Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Someone figured it out

Rich Gulf Arabs Are Cheap!

The New York Times has published an account of an article in Al Qabas, a Kuwaiti newspaper suggesting that the rich gulf countries are being cheap about giving aid to their Muslim Brothers and Sisters in SE Asia.

The Times Article states:
The newspaper Al Qabas in Kuwait set off a debate spreading throughout the country and beyond on Monday by suggesting that Kuwait deserves its reputation for being cheap and oblivious to people who go there to work as servants, given the relatively low level of aid it has donated to the tsunami victims at a time when the state treasury is bursting with an oil bonanza.

Noting that the bulk of the nannies, drivers, menial laborers and other servants who keep most households running in the emirate come from Southeast Asia - imported workers easily outnumber the native population - some Kuwaitis agree that the country and its Persian Gulf neighbors need to be doing much more.
(Read More)

The history of the relations of the rich gulf states with the muslims of South East Asia has always been one of exploitation. As mentioned above, SE Asians provide virtually all the menial and service work for rich Arabs (at salaries that make the worst American sweat shops, big farms, and janitorial services look generous by comparison).

Neither the Times nor the Al Qabas articles mention the other thing that the Gulf Arabs are notorious for when it comes to the exploitation of SE Asian workers, which is using young Filipino, Indonesian and Malaysian women as sex toys.

(You can read a bit more about Saudi Arabia as a slave holding state here).

While the Saudis and Kuwaitis are the worst (known) offenders, all of the oil rich gulf states are guilty to one extent or another.

(I will save the observations about how the greed of the rich gulf Arabs is driving the conflict in the Sudan for later).

So while some of the hardest hit countries were predominately Muslim, and provide the people who do the work that Arabs think are beneath them, the rich gulf states contribute almost nothing to the relief efforts.

But the Gulf States are not always so cheap. Last year Saudi Arabia donated 150 million dollars to support the families of suicide bombers (who kill themselves along with men, women and children non-combatants in direct defiance of the instructions of the Quran and the Prophet (saws) as to the limits of ethical warfare for a believing Muslim) while only coming up with 30 million US so far to help hundreds of thousands of people who, according to the instructions of the Quran, the are morally obligated to help.

I am minded of a comment a friend (from the Sudan) made to me once, "The whole world would have embraced Islam by now, except for the example of the Arabs."

On the other hand, the Afghanis, who after decades of war, invasion, and civil strife, have almost nothing, have managed to be outstandingly generous in their efforts to help those who are in desperate need. While the Afghanis have little in the way of material goods, they are giving of themselves (literally) to provide aid. Which tells me that not even the Taliban could crush the true spirit of Islam, which seem to still be alive and well in Afghanistan.

You can read a bit about the Afghan efforts here
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