Sunday, January 17, 2010

Racism in Saudi Arabia

Again thanx to Abu Sinan for inspiring me to write this post about racism. the comment was made in this post and made me think about a problem that we (Saudis , Arabs and Muslims) usually accuse other of but never admit of having.

Let me start with my own country . Yes , we have a huge percent of racist here and their target differ from non-Arab to Arab to Saudi themselves. i know for a fact that it's not easy to be a non-Saudi here, people will look down on you thinking that you are mainly here to take our money from those Saudis who deserve it. If you are a non-Arab and coming from a third world country then you are filthy and stupid, we treat them the worst. If you are a non-Arab but coming from the west, American or European for example, then you are bad but at least smart, you have no morals cuz you are not a Muslim. If you happen to be an Arab, then you are a thief and should be treated badly and that you are always guilty of thinking badly of us. Muslims are not better cuz they have the wrong kind of Islam and we are the best, they all should follow our own interpretation of Islam or they will be doomed.

It's not easier between Saudis themselves. There are the Shia who are a non-Saudi and should be sent to Iran. There are the different parts of the kingdom where everyone claims theirs is the best and the rest are either not civilized or not religious enough.
The normal word for a black is "slave" or "Zebra" . And if a white woman is married to a black then he should be thankful his whole life for that, he shouldn't be mean to her not cuz it's wrong but cuz he wouldn't be dreaming of him marring the white lady.

Most of Saudi Arabia are tribes, so if you don't belong to one, you are called a non-Saudi. the worst case is when your father is a tribal and when your mother is not -such is the case in our house-so what do you do? whom should you belong to, cuz you have to curse the other side.

Racism is spreading all over the Arab world especially among non-Arab from the third world countries and blacks. Where are the Arabs from the Darfur problem? . Lots of Arabs don't like Saudis and even online i was faced by such rejection for being a Saudi without even waiting for me to explain myself.
I don't know is it because we don't like the Arabs so they don't like us or it is they don't like us so we don't like them back. who started this dilemma??

It's not like the whole Arab and Saudis are racist and there are not an exact number of that. But we keep blaming others calling them racist and close our eyes of what is happening in our homes. pointing a finger towards them and can not see their own fingers pointing at us.

It's a huge problem but how can one change that when inside of you there are a small racist?? should the law get involved in such things and hope that one day in the long future things will change ??


  1. Great post. It is interesting you mention the issues between Saudis themselves. My wife and her family are Hijazi. My sister in law worked in Riyadh for awhile as a professor. She got into a rather tense argument with another professor who called her the "vomit of Saudi Arabia" meaning she as Hijazi.

  2. "6arsh L ba7r" does not mean "vomit".... it means what the sea has sent. As we hear our q8y neighbors use it.

  3. ابوسنان, i am from Hijaz, too and yea that kind of isults is heard everytime.

    purple, it's the same meaning dear,what the sea has sent or what the sea has vomited-i hate this word- , anyway, it's an ugly and childish calling someone such names.

  4. Wow, thanks for being so honest in admitting this. I am very happy I met you so I can say that I know some good Saudis. I know there are plenty more, but it's nice to actually meet them. :)

  5. Susanne, thank you for your lovely words dear and i am positive there are a lot of great saudi, we just have to find them. i love to meet them, too :)

  6. wow...i guess every country has some form of raciscim.
    many of my family is openly racist (they say its a proud lebanese thing...i say its pathetic).

    this is a great topic you posted about..its one to help us look around at ourselves..and find how we can be better people :)

  7. angie, we have a huge number of Arab racisit, and we keep saying that others are against us cuz they are racisit !!

  8. Let's be honest, our real war with the 'Yahud' (Jews, Israil, Zionists) is about Arab racism, we just can't accep them in our neighbourhood, all the other stuff are excuses.
    Because no one really cares about Palestine & about Filastinians.

  9. anonymous, i don't know if it's because of racism. i used to believe it's about the land then about the religion and now i actually don't know. but i think you are right no one cares about palestine anymore.

  10. Dear Wafa, the Arab racists started massacring Jews in the 1920's through the Mufti... no "land excuse" existed then either!~

