September 15, 2009

Maids in Egypt

Tonight I was privy to or, I guess, I was part of a weird conversation about maids. (In Arabic of course)

I know that having a cleaning lady in this part of the world is way more common than it is in the west and it's a good thing sometimes. It gives jobs to women who need them and helps households keep up with all the dust here. I think a woman coming to help do the heavier jobs once or twice a week is a help to a lot of homes. One of these women currently has a woman come clean her apartment every other day. She brings her daughter and cleans everything but isn't allowed to make the bed. When I heard this I asked why not and she said she just doesn't want her touching and breathing on her bed/pillows. I was like um, lady, she's at your house every other day breathing all over the place. EYEROLL

I was kinda disturbed by the casual conversation where one woman was asking if the other knew where she could find a young one. "Around 12 years old?" She asked. I was like "why?", they both went on to talk about how a young girl would be great because then she could live with them!

I've gotta say I don't get live in maids, let alone, live in child maids at that! They talked about how she'd have to be younger than 15 or she could be a threat to the marriage. But not younger than 10, or they'd feel bad giving her too much work and it would be more like an extra kid than a servant. I wondered why an 11 or 12 year old was OK and guilt free!?

Wouldn't you feel odd having a stranger live in your homes,I asked. They insisted she'd be like one of the family. I argued that she would not, and asked if said maid would sit with them at dinner. One of them laughed and said, of course not! She'll eat in the kitchen. I'd just proved my point and shot her a look like "see"?

One recounted a great little girl she had in Cairo who was so wonderful, "She'd finish her work and sit quietly on the floor without my asking." She said. She'd go visit her family once a month and give them the money she'd earned. These maids also double as nannies and look after the children at home and when out, and more educated ones even help with homework. What's mom doing? I'm sorry, I'm all for getting some help but when some womanchild is raising your kid for you, that's a problem.

They went on to talk about the different nationalities of maids and which ones were better. "Filipino maids are the best" one says. The other told a story of the African maid in Cairo who'd eaten a baby. Yes, I just typed that, and yes, they were serious. I started to laugh and they quickly said, no, it's true! One said how black people scare her and how she just isn't comfortable around them. I told them they can't generalize and that what they heard is surely a rumor. I asked them how they felt about people painting all Muslims or Arabs with the same brush but they blew off the comparison. These are average, middle class, college educated women. It completely floors me how people can be this dense.

I really had to keep my cool because I wanted to yell "IT'S NOT OK TO HAVE A CHILD CLEAN UP AFTER YOU AND YOUR KIDS AND YOU'RE BOTH IGNORANT, RACISTS!" But I didn't.
I've seen some kids that have maids living in their home and they treat them like crap and pick it up from their parents. They get a sense of superiority over them. It's messed up.

If you have a live in maid, that's fine as long as she is an adult and is treated kindly and fairly. What's your take?

62 comments:

  1. Salam Sis,

    I am so up tied up over this issue...and I refer to it as an issue because there are just so many things that annoy me about the way maids are treated, especially a child "maid" who will usually live with and see other children having a childhood.

    ALSO...UHMM a threat to the marriage? I would say a man who is willing to go there is the threat, not an innocent child who has to labour her childhood away.

    Yuck, makes me sick to my stomach.

    Great blog sis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. salam sis

    I am with you, I think it is ok for an adult to help out (like a couple times a week) and like you said, it gives women jobs where jobs are lacking. But like you said, if you have a child raising your children, what exactly is mom doing for the household?

