Sunday, December 2, 2007

Foreign and Domestic “Personal Services” in the Arab World (2/2)

After the problems that children face because of “careless” foreign maids, more and more articles in the Arab press and on the Web tackle another issue, that of the consequences of sexual relations which may occur with young adults, with husbands and sometimes between women.

A survey in Saudia was for example very much commentated because it says that almost 60% of the foreign maids would accept sexual intercourses before marriage. So that wise housewives do pay attention in choosing not to nice-looking maids for their home.

But maids and generally speaking female workers do not always come from non-Arab countries and it is quite easy to find on the Internet announcements for Moroccan girls “wishing a job in the Gulf”.

Normally, the business is run by private agencies but states may find it attractive too. In May 2007, an agreement between Egypt and the Saudi Kingdom was to be passed for the employment of some 120.000 “young Egyptians ladies” (less than 30 years).

For many people in Egypt, such a deal was a real scandal, an attempt to the national pride, In their articles, journalists made rather clear allusions to the sexual consequences of the sending of young Egyptian ladies behind the closed walls of foreign houses.

Hopefully enough, private houses are not the only place for unmarried sexual practices in the Arab world. Hotels and “massage parlours” are well known meeting points, and the authorities, as in the Emirates or in Jordan for example, have been obliged to change the regulations in order to channel the flow.

With the globalization of the sexual market, the local competences face more competition. A real threat for the many Moroccan “artistat” who work in Jordan for example. A phenomenon, so well-known that “Moroccan”, in modern Arabic, is largely used to mean a prostitute. Nicely enough, in French “professional” slang, “un saoudien” (a Saudi) is a client!

To read the original post in french

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