  11. Anonymous, i am going to search for these information my self. thank you

  12. This is just another example of the institutionalized discrimination faced by non GCC Muslims in Saudi Arabia. A country that claims to be Islamic yet seems to forget the Islamic concept of all being equal except for in deeds — and colour, background and wealth having no significance in someones level of status.
    The most arrogant of the wealthy are those who have attained significant wealth through inheritance or luck, e.g lottery winners or those who sit on oil that they lack the sophistication to extract and needed to sell themselves to western companies who have the ability and technology to extract it.
    So in the space of 50 years a peoples who have made no advancement for the past 1000 years and relied on the fact that they were from the land where Islam originated and to which Muslim face for protection from various Muslim Empires became amongst the most wealthy on earth.
    Now there is no strong Turkish/North African/Afghan Muslim Empire, they rely on the protection of the west who protect them because of their oil wealth and strategic location. Now they cannot look down onto those that extracted the oil to them and militarily protect them, so instead they look down on others from poorer countries and distance themselves from non GCC Muslims because they do not want to share the burden of poverty that other Muslim countries face .
    Yes, Morocco has prostitution, which I must add in Marrakech is decreasing due to the recent economic boom, BUT many of the clients are from Saudi, as is the case in Bahrain and Dubai, and now many Saudi’s are heading to Thailand, but unfortunately for them there THEY are on the receiving end of discrimination as signs reading “Arabs (Gulf Arabs) and Indians are not welcome” are common at the entrances to many bars.
    I have never experienced discrimination from Saudi, but points to make to any Saudi who looks down on any nation is this: Israel and Saudi were formed around the same time, both on barren lands, Saudi had the advantage of oil to acquire almost unlimited wealth, Israel did not. Yet 50 years later who has produced more, who has made the biggest contribution science and technology in the fields of medicine, weapons and other areas. Which country has the better infrastructure, literacy rate, and education system, which country has better living conditions and opportunities for its average citizen and which country is more respected ( not necessarily liked). Then you can bullet point Saudis relevance to two things Islam and Oil and nothing to do with anything the people have achieved.
    1) For 1200 years, was protected, sustained and maintained by Muslim Empires only because of Makkah and Medina and its status as the birth place of Islam.
    2) For 50 years has been protected and helped by the USA because of its oil.

  13. Anon,

    Thanks for your comment, i appreciate it and enjoyed reading it :)

  14. 22.

    Hey,I’m a Saudi girl.Since I have lived in Ta’if and now in Jeddah,I agree that the western region is less racist than Najid.But,in Ta’if people always used to ask me about my origin and my cousin was called (Tarash bahar)literally sea vomit.It was not as much as in Riyadh,since Ta’if has the largest Bokhari people in the kingdom.In Jeddah,because I’ve lived in Taif,it was the other way around,even though I’m not bedouin,they assumed that I am and I’m not as modern as they are.It passes,since when they get to know you,they forget it but you still feel it.They assume that Ta’if is boring and its people are as conservative as Riyadh(which is not true)But,this is how the big cities’ people think.Also,my best friend is black (Saudi) and the other is Saudi from a Chinese origin.The first one is always laughed at (behind) and scared of (assume she’s a dangerous person)Also,Black Saudi are SO discriminated against.People say at a regular bases (nigger) From Jeddah and From Riyadh.I think this is a thing they share,they also,assume that they are not intelligent,thieves,no one would marry them (In Jeddah and Riyadh and all the regions)….It’s sad(more than Hijazi’s situation)
    The other one(Chinese),is bad but not as much,people (like they do to me) say to her sea vomit and assume (like they do to me)she is not loyal and anything bad she says is expected because she’s not an original Saudi.
    I think we Hijazis are being discriminated against a lot(positions,universities…)But Black Saudi are way worse,no one even sheds the light on this problem (Hijazi ,Najdi,tribes,non tribes) because it’s acceptable,it’s maybe the thing ALL Saudi share in common,they say it regularly (nigger,nigger look,you are as black as a nigger(this was said by a friend whose mother is Irish)I don’t want to marry a black)This problem is fundamental in here.Black Saudis are thought of as a second class,people also,don’t act nice to them except if they are successful(even approve for them to marry their daughters)
    They funny thing is that,little towns are changing unlike big cities,”poor” people are changing,unlike educated Saudis
    The other problem is foreigners.
    Unless you are a westerner,you’ll face racism
    In case of a child from a foreigner,it is the same.If it is a westerner mother,the kids won’t face racism(actually,they’ll be admired)
    But,if your mother is not a westerner or maybe a Lebanese.(South Asian,Indonesian,Egyptian)you’ll face a tough time.
    My friend in Jeddah is from an Egyptian mom,she didn’t have Saudi friends,unlike a classmate whose mom is Irish<<she was LOVED.Also,I have Egyptian friends,I was laughed at because I'm their friend(how can I dare to be friend with them??)
    It's sad,Saudis are racist and sexist.Just today,I cried so hard because of a Filipino worker,in his mid twenties, was screamed at by a Saudi guy,just because the Chef didn't make the meal faster,what's his fault?
    P.S. in my case,my mom is from a tribal origin and dad isn't,So I never felt I belong to either side,each side used to and still makes fun of us for some reason or the other.

  15. Great post.This problem is SO huge in Saudi but no one gives a F**k :/

  16. Aalia,

    having a non tribal blood is one thing and belong to a minority or being a black is worse.

    Thanks for the comment, it's so informative and honest.

    I just checked your blog and loved it. Why don't you write a post about all these incidents you and your friends have gone through. I would love to read such post .

    Thanks a lot for the beautiful comment :)

  17. Thanks,it means so much to me.I just started blogging on a regular pace,so I'll do that.Actually,I wrote about Human rights in Saudi =D
    I'm posting things that interest me and never thought anyone would care about my life *shy* Thanks again for the advice,I'll do that.P.S.I'm following your blog ;)


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