Ass Wipes (new title)

Chapter One: Tragedy Strikes

SIXTEEN Indians were roasted to death in Bahrain. But who cares? They are only Indians. And poor Indians, to be more precise.

Chapter Two: Slavery is a Way of Life

For the outside world, there is something you need to know about us Gulf Arabs (not all of us). We were born with a silver spoon in our mouths - and an oil pump up our asses - even those of us with no money. We are a cut above the rest and we employ third world country people to do our dirty work for us, not that we aren't third world ourselves. You see, our economies are still largely functioning thanks to a slavery system, which was never abolished, despite ratifying one international treaty after the other. Signing treaties and making promises and then going back on them isn't anything new, but this is another topic altogether. We pay some of those people an average $100 a month, to work day and night, night and day, sometimes without days off. They live in labour camps, sleep one on top of the other and are excluded from public life and segregated from normal everyday activities and life. Their's is a life of servitude, in which they work and toil and drop death or go up in flames. Who cares?

Chapter Three: Selective Memory

Our concern today and only today .. OK, because they are 16 .. 16 who were stuffed two in a freezer drawer... maybe for the next few days... should be to be angry about the tragedy that happened and the unneccesary loss of human life at a time when the world in already bleeding - because of the arrogance and greed of a few on the other side of the Middle East.

Chapter Four: The Saviour

Even the Prime Minister was moved by the scale of the disaster and ordered that all labour camps be inspected. Hold on a second! I thought 2/3rds of all labour camps were already inspected and found satisfactory. Satisfactory by whose standards, if I may be cheeky to ask?

Can more than 200 human beings (?) be crammed into a house reportedly having had "six rooms on the ground floor and five each on the first and second floors, plus small halls on each floor and kitchens." What about bathrooms? Oh I forgot, they are only Indian labourers.. which means they don't have to have a bath.. or a pee ..


Chapter Five: Money Talks

And all this for how much? Don't we all work - no matter what our alledged explanations are - for $$$ at the end of the day. How much are those sardines - oops - I mean Indians, worth?

The GDN report says:

One worker told how, on top of paying about BD1,000 initially for his visa, he had to pay BD450 to his sponsor to renew it on completion of his two-year contract.

Sources said most of the workers were forced to pay BD450 to renew their employment contracts every two years.

Those who are unable to pay in a lump sum had instalments deducted from their salaries.

The company also deducts BD11.500 a month each from the workers' salaries, towards the cost of accommodation.

The average salary paid is BD3 a day.

Among the survivors were free visa workers.

"We are paid 500 fils per hour and I am supplied to Royal Tower Construction by another company," said one worker, whose sponsor's name in his CPR card is shown as Atiaf Construction Company.

But don't worry .. you cheap asswipes.. don't you worry at all.. so what if 16 people have been roasted to death and piled on top of each other in freezers.. we will take care of your families.. with a little bit of money..


Chapter Six: Who Cares?

Yes. I am annoyed that such a tragedy is happening at this day and age and yes.. I will swear and rant and rave and bitch about it for a long long time to come.

Who are those bastards thinking they are when they abuse poor labourers who have left their countries and come to ours to clean and sweep and wipe our asses for us for a few dinars and lots of humiliation in return?

Why are they allowed to live in 'camps' like sardines, one on top of the other, with no access to basic amenities, privacy or days off, just because they come from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka?

Where are those people's governments who allow their subjects to be abused in rich Arab states?? Where are the human rights charters we as a country which is today proudly a member of the UN human rights committee have gone to when we allow abuse of such a wide scale on our land without butting an eyelid??

The End: Life is Cheap..Poor People are CHEAPER

The truth is that 16 families are now having the hardest time in their lives .. while hypocrites like me and you too.. are pretending to be moved by the tragedy and caring for all those people .. when all along we have seen them being carted like cattle in open trucks and knew fully well how they lived in sub-human conditions and haven't done a thing.

Personally, my voice has gone hoarse .. and my fingers can no longer keep up with typing the barrage of swear words coming to my brain .. But I really can't claim I have done anything for those people.

The Beginning:

Those people should rise. Stop working in such appalling conditions and put demands. This is a good start. But mark my words... they will be bullied into submission.. and the lives of those 16 - whom we don't even have the decency to identify and honour- would have been lost for nothing!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The building was leased by Royal Tower Construction, which had already been warned by municipal officials that conditions were dangerous, the Premier said at the scene.
(source:GDN)
"The conditions are not acceptable at all - but this company did not take any action despite being warned in January this year," he said.

"Now we will ensure that they are taken to task."
--Well Hello!!January was seven months ago i believe!! They were warned..but did anyone make sure that they took that warning seriously!duh!ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
but now that the poor sixteen have been barbequed on the fire fuelled by the money of those who live with no hearts action will be taken..
yes, that's what it takes, someone to die whether burnt, roasted, barbequed, you choose what u want to call it and maybe whether u want the result well done or anything else..
(That's IF anything is actually done!!)

