Dr. Sami Alrabaa
2009 / 4 / 24
Some students at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany are human rights activists. As students of “Arab Sociology” they chose a project through which they wanted to investigate how petrodollar Arabs ill-treat their maids.
They checked with some first-class hotels and found “treasure troves” of abuse. Daniel, one of those students, said, “It was not difficult to find cases of abuse and slavery by petrodollar Arab tourists.”
Maids of petrodollar tourists are usually from the Philippine or India. The German students met some of them in hotel lobbies. Daniel spoke to one of them – Corazon, a trained school teacher back in the Philippines. She works as a maid for a Saudi Prince by the name “Mit’eb Bin Faisal Al Saud.”
As Corazon was supervising the kids of the Prince in the lobby, Daniel approached her and engaged her in small talk. She was very happy to be spoken to by a polite German.
Daniel learned that Corazon works for 24 hours a day and does not get one single day off. She has been working for the Saudi family for two years. Over these years she received only $ 300, which she sent to her family back in Mindanao. “This is one third of the sum the Prince pays for one single night in the hotel. I’m supposed o get $90 per month, but I have not.” Corazon said with tears in her eyes. “It is hell. I want to see my children,” she gasped.
Daniel met Corazon several times. She also told him that the “madam,” one of the Prince’s wives – he has four of them – beats her if she is not “quick” enough. “I don’t understand the world. She is religious and prays five times a day and yet she severely beats me with her shoes. She never says, ‘Thank you.’ What kind of a religious person is this?”
Corazon also told Daniel that the Prince sends his wife away for shopping with the children. “Then he plays pornographic movies and forces me to have sex with him and act like those women in the movie. This is disgusting. By the way, he is also religious and prays five times a day.”
Corazon added, “I feel like a slave, a prostitute, but for free. They treat me like a slave. I asked the Prince and his wife to fire me and let me go home, even without money. I don’t want their money. I’m yearning to see me three children and husband. I cry every day. I have not seen them for two years. The Prince confiscated my passport and I cannot leave without it. I contacted my embassy in Riyadh, but they told me, I cannot leave without my passport. The personnel at the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia are corrupt. They get enough money from the Saudis to hush up cases like mine. And I don’t have money to bribe them.”
Corazon appealed to Daniel to help her. She wanted to seek asylum in Germany. Daniel discussed Corazon’s case with his colleagues, and all decided to help her. They went to the nearest police station in Berlin and talked to the officer in charge. He told them, “It is a difficult case. We had several cases like this in the past. Saudi princes usually carry diplomatic passports and enjoy immunity, and managed to get away with their abuse of their maids. You can try it. You can help the girl apply for asylum. But I’m telling you, you’ll fail. And she will also fail to get asylum.”
Daniel was determined to help Corazon. On December 20, 2008, as the Prince and his wife were out shopping, Corazon left the hotel in Daniel’s car. He drove her to the same police station and helped her fill out an asylum form.
About three hours later, as the Prince and his wife arrived in the hotel and did not find Corazon, they alerted the Saudi Embassy. The Saudi ambassador – accompanied by Saudi security men and a German lawyer – asked the hotel’s top manager to review all movements around the hotel recorded by security cameras installed everywhere in and around the hotel. Suddenly they saw Corazon entering a car. The car number was jotted down and all drove to the nearest police station to file a kidnapping case against the owner of the car.
The Saudi Embassy’s lawyer urged the police to pursue the case and drive them to the residence of the “Kidnapper.” The police had no other choice. They drove to where Daniel was residing, in a student’s flat in Berlin.
To make a long story short, the police found Corazon in that flat. The Saudi Ambassador snatched her and she was driven back to the hotel. Daniel was arrested and accused of kidnapping Corazon. Corazon was so intimidated and scared that she did not utter a word. For the Saudis and the police that was a “happy ending.”
Christopher, a friend who works for both the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a security man, told me the German government issued instructions to law enforcement on how to avoid diplomatic crises with the Saudis within the current economic and financial crisis. “The West needs the Saudi petrodollars.” Christopher said.
Tim, another German student doing a similar project, discovered another case of abuse. This time it is a Kuwaiti, a former member of parliament and a filthy rich businessman who has several supermarkets in Kuwait and Lebanon. His name is Khaled Bin Sultan Al Issa.
