A lot of our Filipinos are working abroad. In fact, more than a million OFWs strive abroad for them to provide for their families better. While it’s such a fruitful thing, it’s something that needs extreme caution and risk as well. Most of us are unaware of the offenses we might do to other people to their cultures and indifference; it could also be religion. A big chunk of our workers is currently working as OFWs in Saudi Arabia. As most of us know, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines are two countries with a lot of differences. Which is why our OFWs should be extra careful in making race-sensitive jokes.
A lot of Filipinos don’t know this but making such comments could put them into a lot of trouble. Nationals of Saudi Arabia take it as a grave offense if their religion and race is the topic – it’s worse if it’s through jokes. So, if you’re expats or OFWs in Saudi Arabia, avoid making jokes or comments about how the Nationals are.
What started the Arabs’ infuriation?
A specific tweet heightened the anger of Arabs in Saudi Arabia. Twitter users spread a picture of a shop where it said “Saudi Cashier On Duty: Absent on this shift.” Arabs saw this as an insult to the Saudi employee and they took it very seriously. The shop, Sun and Sand Sports, was the shop in the photo and the worker had it put up. It immediately became viral last Tuesday, 3rd of July, 2018.
This specific tweet sparked the wrath and anger of Arabs and this was escalated to the kingdom’s ministry of labor and social development. They’ve decided to ban the expat from working in Saudi Arabia ever again. Imagine the negative implications these things do not just to an individual but also to the country where the expat is from.
Khalid Aba al-Khail, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labor and Social Development said:
It has been proven that the abuser is a foreign worker at the facility. The maximum penalty will be imposed on the expatriate, including preventing him from working in the kingdom.”
The Al Shams and Sands Sports Company wholeheartedly apologized to the kingdom and the citizens. They said that their company overall is against racism and that the action was just necessary. Nevertheless, the retail store will be the one responsible for this occurrence because the employee was a part of their program, said the spokesman.
So, OFWs in Saudi Arabia should be very careful when making jokes or comments because Arabs could look at it at an insult to them, their religion, and to their community.