Monday, August 22, 2005

Saudis changing minds on doing jobs :: KT


JEDDAH — Saudis are taking up jobs that earlier they did not even think of as they felt these were below their dignity. They were guided by their own perceptions as well as by the prevailing society's distorted way of looking at some jobs as adoptable and others as "taboo".

They have now come to realise that economic development and growth depends on hard work and not on superficial feelings about what status a particular job lends to the worker.

A Saudi and his family have not only taken up some such jobs but are also proud of doing so, according to a report in the Arabic daily Al-Hayat.

Raed, 35, does not feel embarrassed to work as a personal escort. He has asked his three wives to work with him as female escorts for Saudi families and as babysitters for their children.
I note that per capita average income in Saudi Arabia is 1/5 to 1/4 of what it is the UAE. This average includes nonnationals. Further, in the UAE nonnationals make up 80 percent of the population whereas in Saudi Arabia they are in the minority. Thus, the necessity of broadening attitudes on respectable work is not as pressing in the UAE nationals as it is for Saudi Arabians. Yet, attitudes among Emiratis (and their families) are changing, albeit slowly.

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