Tuesday, April 20, 2010


for the past three years that i have been in and out of riyadh, ksa i have nothing but good experiences to tell-from the people, the culture, the weather and other expats living and working here .. but just recently, i indirectly encountered some sort of discrimination (not from a saudi local but from an egyptian-i think-).

my husband and i took the kids to jarir bookstore, the kingdom's number one chain of bookstore (in the Philippines it's counterpart is National Bookstore), to shop for school supplies. we always go to jarir to buy office stuffs and we even bought our laptops there .. so i can say i'm well at ease with the place. as we stepped foot at the second floor, the kids and i headed towards the children's section while my husband split from us yet he still had his eye on us. little did i know that we were being followed by this male sales associate and really gawking at us meticulously (as what my husband observed) .. i didn't notice it 'cause i was too busy with the kids. when my husband approached me he told me what he saw .. i tried to keep my cool since we really need to get some supplies. then again, this SA was there, observing us. my husband wasn't able to control himself and approached the guy. he spoke to him in english but it seems like the SA doesn't know how to converse in english so he called a fellow SA who is a filipino .. my husband told him what happend and the filipino SA tried to explain that maybe the egyptian SA was training the newbie.my husband told him the discriminating gestures of the egyptian SA and later apologised. now why did my husband and i (later on) feel so bad and diminished? because SAs in jarir are there to assist customers but they would never be near them unless asked .. that's the SOP there .. so why in the world would this guy follow us and look at us as if we're going to shoplift? i really felt like crying that night .. sigh .. i just keep telling myself that these things really do happen, not just to us-to some, even worse .. oh well .. when will we ever have equality? = (

pic: me inside jarir bookstore (malaz) way back 2008

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