Dual Obsessions: Americans and Gas Prices, Saudis and Foreign Housemaid Prices………


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No, no es amor, lo que tu sientes, se llama obsecion,
una ilusion en tu pensamiento, que te hace hacer cosas, asi
funciona el corazon…………
  Obsession (Aventura)

The chairman of the National Recruitment Committee of the Saudi Council of Chambers expects the recruitment of housemaids from foreign countries to cost between SR15,000 and SR17,000 when the new recruitment companies start working, Al-Hayat newspaper reported yesterday. Saad Al-Baddah said this figure would include the cost of recruitment and travel, but not the salaries, which would be fixed later. Al-Baddah said the Saudi Recruitment Company, which was established by a number of investors, would commence operations in June. “Procedures of its establishment are currently being completed,” he said. Al-Baddah said the company had received a number of applications for recruitment due to the current market for housemaids. “The company, however, will not commit to any of these requests until it starts operations,” he explained. He said so far, there were no new developments in the stoppage of recruitment of housemaids from Indonesia and the Philippines, but he expected recruitment from these two Southeast Asian countries………...”

People are really the same all over the world. They may dress differently, talk differently, even eat differently, but when it comes to basics they are all the same. Take the American gasoline obsession and the Saudi (and Gulfie) obsession with cheap housemaids. There are  lot of similarities there.
Saudi Arabia has been having serious trouble recruiting Asian or African housemaids to come and work in the kingdom. There have been many reported cases of abuse, and some of these countries have at times cut off the ‘traffic’ (the pun was just too good to miss). Several of these women have been executed by beheading, others are on death row. The government had sent official missions around looking for new and cheap sources of housemaids. With the emphasis on cheap. Now it looks like they have agreed to raise the wages. A serious shortage of maids would be the last straw for the people: they may decide that they will join the rest of the Arab world in rebellion after all.
This is no different from the dilemma of the American government with the price of gasoline (benzene). A per-gallon price of gasoline over $5 may doom Mr. Obama to a one-term presidency. I know, I know, the Republicans are ‘influential’ in keeping gasoline prices high, but that is just politics. Yet the USA depends on foreign oil just as the Saudis depend on foreign housemaids. Actually, Americans dependence on foreign oil is less, it is not as total a dependence as the Saudi (or Gulf) dependence on Asian and African housemaids.

Just as Obama may lose the election if the price of gas exceeds $5, the Saudi king may lose his election if the price of housemaids exceeds so many riyals.  Still, I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton’s visit to Riyadh is for doing the ‘umrah‘ pilgrimage. I doubt that it has to do with gasoline prices either but I can be wrong.