When Tim mentioned his name, I said, “I think I know the man.” I showed him a picture of Mr. Al Issa. Tim said, “It’s him.”
Although he is a vociferous Islamist in parliament and in the Kuwaiti society at large, he imports alcohol and pork from Germany for his outlets in Lebanon
. This was confirmed by a German business partner.
Disguised as business people seeking partners in Kuwait, Tim and Mathias went to the Chamber of Industry and Trade in Hamburg. There they received a list of business partners in Kuwait. Al Issa’s name was also on the list.
Tim and his colleague Mathias ob forerved Al Issa in the hotel lobby. One day they engaged him in small talk and invited him to a night club. He welcomed the idea. In the night club he drank alcohol and danced wildly.
This is not the same Al Issa who writes in Kuwaiti newspapers urging the state to introduce Shari’a. But he is the same as many other radical Muslims who do not practice what they preach. In public they preach “piety” and hatred against the infidels, but privately they commit the same sins they condemn, as well as exploit people.
In Hamburg, Al Issa resided in a first-class hotel (September 12-20, 2008) with two of his wives and a maid from the Philippines, Gloria.
Gloria told Tim a similar appalling experience like Corazon. She has been working for Al Issa for more than three years and received only $500, although according to her contract she is supposed to get $90 a month. Her pay has always been postponed. Besides, she is often sexually abused by Mr. Al Issa.
Gloria managed with the help of Tim to submit an asylum application and stay in Hamburg. Four months later her application was rejected and she was deported back to Kuwait, to her employer Al Issa, “To hell,” as she later wrote to Tim.
Al Issa’s German lawyer had filed charges against Gloria alleging that she was recruited by a night club in St. Pauli as a prostitute. Further, “There was no justification whatsoever for granting her asylum. She is not persecuted in her home country, the Philippines.” The police told Tim.
“But why did you deport her to Kuwait and not to the Philippines?” asked Tim angrily. The police said, “No comment!” Then Tim shouted, “Stop supporting slavery!”
Tim was also warned by Al Issa’s lawyer not to contact the media. He and Daniel contacted me and wanted me to publicize the above cases of abuse.
Tim wrote to several members of the Bundestag (parliament), but he received either no reply, or “sorry” replies.
Khaled Bin Sultan Al Issa
German politics, particularly as far as human rights are concerned, are hypocritical. For example, while Frank Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, declared several times that Germany is ready to welcome Guantanamo detainees/terrorists, German authorities reject asylum seekers who really deserve refuge and protection.
Abusers of human rights are welcome in Germany but not their victims. German politicians and mainstream media were full of praise to the sheikhs of Abu Dhabi for supporting Mercedes with $2 billion in the current economic and financial crisis. And negotiations are under way to attract Saudi and Qatari investors to salvage bankrupt German car companies like Opel.
With their billions of petrodollars the Arab sheikhs have so far succeeded in silencing critics of the Saudi regime and the other Emirates at the Persian Gulf. Although the whole world is aware of the fact that Saudi Arabia funds and supports spreading Wahhabi Islam, which incites to hatred and violence against non-Muslims and non-Sunnis across the world, and treats its foreign workers as slaves, business as usual for the West – including Germany – obviously comes first, not human rights.
Think of Tony Blair who stopped a corruption case in an arms deal (of $20 billion) with Saudi Arabia, in which Prince Bandar Bin Sultan was involved. Blair argued, prosecuting the case would jeopardize the British arms industry and thousands of jobs.
Jürgen Möllemann, former chairman of the German Free Democratic Party, committed suicide in 2003 as his secrete accounts were discovered in Switzerland. Some of the money stored in these accounts came from the Saudis. In my presence, as I was translating for him in Riyadh in 1995, he received from Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh, a check of $40 million.
My book Die Tyrannei der tausend Prinzen (The Tyranny of Thousand Princes) was deliberately ignored by the German mainstream media under the pressure of Möllemann and his retainers.
Money comes and goes, but lack of ethics and hypocrisy remain part of the legacy of those who practice them. For some politicians, political survival transcends political correctness.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Sami Alrabaa is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. He has taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University. He also writes for the Jerusalem Post.