Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mistaken Identities Lead to Minor Incidents of Racism in the Sultanate for 2 of my Friends

Dhofari Gucci just posted about the "Festival of Negroes" in Salalah and it reminded me of a distasteful event from three months ago I had swallowed in disgust, and forgotten about.

Back when I was having my baby, a really nice friend from back home and her BFF came to look after me. As I was busy HAVING the baby, my friend's friend (who is of course my friend now too) was in the waiting room with a bunch of other Omani ladies. She was busy looking after my friend's infant son, when a Dhofari woman came up to her, and demanded she open the window.

My friend's friend doesn't really speak Arabic but she figured this much out.

Her hands already full with the baby and couldn't understand why the woman couldn't open the window herself.

The Dhofari lady was getting awfully flustered and annoyed and kept insisting my kind, visiting guest open it.

My friend just ignored her. It is easy to do when you don't speak fluent Arabic. I do it all the time too.

The Dhofari lady finally gave up and got up to open the window herself, glaring daggers at my girl all the time.

When my friend told MOP about the incident, he instantly got as mad as he was embarrassed on the behalf of decent Omanis everywhere.

See, my friend in the waiting room is of African descent, and the Dhofari lady decided to treat her like a slave. Even if she did mistake our friend for a maid, she wouldn't have been her maid, so she wouldn't have had any right to order her around or speak to her like she was dumb, so this event was just disgusting.

MOP says she likely wouldn't have done so if my friend had been a real Philipino maid.

As disgusting as the 40 rial monthly salary of a real Tanzanian or Ethiopian maid in Oman is to me.

I know slavery has been abolished in Oman, so it is easy for me to forget sometimes, the racism of the Arab world towards skin tone.

I had another friend. She is Asian, married to an Omani from Al Qurum. I remember her telling me about all her husband's female relatives coming to meet the new wife he'd picked up in the West.

When she'd come to the door of her husband's villa to greet them they tossed her their abayas and asked to be taken to "madame" like she were dumb and couldn't understand proper English.

Little did they know the guest of honour they were coming to greet was the maid they'd buried under their overgarments, lol.

I'm sure they didn't make the impression they'd be hoping to make with the lady of the house.


Convert_chica said...

Asalaamu alaikum :)

Its sad isn't it. Yet alhamdulillah, I haven't met anyone racist like that that was a practicing muslim, like really practicing. Interesting how that goes.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Convert Chica: Wa alaikom e salaam.

It was surprisingly hurtful because this is the first time in Oman I encountered open racism. There's the African-Omani girls who plaster their faces with white foundation, but this was totally more over the top and in your face. Disgusting.:(

I agree. They are cutlural Muslims who do this, treat others as less.

Boxie said...

:( that is far to sad. It is vary annoying when people think poorly of someone just based on what another looks like, as that action only makes the one who thinks that way look ______________ (<--- insert not so nice word here that is far to rude to publish).

Racism is a plague of the hearts upon humans that is only meant to divide us and weaken our iman.

I'm Farsilla said...

0_____0 im just speechlesss


Aliyah said...

subhanAllah i can not believe this. i really cant understand why are they rasist? i can never understand this, how can anyone treat someone according to their skin color?? and that too a muslim being racist. i wish i would have the opportunity once to see this and im really going to slap the person who is racist.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Boxie: I agree. How is S? We ran into her lasttime in Van/ remember when we went for the Islamic cutlural festival. Have you seen or heard from her since?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Silla: I was too. But I found my voice again;)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Aliyah: It was part of their culture and they don't understand the religion the claim to express.

❤ αmαℓ said...

Woww, it's stuff like this that makes me so sad about the state of our Ummah :( If you're talking about who I think you are (S) that makes me so angry that lady spoke to her that way. Because S is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met in my life, Mashallah. I wish people could look past their cultural hangups, and who has what skin color, and focus on Islam and what is teaches us about these things.