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Disturbing Article in Qatar's "The Peninsula" Describes Maids as Lazy Liars

On March 11, 2010

The Peninsula, self-proclaimed as "Qatar's leading English daily" published a report today about domestic workers in the emirate. The article, titled "Finding housemaids not an easy job" refers to foreign maids as expensive commodities and describes them as lazy liars. The egregious violations of the human rights of those maids are either mentioned in passing without any judgment or described as necessary.

Here are the relevant passages from this awful article:

The demand for housemaids is on the rise in the country, but problems persist on the supply side since several other Arab countries as well as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore are emerging as major employers of domestic help.

These countries have in place laws regulating the wages, daily working hours and weekly rest days for maids, besides the fact that the remunerations there are high. “So most maids prefer to head to these countries making things difficult for us,” a local manpower agency owner Saq Ghanim told Al Sharq.


The embassy of the Philippines here says although the standard monthly wage of a Filipina maid is fixed at $400, the average one gets is half the amount.


Many new licencees are not experienced in recruiting maids and bring over just about any young woman supplied by a recruiting agency in a major manpower exporting country.

“The result is that maids who come here run away barely days after being delegated to a family,” said Al Marri.

A maid who has not undergone basic orientation training in her home country to work in this part of the world, gets fed up easily and either runs away from her employers or comes back to the agency looking to be delegated to some other household, or worse, wants to return home.

For new maids coming here it is sort of a fun trip. They come here and want to go back home barely a few days after serving a household,” said Ali Al Khwaja, also from the manpower recruitment trade.


According to Ghanim, most families do not allow maids to carry mobile phones fearing that they may get in contact with men outside and have an affair. “Then, there are maids who complain of harassment by their employers no sooner than they have begun working in a family,” he pointed out.