“Yes, this is from abroad, you know my brother is abroad”. We frequently hear such comments which are full of pride and the tone is of such superiority as if our brother, son or relative who is abroad has entitled us with some superpowers.
The family who has somebody working abroad feel they have some superior thing at hand and they need to be proud of it. But the family usually and mostly is unaware of the conditions that the person abroad is going through.
Living in a country as an expat and working is one of the toughest things that a person experiences. When we get a call from abroad the only thing the family is concerned about making demands of luxury things that they need to send from abroad.
The family is least bothered whether the person calling from abroad has eaten anything for days or not. The family is least bothered by the conditions that the person is living in.
The people who work as laborers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Doha, UAE, Europe or anywhere else in the world live in the worst conditions that we can imagine. The people living there work from 5 in the morning to 7 in the evening to earn money so that they can send back home and satisfy their families.
Their day starts with running after the buses and tramps just to reach the workplace on time, they are in such a hurry that usually they miss on breakfast. They run to workplace hoping to chew on something when they reach.
The workload at the workplace does not allow to even think for a minute, leave aside eating anything. The lunch break is also missed in order to earn some extra riyals for the family in order to fulfill the new demand list.
The day ends with the person working around the clock and hunger pangs, the person would then pull the plastic bag or sheet from the dump spread it on the pavement and they are off to sleep. They dream of the happy faces of their family members that they will see when they get home.
They live in a constant struggle of getting work. The workers are always in tension and are subject to worries, the worries include: getting iqama, getting a work permit, getting papers completed, transfer issues, fulfilling room rent, making dinner, doing laundry etc.
The worker abroad is always suppressing his own needs to fulfill the needs back at home. They never taste KFC, Burger King or Al-baik as a mean to treat themselves as they are saving up for the family.
They want to go back home, spend some time with family, but then when they talk back home, the family comes up with another demand so this cash making machine decides to send his savings so that his family can enjoy over eid.
The scorching sun and the heat that these laborers work in standing on the glass window of the 53rd floor is unbearable.
Please before putting up the next demand list to your brother or anybody abroad do consider that they are earning this money putting their lives in extreme danger. Do consider, please.