Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Well, don’t I feel like such a sucker. All of my Qatari friends (who have lived with housemaids their whole lives and are very good at understanding how to treat them) warned me that I was being too nice to my housemaid…Taking her on outings, letting her buy herself a mobile phone, paying her medical bills, buying her clothes when she needs them etc. They warned me that if I give her an inch, she will take a mile…

Well, it turns out they were more than right!

We got a knock on the door last night at about 11pm. It was the security guard of our compound (it’s like a gated community). He kindly apologized for bothering us, but he felt he had to inform us that he had just observed (not for the first time, either!) our housemaid, Norkaida, leaving the compound in a car full of Indian men!

Now, this is the Gulf; Arabia; The Khaleej. This is perhaps the most conservative society remaining on the planet when it comes to sex.

You have to understand that this kind of behavior is forbidden in this country, and especially in my household. It’s actually illegal in Qatar to commit fornication, and this is an offense that gets both men and women put in jail, perhaps beaten by the police, and ultimately deported.

A housemaid is especially restricted when it comes to what is acceptable behavior. She isn’t allowed to go anywhere unaccompanied. She must be accompanied when going from the house on outings by her sponsor (uhm, that would be ME).

I have gone over this rule many times with my housemaid. She always nods her head and says “yes madam, I understand, I will do as you say”.

I take her EVERYWHERE with me; Parties at my girlfriends’ houses, the mall to shop with me, to restaurants, everywhere. She is with me or a member of our family from the moment we wake up until I go to sleep.

Norkaida even told me in a conversation once, nonchalantly over tea while we were cooking together in my kitchen, that she became a housemaid because her family wanted her to get married. She decided that kind of thing was not for her; a man, babies, etc.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.
I feel so betrayed and angry.

My husband even had a long talk with her when she first began working for us, about how she’s forbidden to have a boyfriend(s), that she cannot go anywhere without us, etc. She nodded her head and said “yes sir, I understand, I will do as you say, no boyfriends and I don’t go anywhere alone”.

Blah blah blah, the short of it is this; we have proof that she has been sleeping around. This is more than a big problem.

As one of our favorite Qatari friends stated, this is more than a big mistake,
this is a disaster!

She confessed to fornication with (at least) 2 men; I have proof that she has called (on my land-line, to mobile phones) over 40 men since she began living in our house to work for us as our Khedama.

God only knows what she’s been doing.
So, I looked inside her mobile phone ( I'm so stupid for letting her have this). Inside the phone is the proof; She's been sending pictures of herself all sexy, posing in her underwear (that qualifies as pornography here). The list of transgressions seems neverending...
It really makes me wonder why she came here, and not Saigon or Bangkok? I guess that's just my anger talking. I'm pretty adrenalin-ized right now. 24 hours of it raging can make one delerious. Perhaps I should just call it quits and drink some chamomile tea and go to bed.
This all makes me so freaking angry. I haven’t slept in about 24 hours now. After the news last night we confronted her and she lied. Too many lies, lies lies lies.
It’s all over. I can never respect her or trust her ever again.

With the MERCIFUL and KIND advice of our dear Qatari friend who made us come to our senses from our cloud of anger and resentment, we decided not to have her arrested/jailed/beaten by the police.
Instead, we will ask the immigration department to blacklist her and deport her. She will leave Thursday night, Inshallah.

I have so many emotions and thoughts racing through me;

...and most of all guilt for getting this job and for putting my sweet babies in the care of a



Astaghfirlallah for my bad thoughts, and I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005



I heard recently that Westerners being hired to come to work in Qatar by the Asian Games 2006 are not being offered free housing, free electricity, or free water.

The people doing the hiring must work for a Western company that totally doesn’t understand how things work best in Qatar. I know the Qataris would take care of their workers; they always have, and I assume that they always will.

A British girl contacted us through the internet a few days ago, asking for advice about her job offer with the Asian Games 2006. They offered maybe a 5 % higher salary in an attempt to compensate for the housing benefits they were not going to provide for her.

These benefits have been the golden standard that have lured Westerners here for a very long time. These free benefits are a major part of what makes living in Qatar so wonderful for most Westerners.

I advise anyone offered a higher salary in an attempt to lure them to come to Doha, instead of these free housing benefits, not to come, unless it’s double the original salary offered (pretty rare).

The housing here is getting very expensive, even for Qatari nationals. A lot of my Qatari friends are waiting until after the Asian Games to start construction on their new houses, hoping that prices for construction labor will go back to normal. Inshallah.

Prices for everything are going up because of high rent.

It used to be, even a year ago, that getting furniture made by hand from the carpenters was more economical and of a higher quality than buying ready-made furniture. Not so now.Even the lowest of the low in Doha must pay rent, and they have to compensate for the rent increases somehow….so, it comes in the form of higher prices for their labor and products.

I heard also from this same girl offered the job with the Asian Games that they were telling her she could find nice housing for between QR 1,500-3,000. Now this girl is British….I doubt anything she can find at that price will suit her standard of living! She would have to live in the very poor squatter-town or else have 1 or more roommates to get this price.

Very misleading….Shame, shame, shame, on the Asian Games!