, Saudi Arabia.

She made the run away attempt from the seventh floor apartment through a kitchen window.
She then clung to pipes stuck to the building and started to slide down.
Upon reaching the third floor, the pipes collapsed due to her weight and she hit the ground, where she met the fatal fall.
Arab News reported she was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries but later died at the hospital.


Another death fall befell on a housemaid in her 40s, in an attempt to flee her sponsor's house in Makkah.

She was trying to escape through sanitary pipes along with her personal belongings.
Okaz / Saudi Gazzette reported the “homesick” housemaid arrived in the Kingdom two months ago in March, only to find death the next month, in the second week of April.

The housemaid suffered multiple fractures of her arms and legs.
She suffered from brain hemorrhage too, which caused her death.


Early this year, January 12, Arabic language daily Almadina reported yet another Indonesian housemaid's death.

The female migrant worker sneaked through the bathroom’s window in an attempt to flee her employer.
She went up to the roof of the the fourth floor building in the central town of Makkah.
Once there, she found a rope, dangled it down to reach the ground.
She then tried to climb down using the rope, but lost her balance and plunged down.

The maid laid on the ground for nearly 15 minutes before she died.

She was found by residents who were leaving a mosque after prayers.


Photo: ist
PT Aji Ayahbunda Sejati (AAS), flew then 19-year old Armayeh binti Sanuri, from Teluk Lerang, Kuala Mandor, in the district of Kuala Mandor, Pontianak, West Kalimantan, to Saudi Arabia.

She started working for the family of Hasim Ahmad Ali Bader Saeni and Madam Hanan Hasim in Madinah on March 24, 2009.

Armayeh admitted of receiving almost daily abuse and mistreatment from her female employer since the third month into her job.

Wounds and pus on her head.

Her head was often stepped on.

She suffered infectious ears, and were almost torn-like.

She was poured hot water too.

She could bear no longer. 
She seized the opportunity to flee from her working place when the door was not locked.

With wounds all over, she fled on January 26 at 3.30pm.

A neighbour, another Saudi citizen, who happened to spot her critical plight, helped to rush her to Al Ansar Hospital in Madinah at 10pm.

The medical staff immediately called the Indonesian Consulate General.
The Indonesian Consulate has agreements with some Saudi hospitals to notify the embassy or consulate, should an Indonesian national be admitted.

Armayeh's serious condition led her hospital stay transferred to King Fahad Hospital in Jeddah.
She underwent plastic surgery performed by team from King Abdullah Hospital at 1am.
She is currently, still receiving treatment.

Her female employer, Madam Hanan Hasin had been arrested.
Before the arrest was made, her employer visited Armayeh at the hospital.
The girl was offered SR18,000 (Rp 52.9 million) for her change of statement.
The offer was flatly turned down.

Although her salary is SR800 per month, she had just sent home SR6.000 Riyal (Rp 14,3 million) to her parents, during her 23 months stint in the Kingdom.

PT Aji Ayahbunda Sejati (AAS), who made Armayeh's presence possible in Saudi Arabia, bear full responsibility of the girl's welfare.

Her family was provided initial financial assistance of Rp 25 million (SR10,500), with insurance of Rp 100 million yet to receive.

PT Aji Ayah Bunda Sejati brought the parents of now 20-year old Armayeh binti Sanuri, to Saudi Arabia to see first hand of their daughter's condition.
The company provides their needs while in Saudi.


From Frying Pan To Fire Runaway Maids End Up In Harsher Conditions

JEDDAH: Housemaids who flee their sponsors due to bad working conditions to seek work in the black labor market often end up in a situation of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
In many cases they find themselves at the mercy of sleazy labor brokers who send them to work illegally in conditions that are little different from the legal situations, and often much worse. 
“They seize our IDs, lock us up in secluded rooms and make us live in very difficult conditions, which is no less than indentured servitude,” a maid told Arab News on condition she not be named.
Nuriyyah, an Indonesian maid who has been working for two years in Saudi Arabia, describes the situation she found herself in as “slavery” after being legally recruited and brought to the Kingdom. The wage she ended up receiving was not enough to feed her family back home.
“My sponsor often delayed my payment under the pretext that he had other pressing commitments,” she said. “I had no other choice but to flee.”
Nuriyyah said she lived in a small apartment after her escape with a large number of illegal housemaids who came for Haj or Umrah and overstayed their pilgrimage visas.  She said the man who ran the house essentially acted as an illegal-labor broker.
But what Nuriyyah discovered is that people who hire maids illegally often end up being worse than employers who seek workers through legal channels and at greater expense.  “The new employer and his wife used to beat and humiliate me all the time,” she said. “They also took my iqama. I served them for my food only.”
The maid says she has never been paid for her work. Eventually she fled her illegal employers. She ended up under the Sitteen Bridge, a congregation point for foreign laborers who have fled their sponsors in the hope they will be picked up by the police and deported.
Another Indonesian maid, who did not want to be named, said though she had been an adventurer all her life and would work hard to earn money, she had fears that she might fall victim to inhuman practices on the hands of her new employers.
“I now live in a small house with a large number of illegal African and Asian housemaids,” she said. “The brokers who distribute us among their customers do not care much for what will happen to us. They are only after money.”
She added that she was living in very difficult conditions in this house but her need for money would force her to continue.
The unidentified Indonesian housemaid said she witnessed her co-workers being beaten by merciless employers who know that illegal domestic servants are essentially hostages with few choices.
“Many housemaids had similar experiences but were finally able to make some money and go back home. In order to succeed, you have to take chances,” she said.
Commenting on the issue, spokesman for Jeddah police Col. Misfer Al-Juaid said many of the houses that accommodate runaway maids are found in the districts of Al-Bawadi, Ghulail and Kandara.
“We carry out weekly raids on such houses after identifying them,” he said. “We arrest the illegal residents, take their fingerprints before handing them over to the Passport Department for deportation.”
After these workers end up in the custody of Saudi immigration authorities, a long process for exit clearance takes place. Often these workers have no ID because their passports are with the employers from whom they fled. Saudi authorities must work with foreign missions to establish identities and check for criminal backgrounds before they can be sent home. 
Al-Juaid pointed out that an illegal worker can be exposed to more abuse than legal workers, because sponsors are aware that there is little recourse for reporting or challenging abusive situations. “The illegal housemaids bear all these inhuman treatment in order not to be caught by the passport police and sent back home,” he added.
The most common form of maid abuse is not paying salaries, followed by physical and sexual abuse. The Saudi authorities do not offer statistics of the number of abuse cases reported to them, but the problem is acute enough that labor rights activists and foreign missions – especially of Indonesia and the Philippines – maintain shelters for fleeing maids, especially women.
Supervisor of the National Society for Human Rights in Makkah province Hussain Al-Sharif described violence against housemaids as inhuman and un-Islamic.
“Just because they are paying them money, some employers will come to believe that they literally own their housemaids and they have the right to ask them to do anything,” he said.
Al-Sharif agreed with Al-Juaid, saying that illegal workers face a greater chance of being abused with impunity.
“Violence against housemaids, whether they are legal or illegal stayers, is inhuman and totally against Islam,” he added. “We completely reject such practices and deplore exploitation of any human being.”
Al-Sharif asked all employers to consider the pressing conditions that drove the housemaids to come all they way from their countries in the first place. The main reason is remittances, the money they can save up to send home to feed their children or other family members. Not paying a maid could mean a child back home goes without food, clothing or medicines.

Source: A1 Saudi Arabia - January 12, 2011

to be continued...

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