Haitham Salman said...

SBG,
I agree with every single word you wrote. It is slavary and has no other name. Let us call it for what it is.

St. Monkey said...

Silly Bahraini Girl
You speak in the voice of humanity
of values so dear in this world
You talk about decency

And then we have the Kings and Queens
Parliaments and Prime Ministers
Enquiries and committees
Findings and promises...

Sixteen lives were burnt
their charred bodies tell us
the pain and shame of indiginity
of slavery that is reinforced

Where is the conscience of a kingdom?
Of the rulers and the ruled?
Where is the conscience of the high priests?
Of the believers and the blessed?

Those charred bodies must get lodged,
in the conscience of the kingdom,
And from that pain and shame
shall a republic redeem its conscience.

Abdulhadi Khalaf said...

Salaam SBG
Thanks for raising the tragic issue..

In an article due for publication next month I echo some the concerns you highlight.

In the absence of the necessary administrative, political and legal instruments, and due to the inadequacy of those already in place, labour mobility between South Asia and the Gulf continue to be a source of risks and human tragedies. The most obvious victims are the migrant workers themselves.
In spite of their undeniably important contributions to their home and host countries, expatriate workers have continued to work and live in a legal void and without credible protection. Indeed, one may argue that they are cursed by the vital role the play in the economic development of both the GCC and their own countries. It is in order to protect the financial and economic contributions made by expatriate workers that neither their own governments nor those of the GCC countries have seriously attempted to fill that legal void through applying relevant legal and institutional frameworks and standards. For both sides of officialdom, to do nothing seemed to be the most profitable alternative.

It imperativ for our own sense of humanity that we push our GCC government to ratify and actually enforce the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
.,
http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/cmw.htm

Two interesting reports may interest readers of your blog

Simel Esim & Monica Smith (eds). 2004) Gender And Migration In Arab States: The Case of Domestic Workers., ILO, Geneva,
Online: http://www.iiav.nl/epublications/2004/Gender_and_migration_in_arab_states_thecase_of_domestic_workers.pdf

and

HRW (2004) Bad Dreams: Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia,
Online:
http://hrw.org/reports/2004/saudi0704/

AbuRasool

LiB Team said...

Nicely put, SBG...

The thing is that even after this tragedy, and even after al-dana tragedy (which is well forgotten by now), things will still go the same way they are, everyone will demand just punishment to the responsible person, and even government officials will talk flashy and fancy about bringing justice, until people calm down and forget about it then let the culprit away with their crime, and one crime after another, they will come and say we will do this and that, then they let them go. Pretty funny huh, or disgusting?

These people won't learn, never. And that's how they make millions, by treating those poor sardines as you put it like shit ans save on every dinar they can save just so that they cruise around in their 7 series BMWs and high end Mercs or full option Lexuses.

Just sad...

tooners said...

like you, i wish these ppl would protest against their living conditions, but they won't. every day when i see them, i sit and feel bad but i do nothing. honestly, i dont know what to do. i feel like ppl can scream as loud as they want but it wont change a thing. you even have the PM going out and looking at the sites and saying that they'll be inspected, which was already supposed to happen, but still this happens. now, i read today in the GDN, that some restaurant is being told not to feed these ppl. i guess they're being threatened. how ridiculous is that!!!

this stuff will never stop or so it seems. the slavery of individuals... well, i cant see that happening. now, w/ the laws on Filipino housemaids and such, ppl have just started employing other nationalities... they dont care as long as they have the work done. it's truly sad.

i feel like screaming from the roof tops but what would it do? ppl don't care. it seems that no one cares. they talk but nothing is ever done. where i work, i could see change, but it doesn't come. it all feels like a game to me.

plain ugly said...

You don't really expect those people to stand up against their treatment, do you?

How can they protest? Do you know what wages they are making? And do you know how many people they are supporting back home? Do you know what they eat? And do you know that all their sponsor/employer has to do is make a phone call and that meagre amount they are making will be cut off?

The fees the pay for VISAs and all the legal stuff they need to maintain. If they protest, they just won't get paid. And if they don't get paid, it's not just them that starve. It is their families that starve too. They always have that to contemplate. These men and women forcibly swallow their condition and the treatment they are dished out so atleast their families can eat. Or marry. Or live.

Something, as the saying goes, is better than nothing.

sri said...

"But don't worry .. you cheap asswipes.. don't you worry at all.. so what if 16 people have been roasted to death and piled on top of each other in freezers.. we will take care of your families.. with a little bit of money..". tracking the story from 2006 to 2008. Has their families got money from this company? How are they copying with their life? Have a look. http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IE820080628012854&Title=Zeitgeist&rLink=0

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