By Abdulrazaq O. Hanzat
In recent time, we have seen and heard women, particularly African women calling on the world to rescue them from what they described as slavery in Middle East.
Middle East comprises of countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar etc
In some of these audio and video alarms being raised by the victims, these women, who are mostly domestic workers, maids etc often accused their employers of rape, sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, slave labour and so on.
While the narrative usually assumes that this is only happening to the victims because they are immigrants from developing countries, the reality is that, that may not necessarily be the case.
Available evidences show that, women generally are being subjected to various acts of oppression, abuse and subjugation in the Middle East.
Using Dubai as an example.
In year 2000, precisely 19 years ago, 18 year-old Shamzah Almaktoum, daughter of Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Muhammed Almaktoum escaped from Dubai to UK, over what she described as extreme oppression of women, by her father and his government.
Even though she is the daughter of ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of UAE, 18 years old Shamzah at the time, seems to have had enough of the mistreatment of herself as a woman in a country, where her father is the ruler, leading to her escape to UK.
Unfortunately, the father eventually sent kidnappers to abduct her from UK and return her to Dubai, which they did, kept her in isolation and has remained there till date under extreme emotional torture.
8 years later, precisely in 2008, Shamzat’s kid sister, Latifah Almoktoum also attempted to escape from UAE.
She was caught at Dubai’s border and returned to the country.
Like her older sister, Latifat was also kept in solitary confinement for 3years, 4 months, before being allowed to relate with her mother and other family members.
However, Latifat didn’t want to give up her quest for freedom against mistreatment of women in her father’s country.
Last year, she executed her planned escape for the second time and she partially succeeded.
However, even though she successfully left UAE, her greatest mistake was massaging her family back home while still on the Indian shore.
Before getting to her destination in India before crossing over, she was located through air and sea surveillance and abducted by a naval military team sent by her father.
Fortunately for her, she did an exclusive video before embarking on this mission, explaining everything about her father and his many atrocities.
Her whereabout till date remains unknown, but her recorded video is being used by her friends to advocate for her.
As if that wasn’t enough, another major escape happened just last month.
In July 2019, Haya Almoktoum, the wife of Muhammad Almaktoum, Prime Minister of UAE also fled Dubai to UK, where she’s currently hiding. She already filed for divorce in UK.
The point here is that, if the wife and female children of Dubai and UAE ruler are facing such an extreme situation, requiring them to seek escape from a country, where they are immediate members of the first family, just imagine what ordinary women in such country would be going through, not to talk of mere female immigrants?
So, while the alarm being raised by immigrant women, particularly those from Nigeria should be taken very seriously by our government, we must understand that the general status of women, in that part of the world, is far from being what it should.
This is why i am compelled to advise women, particularly young ladies to resist temptation of being lured to travel out of this country, particularly to Middle East.
The grass is not usually greener on the other, but many didn’t know until they become victims of their own circumstances.
Please, stay and work where you have legitimate rights to work with dignity. Stay where you can access family and social support.
The world is cruel, don’t be it’s victim
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 908 6937 780 or send i-witness report directly to me on email@example.com.