Nothing like being a maid in Saudi Arabia...
A maid's life is tough - I lived in Hong Kong and knew about some of the treatment Filippino maids receive there...but the last place I'd like to be is Saudi Arabia...
A Kenyan woman is accusing her Saudi employer of throwing her out of a third floor window, breaking her legs and hands. Another maid, just rescued by relatives, said she had to live on dog food because her employers neither fed her nor allowed her out of the house.
Ms Fatma Athman, of Kisauni, Mombasa, returned to the country last week with broken limbs and stories of near-slavery in Saudi Arabia where she was employed as a maid last May. She was lucky, she said, she landed in a swimming pool and not on the pavement. Now she is dependent on others to help her even with the simplest of chores.
“I and one of my friends were asked by Saudis who visited Kenya eight months ago to go with them. We organised everything through the Kenyan embassy — our agent — and we got documents to travel to the Middle East on May 2 last year,” she said. On arrival, she said, she was discriminated against and required to work 22 hours a day.
She also says she would be subjected to a torrent of abuse for the slightest mistake. “I used to sleep for only two hours and I ate left-overs. That was really slavery,” she said in tears. Susan Wanjiku, 29, has a story of similar mistreatment. The mother of two was promised a salary of Sh16,000 to work as a maid in Jeddah. “I thought I would make money and come back home when I had enough to sustain me and my children,” she said during an interview at Nation Centre at the weekend.
On arrival in Jeddah, she was taken to her new place of work and instructed to immediately start work. “I was shown 16 rooms to clean,” she said. Known as Shakala (a house help in Arabic), her work started at 3am and ended at 11pm. This was her daily routine for the three months she was in Jeddah.