American expat in Saudi:
Executions happen on Friday. If you accidentally walk up to the crowd and look foreign, they will clear a way and push you to the front of the group. I don’t know why they do this. I asked one of my Saudi counterparts, and he said that it was to show how efficient their justice system is. I personally felt like it was more of an intimidation thing, but I can see both sides of the coin. I’m just glad I didn’t hurl in front of all those Saudis.
The Saudis definitely were not welcoming hosts. I mean, I had a chauffeur, a great place to live, and a fat paycheck, but they make it very clear that they are “above” you. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like a servant status if you are a westerner working there.
I almost forgot. Homosexuals 100% get killed there. It’s no joke. It reminded me of V for Vendetta. Just being accused of being a homosexual is a death sentence.
Native of Saudi:
Not many restrictions in childhood iirc and no stark differences in treatment between males and females. Once I hit puberty, things took a turn for the worst. I was not allowed to socialize with the other sex. Any females I used to play with as a child, I could no longer treat them the way as before. I couldn’t talk to them or be alone with them. Otherwise it would be assumed that I was after something sexual. I was basically treated as a horny animal who is not to be trusted around girls. And girls, pick up on this too and learn to be afraid of the other sex. Needless to say you couldn’t date or get to know the other sex. Schools, government offices, restaurants, mosques were all segregated. Shops and malls were policed and at some point, young males were outright banned from entering malls. If you’re a saudi single male, you’re constantly reminded of how undesirable you are. The country has nothing to offer for fun. No cinemas, of course no bars or clubs. Nothing but dining and shopping and some other few things. And in most of these places you’re greeted with a sign telling you, you’re not welcome. For families only. I spent my teenage years driving with friends on the streets, smoking shisha and spending time in one of my friends’ house. I do realize that despite how shitty this was, women had it worse. At the very least I didn’t need permission to do most of this stuff and if I had messed up, my family wouldn’t have come down on me so hard.
Another expat in Saudi:
Odd experience – While grocery shopping, muslim women would drop notes in your shopping cart. Comments were about doing anything to leave, meet me in America and will marry you, etc., etc..
Workers from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, etc., would be treated like dogs. Pay was about the equivalent of $125.00 a month. Heard horrible stories.
Had one co-worker gunned down in the street by terrorists.
Military contractor in Afghanistan:
In Afghanistan it was a daily occurrence to come across self described “deeply religious” clerics who took great pride in their “understanding” of sharia law. I remember one of our mechanics watching as the cleric lost his shit over catching a glance of a woman’s ankle and then 30 minutes later laughed as he called one of the tea boys over to bring him his noon time tea, before proceeding to molest the boy in the back room for an hour or so. It was a daily occurrence. He was respected in the community so he was untouchable. It was by no means an isolated incident. By their logic the tea boys (whom were generally orphans) were property and not people. So it was not a sin to molest them. Yet seeing a woman’s ankles would get them all worked up and everything would stop while they would go pray and wash and renew themselves.
Expat in Qatar:
The main issue is getting raped, particularly by a local. If you are sexually assaulted by an Emirati, just leave the country. Cut your losses, get the medical help and counselling you need in your home country, but don’t bother pursuing it. Because the perpetrators will almost certainly get off scot free and you (as a woman) may get imprisoned for sex before marriage. As a raped man it may even be worse if you got charged with homosexuality, even if you were straight.
Saudi native (female):
I really struggled with freedom of movement. We didn’t have a driver, and my brother hated driving me around, so I ended up not leaving the house for months at a time expect for school, uni or work. When I started saving up and later earning money, I would take taxis after I kept going late to work because of my brother. I got sexually harassed by a taxi driver a few times, and I always made sure I’d write down the car plate number, registration number, and if possible the driver’s name and phone number. One time was pretty bad that I called the police and told them what had happened. I told them I knew the driver’s details, but all I was given was “for your own sake, keep this to yourself.” I later made the mistake of telling my mom what happened, minus the police incident and that I had the driver’s details. I made her promise not to tell any of my brothers, but she went ahead and told them. They treated me like a gullible idiot for not taking down the driver’s details, and ever since then, I wasn’t allowed to take taxis or be with a driver by myself, which resulted in my forced isolation at home again. Thing is, I didn’t give them the driver’s details because I knew they would have just gone and beat him up, and I didn’t want that bullshit, but I dug own grave by trusting my mother.
Several commenters discussing slavery:
I’m from India, and a colleague of my father was once telling me and my sister about the people who go to work in Dubai, a representative of some rich guy will go to some village, basically paint a very beautiful picture about the life in Emirates, basically ‘buying’ people in bulk, over there they are treated like shit and make about enough money to send a little home but not enough to go back there.
You get fucked over the day your passport gets confiscated. Most Indians who leave for work there are poor and illiterate. When they reach there the employer takes their passport away. And then to leave the country you need an exit visa to be signed by your employer (not happening anytime soon). The Indian Embassy does conduct efforts to rescue expats in such situations
Source: Friend who worked at a company that worked with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to help expats come home safely.
In response to “India, Bangladesh actively collaborate with the enslavement of their own citizens”:
As an Indian, I can say this is categorically false. If you approach the Indian Embassy they’ll do everything to help you. The problem is that most of these migrants are illiterate and know nothing about their rights and thus are unable to utilise these options, I suggest you to look up the Indian external affairs ministry’s work in saving multiple citizens from Saudi Arabia and UAE.