Gulf excess and Pakistani slaves

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http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=200981story_1-8-2009_pg3_2

Rafia Zakaria

Pakistanis themselves, mired in denial and ever-ready to engage in the pantomime of pretending to be Arab, are inured to this reality of Arab racism. Easily appeased with the promise of Gulf jobs when their own country is in shambles they consider any paltry thankless employment a godsend

“We need slaves to build monuments,” says an Iraqi engineer living in Abu Dhabi to a reporter from the Guardian. In the published report he goes to add that he would never use the metro if it wasn’t segregated since “we would never sit next to Pakistanis and Indians because of their smell”.

The dismal condition of Pakistani labourers in the Gulf States is well known and the above statements are merely reflections of the deep-seeded and overtly racist attitudes of Arabs in the Gulf and otherwise towards Pakistanis.

The same Guardian report also details how Pakistani slave labourers work up to eighteen hours a day and often live twenty to a room without any ventilation and with only a single bathroom for several hundred people. Several do not see their families for four to ten year periods, unable to afford the airfare home and many die on the job. Continue reading