The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.
In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.
...announces the Arab News, although that's obvious to all of us as we drive around town and go shopping.
Saudization Fails to Stem the Tide of Foreign Workers
However I didn't appreciate the scale. Only 8% of workers in the private sector are Saudis, which is an amazing statistic. All the rest are imported from the Third World (although there are a few from the West in executive and professional roles, the ones that haven't been driven away by the bombs, that is.)
Ask any Saudi boy where he wants to work when he grows up, and he will say:
The Armed Forces
(although he will only get into those if he comes from the same tribal group as the Royal Family, that's to ensure loyalty)
The Civil Service
and failing that,
A shop (but taking the money, not actually selling things)
Anything else is considered to be demeaning, and suitable only for Third World expatriates. They certainly don't want to work as Nurses, which is extremely demeaning, and Womans' work (although women aren't allowed to do it). If the Filipino nurses all went home, the Health Service would collapse in a heap.
This country will only get Saudized when the government stops paying people to stay at home. It needs a major change of attitude. As it says in the article:
Dr. Syed Khwaja of the Health Ministry said the main problem is one of mindset. “While it is true that a section of the Saudis are sincere and hardworking, unfortunately a sizable section of them have a laid-back attitude. They while away their time on phone calls, socializing and spending more time on prayers than is necessary. This is the reason why the private sector resists calls for Saudization and cuts corners wherever possible,” he adds.