Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I was born in Saudi Arabia, though I am not Saudi. My parents were Indian and so I am Indian as well. I wasn't given the option of choosing my nationality at birth, none of us are. For the rest of our lives , usually, we are branded by the color of our passports along with the color of our skin. I have lived in Saudi Arabia for the majority of my life, so I guess I can say I have earned my opinion on the place and the people that live here.
Based on a lifetime of experience I have this to say about the people: Blah (This is a generalization, some of them are actually quite nice)
This blog posting stems from what happened yesterday at the gym. Usually during prayer time, Muslims pray 5 times a day, some of the gym lights are turned off. This encourages people to come and pray. After finishing the evening prayers my brother and I decided we would finish our billiards game before we went down to the pool. Just as I started lining up the qeue to try and corner a ball one of the desk guys, there seem to be about 6-7 of them for some reason when 1 or 2 would do, started shouting at one of the workers. The worker just happened to be Bangladeshi and the guy screamed and yelled at him for about a minute for turning on the ligth 10 seconds too early. I was too dumbstruck to say or do anything. He made fun of his Arabic accent when the guy said "Aasif", sorry in Arabic. When I say shouted and screamed I mean public humiliation, the gym was full of people and this guy was shouting his head of just because the other guy wouldn't say anything in response. What an as**ole. I should have stepped in but I didn't. Next time, if there is a next time, I plan to step in between and just stare at him. If he throws the first punch, great! I am a customer after all and the customer is always right.
In other news I have started programming in php, not that bad really, I think I like the way it declares variables.


Blogger K.M.B said...


another IIT guy. you guys are all over the place. I miss chicago and hate Riyadh. I wish I can go back.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Kiat said...

I always remind myself that the next time when something similar happens again I'll step up and I always fail to do that.

I miss the old days (like when you are a kid) when I really have nothing to lose to say the right thing and don't give a shit if everyone else think you're crazy to not mind your own business:\

btw, Blogger beta is out! I am quite excited with all the new features! You switch yet?

1:09 PM  
Blogger syed said...

thanks for stopping by KMB, do you any other folks from IIT here in Saudi Arabia? I miss Chicago too, but more the people than the place.
Kiat: I agree, it's hard to do the right thing, but eventually we will get it rigth. (by we I mean human beings) The old days were awesome, I would probably have gotten into a fist fight with that guy in the good old days.

11:17 PM  
Blogger AhMeD said...

First of all let me salute you! You live in Riyadh and you didn't commit suicide yet! :P
As a Saudi I must admit it: We have a lot of problems to deal with!
The majority of Saudis suffer from the "God Syndrome." For some reason they believe that they are better than the rest of God's people! They pass their ego from generation to generation.
Not only do they discriminate against poorer people, they also discriminate against Shia Saudis, women, and even against themselves!
The majority of them come from Gaseem, the northern area of Saudi, and they habitat Riyadh too. I'm making a generalization cause there are lots of good, nice people from Riyadh and Gaseem.

It's pretty pathetic how we claim to be an "Islamic" country while our way of life is anything but what the teachings of Islam ask for…

The world is in an ever-ending state of change… Who knows, maybe one day that guy's children will be serving the Bangladeshi's children in Bangladesh.

Great blog btw :D

6:09 AM  
Blogger syed said...

tThanks for stopping by Ahmad and for the thoughtfull comments, I was unecessarily harsh on Saudi Arabia in that post. There is racism in every part of the world Saudi Arabia, USA, India, Romania, Japan, China and the rest of the world. You make some really good points and I guess it is the Islamic nation part that gets to me the most. If people claim to follow the teachings of Islam and then openly discriminate against someone it speaks volumes about their charachter.

7:09 AM  
Blogger yinyogi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:25 AM  
Blogger yinyogi said...

I can't believe how some people behave all over the world.

I would like to think that sort of incident wouldn't happen in Ireland as we are an OVERLY (an alot of times not in a good way) politically correct society. You would be arrested nearly if you behaved like that here.

That said there is still plenty of rascism here I'm sure, probably just not in such a public way..but hey maybe I'm being naive!

Who do people like this think they makes me SOOO angry!!

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Uzair said...

Heh, I feel like that last sentence was thrown in for my benefit ;)

Yeah, give him a killer look next time. But your killer looks drove the girls nuts at IIT, so make sure he doesn't misinterpret you...

10:27 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Yin: I agree, the way some people act just makes your inside squirm. I wonder if being racist but not showing is better than being a racist and showing it. I mean a society that has rules in place for something like that has to be better than a a place that has no rules for such acts of stupidty.

Uzair: The last comment was thrown in only for you. I doubt anybody else besides Kiat and you even care about how variables are declared. I could try giving him the killer look but the way he stares at the people who come in the gym might just give him enough motivation to come out of the closet.

12:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home