Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I was told about this big company where they need Saudi girls. I was thrilled that finally I might be getting a decent job.
I sent my CV and was contacted 3 days later and I was like (wow what a fast place, I think it’s your lucky day DoDi) I went to this tower and got in the left that took me to the 66th floor. I tell you people it was amazing.. Rock and Roll baby@@ Money talks.
Anyway I went to the receptionist, gave the guy my name and waited for my interview. SO FAR SO GOOD “I was telling myself” AND I WAS NAIVE!!!
in time for my meeting this girl asked me to follow her, took me into a room and asked me to take off my 3abayia and scarf………….. I was like………………….
I said sorry, she asked if I am mo7ajabah and I replied with a big stupid smile on my face YES!! She said (Sorry but as you can see that this is our work environment!!, so do you want to go through with the interview or not?!!!!!!) Well people I was SPEECHLESS.. Without any further details just because they are useless at this point.. I stayed only 10 minutes.. left the Damn place and for the first time in my life I felt humiliated in a way that I never experienced before L
For the first time I am rejected because of my religion and for the first time I felt exactly what do woman in France and Turkey and other places go through just because they are MUSLIMES!!


Talal said...

This is really sad some people think that the only way to fight extreme conservatism is with extreme liberalism. Not only that but their “you’re either with us 100% or you’re against us” mentality is apparent in both these schools of thought.

The true key is finding the middle ground where we would appreciate, respect and accept other people’s views instead of trying to force ours on them.

Sadly it seems we still have along way to go in this respect.

I think Hijab is something that is between ALLAH and a girl, blackmailing her (by promising her a job or scaring her into believing that she will not get married …etc) will not change mentalities. If something doesn’t come from the heart and out of belief it loses its purpose.

PS. A truly professional company would not have allowed such a discriminating rule to be even considered. In the US & Europe for instance such an act would be considered a violation of employment laws and leaves a company open to discrimination suits.

ordinary girl said...

huh!! tell me about it!! well Talal am not over it yet.. whenever i think of that interview i go mad.. I still cannot believe i was judged by my Hijab and not by my qualifications!!

Hani said...

Well DoDi… join the club, it is not in Saudi Arabia, it is almost everywhere now. In Jordan a girl with Hijab has a less chance to be hired than a one without it, especially if her job was to gain clients or do sales, she –in this case- should show her beauty and use it to achieve the sales and the customer attraction!!!

On another point of view, it was noticed that a girl with no Hijab is more flexible and easier to deal with, for example she can stay for late hours and she has no problem in dealing with men. I am not saying all, but the impression is as described.

Talal I will have to disagree with you, professionalism has nothing to do with this issue. Have you heard about the dress code?! Imagine you go to your work with jeans a t-shirt on a day where you have a meeting with an important client… would they allow you to walk in? Same thing goes for Hijab, it is considered as a forbidden dress code in some companies.
And I am of course against all this…

DoDi, I hope that losing this job is their loss and your win to be in a better place soon inshallah. Good Luck!

Immortality said...

lol.. No comment!

ordinary girl said...

Thanks a lot Hani, but it's true that u can sue the company for such an action.. Unfortunately not here!!
and no one has the right ever to ask any Muslim girl to take off her Hijab and really they can keep their stupid job and take a hike!!

SaudiEve said...

"Two Can Play That GAME"

Well, this kind of thing happens all the time here in Saudi yet passes unnoticed cause it happens the other way around.. usualy it is the conservatives dectating how female employees should dress according to thier personal opinion. so i guess in a country where this kind of conduct is tolerated it was only a matter of time until others join in.

ordinary girl said...

hala Saudieve, long time no see.. how have you been? good i hope.
Well, this is life!! the more we live the more we see i simply did not expect such a thing!!

raf* said...

dear DoDi,

so ... companies in europe & the u.s. are actually better for muhajabaat than companies in the middle east?



Tsu Dho Nimh said...

Good GRIEF!!! I'm in the supposed anti-Muslim eeevul USA. I work with a Muslim woman who wears a head scarf, long sleeved blouses, and nearly floor-length skirts (stylish fabrics, but extremely modest).

IT'S ILLEGAL HERE TO ASK or REQUIRE HER TO REMOVE THEM ... except for working on the manufacturing floor, where we're masked and in bunnysuits anyway and you can't get any more coverage than that.

But it's OK for a potential employer in Saudi Arabia to ask this? ARABIA, where the religious police preferred that schoolgirls die in a fire than be rescued because the male rescuers might see the girls "improperly covered"?

Ingrid said...

Hi, I am here by way of Saudi Jeans who mentioned your 'surprise interview' that was not meant to be.
I lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years post Gulf war, and after I returned to Canada, I felt kind of weird seeing so many people 'exposed'. I remember one guy biking down the street just wearing shorts and not a top and he wasn't exactly in good shape either and I remember thinking (tsk tsk-ing saudi style).."put something on!" lol
As much as I don't think that women necessarily need to cover themselves to the extent they are forced to in KSA, I do feel that the people who asked you to come down for the interview should have told you about their requirement beforehand. I can totally understand that when you are not used to showing yourself to others, that you would be totally uncomfortable doing so. It was not very smart on their part. Their loss I guess!
I used to live in Alkhobar in the city itself and not on a compound either and I used to go around either walking or take a taxi always of course wearing an abaya. I always had to get used to NOT being covered, even in that way, when I would be out of the country. Weird huh?
Good luck with the job hunt. I trust the right one will present itself in due time.

starlit_saudi said...

This raises a question, Is Mona Abusulyman an exception? You should have said I wanna see your "work enviroment" in writing. Stand up for yourself women!!

adevents said...

This is Saudi Arabia not France or turkey I think you should contact people in charge for example the ministry of labor or however in charge , not to get a job but to stop this kind of behavior

ordinary girl said...

Well Raf, life isn’t always a bed of roses.

Irony tsu dho nimh, there is no supervision of any kind over privet sectors unfortunately..

Dear Ingrid. It wasn’t really about being comfortable doing it or even not used to show your self, its all about principle.. you have no right judging people according to how much do they show of their body. Professional companies care about qualifications rather than how short your dress is!!!

Starlit Saudi. In writing!!?? You are joking, right?!!

Adevenys.. hummm people in charge you say?! Really which century are you living in?!

camilla said...

Hi ordinary girl,

It happends to me all the same. I sit infront of them, they question me about my scarf, if I am willing to remove it during office hours? I think in my heart, what the hell am I sitting here for. There are others who said they would call me if I am short listed but I know I will never get that phone call. I am in this job for long now and when I think about change, I dread the interview part...*sigh*

ordinary girl said...

camilla so sorry to hear that but which country if you do not mind me asking?

sandy said...

DoDi, I just wanted to tell you your blog really touched me. Women in much of the world don't consider what it is to live in a male dominated culture, or how difficult religious differences can make women's lives. I wrote a little blog about you, I hope I caught your spirit correctly. Good luck to you in whatever comes your way.

Devilish said...

Reminds me of a gal back here in Oman who was asked to remove her 7jab for work ! She agreed n she removed her 7jab ! When they saw her without the 7jab they offered her a job, n she signed the contract right away ! However, on her first day of work she was back with her 7jab ! looool she fooled them ! They couldn’t fire her of course.

ordinary girl said...

lol.. this is a funny one ;)

camilla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
camilla said...

hey Ordinary girl, I am from Singapore. Any luck with the job hunting?

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