Wednesday, August 10, 2005

HOUSEMAID HORROR STORY

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;

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

WHORE!

GOD, HOW COULD I BE SO BLIND?

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

10 comments:

Leena said...

Wow, that is so terrible and sad.. :-(

TwennyTwo said...

Salaams~
Whew.

I feel bad for you sister. Try not to let this get you too down. The chamomile tea sounds like an idea. Seriously. This is bad but don't ruin your health with the rage.
It's disastrous, but you had a great solution for it... and now you know how to be with your help, and why.

Take care
TwennyTwo

BitterSweet said...

I really feel bad for you. I hope things have calmed down now.
Reading your story made me realize how different our Islamic culture (I guess she was a non-muslim)is than those of khadams majority. I really think it's a menace to our society, as alot of them are responsible not only for the house keeping, but also for the upbringing of our childeren.
I wish you'll find a better reliable one in the future

Take care

Rockin' Hejabi said...

In reply to Mr. Bittersweet...Actually, she was Muslim! A Philipina from Cotabatu (the southern part of the country where muslims are). She was sly in her methods....she wore hejab in our house at all times, modest, humble clothing around us....Apparently she was sneaking out at night between about 11pm and getting back before I got up at Fajr. The Fitna was all caused by the cell phone (she bought it herself of course we would never give our maid a phone, what for???).

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Oh, and did I mention that she was prostituting herself for 30 or 50 riyal Hala cards? Basically getting these guys to be her "sugar daddies".

She was so stupid she didn't even understand how to be a good prostitute!

Still working on the anger but feeling better....

The Dreamless Nomad said...

Wow.. that's so sad really!
I know what anger you could have. I lent a friend of mine some money he needed "badly". Turns out he used it to pay for a prostitute! Can you believe that?! So basically i paid for his Zena. Astaghferrullah.
Did i mention he never paid me back?

Umar Lee said...

I know you had a bad situation but do not that lead you to treat your employees in the unethical and unjust way that most employers in the Gulf treat their employees. Some of the rules are absurd and there is widespread abuse of maids by the Khalaijees. Classism is a real problem in the region.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Umar; Yes, there is a lot of abuse. This is such a different culture than we are accustomed to in the states. I love the Khaleejis, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it seems as though I am living in the 17th century England or something.
One thing I have learned definitely is that coming from the US it is really wrong to superimpose my cultural values on another culture that has very little in common with mine. It's like the story of Moses and Khider. Perhaps sometimes there are good reasons for certain behaviors, behaviors that in our original cutlure's context would seem barbaric, but in another culture's context would seem appropriate. I'm not defending torture, rape, murder etc. However, it's important for us all to remember that Allah is the ultimate judge, and we are only limited humans who can only see part of reality.

Qatar Cat said...

Gasp... You actually wanted to have her jailed/beaten by the police?

No comment.

But keep the kids away from her.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Qatar Cat-
Well, we were actually advised by a Qatari friend that we should have her jailed and beaten by the police. It wasn't our idea, but once we heard from a native that is well within the norms for what should be done, for a while it seemed very tempting, astaghfirlallah.
The same guy came back the next day and advised us NOT to jail her or have the police beat her...that Islam says we should be merciful, etc....Qataris are sooooo awesome and I have so much respect for them, mashallah.