Two stories on domestic house servants, from the Arabian peninsula.
Death row maid seeks king' intervention to save her
JEDDAH: A 27-year-old Indonesian maid on death row for murdering her sponsor’s brother in Riyadh has called on Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to save her from execution.
Tawir, currently imprisoned in Al-Malaz prison in Riyadh after being convicted four years ago, was told the father and his cousin were willing to accept SR2 million in blood money as long as it was paid within six months. If the amount was not paid by then, the execution would be carried out.
Tawir, a mother of a four-year-old girl, is calling on King Abdullah to intervene in her case.
The maid’s victim died from internal bleeding after she hit him on the head. She claimed she was defending herself, but failed to prove this in court.
Naseer Dandani, legal adviser to the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, said Tawir is hoping the generosity of King Abdullah will save her.
The Riyadh governorate and the Indonesian Embassy have been discussing the case for some time.
A committee that aims to reconcile victims’ families to accept blood money and secure pardon for convicted murderers was able to offer a permanent stay of execution for Tawir as long as she paid the SR2 million.
However, a copy of the committee’s letter seen by Arab News states that the maid is to pay the money within six months or she will be executed.
By FATIMA SIDIYA
Gossiping maids create headaches for families
When people employ maids at their homes, they are often faced with the dilemma of how to treat them. Should they treat them like part of the family and speak about all issues in front of them, or should they be tight-lipped?
Noura Ali, a Syrian doctor and mother of a 12-year-old boy, believes that sometimes maids spread home secrets without being aware. “My maid has been with me for three years. I leave her at home for long periods of time. I consider her an integral part of the family. She knows me better than anyone else,” said Ali.
“However, giving her freedom and allowing her to know my secrets made her a more deciding power in my house than me,” she added.
“One day I met a neighbor in the elevator. She asked me about my work hours and how I balance my time and take care of my son’s education. I found the question strange, especially since we hardly have a relationship and never indulge in deep conversations,” she said.
“Later on, I visited her to find out more. She then told me that her maid told her about my son’s poor performance in the recent exams. The maid also told her that I don’t have enough time to take an interest in my son’s education,” she added.
Ali said sometimes maids divulge secrets without knowing. She believes that maids have nothing important to talk about and that is why they speak about their employers and their families with other maids.
Mesbah Al-Sheikh, a Saudi teacher and mother of five, said all maids suffer from a bad habit: gossiping about their employers.
Al-Sheikh said that whenever she tells her maid a secret, she spreads rumors based on it.
“My maid used to visit my neighbor’s home and was asking them to give her part-time work,” said Al-Sheikh.
“At the beginning, I was unaware of what she was doing. Later I found out that she was working for my neighbors and speaking badly about me and my husband. She told the neighbors that we weren’t paying her and that she needed extra work to make money,” she said.
Al-Sheikh said that a neighbor then complained to the landlord. “My husband met the landlord at the mosque. He told my husband that a neighbor had complained that our maid was always visiting them and asking for work and money. He also said that the maid had been spreading rumors about us,” she added.
The maid had been telling people that she was not being provided with food to eat, a salary and a room to sleep in.
Hind Radi, a housewife and mother of three, once asked a friend to find a maid who then spread rumors about her.
“My friend brought a maid who was her maid’s friend. Whenever my friend visited me, the two maids would sit together in the kitchen. After five months, the maid escaped. Then my friend called and said that the maid was claiming I would get a lot of male guests at home who would insult her,” said Radi.
“She’d also been telling the other maid things about my personal life. She said that I would always fight with my husband and that I’m always nervous … the maid had focused on me being nervous. I know that I am nervous but it doesn’t mean I’m always fighting with my husband,” she added.
By DIANA AL-JASSEM