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is so problematic for me--maids, but also young ones-Ughh! I agree with everyone on help is good, adult help good.... I don't think I could, as an American be comfortable with someone doing my work, and NOT treating them like family. Inshallah I'll never have to deal with this issue. I don't think I could get past the dynamics of help, and role playing, or being fair, then taken advantage of. I only experienced one some of the in-laws help. I loved the lady next door who came to help, but not the girl who lived with them. I had issues, I was not perfect myself, I had new mother nervousness about hygiene : ( I totally regret this feeling. I have never seen people work so hard. Sweating, having to ignore their own children to help cook and clean. : (
    If We live there, I would hire a cook for family visits, because I can't cook for that many people right now, and make as much as the'd expect. I am a horrible hostess too. (Am I doomed?)
    I know that there were slaves and help in the prophets time, but also it seems like they had do do a lot on their own, by their own hands, and ate very humbly. Maybe not having a full time maid would bring you closer to Allah.
    Tough. Economically tough too. It is an industry.

    ReplyDelete
  4. if any age of woman is a threat to your marriage then you have problems, because the real threat is your husband doing what he shouldnt.

    i would never have a live in maid. its not right to live with other women. i couldnt handle it. plus i wouldnt feel comfortable in my own living with someone 24/7. you wouldnt have complete privacy.

    and about the egyptian women... some of them i have met are so well educated yet so dumb. it is like common sense has been thrown out the window. the amount of old wives tales that they actually believe in is astounding when you take in the fact that they have college degrees and therefore you would expect them to have rational thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I could never have a live in maid especially not a child! Here in the US that kind of thing would land you in prison (um ever hear of child labor laws?) That's just so sad that someone would even consider that kind of thing. I wouldn't even call her a maid, more like a servant, and to me that's exploitaton.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Salma, Hi, Thanks for commenting. It is really maddening. I can't help getting worked up and angry about things like this.

    The DP, an honor. Absolutely. They're both SAHMs by the way!

    UmMalak, I agree completely. As Americans we see a maid service as a professional company or woman coming in to do a job and she is in no way less than anyone she works for. Sadly this is not the case here. To be clear,I, in no way am interested in a maid. I stay at home and I like things done my way, besides, It's partly my contribution to the household to take care of it.

    Ange, Yea it's sick that it's even an issue with people and that's why non mahrams shouldn't live together. And yea, I did a post once about the superstitions/old wives tales and it negates any common sense, really.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ange I totally agree with you about living with another woman.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think my hubby and I would both be uncomfortable with a live-in maid. We both like our own personal space. I would feel so bad about I kid that I think I would just let her hang out and end up doing the work myself.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree that children should not be put to work like that. I have no desire for a live in maid, it just seems unnatural for my family and I. I wouldnt mind a little assistance during the change of seasons when windows get washed, furniture re-arranged etc.... but thats about it. for me, and I realize these are just my own feelings, I dont love to clean, but I remember that i do it for my small family and to provide a nice environment because of God. To paraphrase UmmSalihah (my fave bloggeress), all these small things are an opportunity to become a potential acts of worship.

    I like your blog, and I wll be back ;)

    Ramamdan Mubarak and Inshaallah Eid Kareem!

    Salams,

    iMuslimah

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stephanie, it's absolutely exploitation and it's a sad situation all around. Poor families with several children who don't go to school in order to work and bring money.And it continues. It's a vicious cycle.

    Thanks for commenting, Purekrystal.

    Stacy aka Fahiima, Same here, i takes a completely different mind set for this to be ok with you.

    iMuslimah, Yea I've had in the 7 yrs I've lived here a day of help 2 times. I like your attitude about housework. You're right. Can you link me to UmmSalihah? Or I'll google, whichever comes first. Ramadan & Eid Mubarak to you too, Alaikumalsalam.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is just slavery...

    ReplyDelete
  12. ugh. wow. would they get a muslim maid or want a christian one? are any coptics poor? remember i told you to do a post about themmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    ReplyDelete
  13. subhanaAllah! a kid as a maid? that's slavery...

    ReplyDelete
  14. What the hell?!

    Ooookay...

    I am all for live-in maids because (surprise) I have one. We treat her fairly, pay a good salary and never over-burden her. AND she is no damn 12-year old!!

    ...

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh wow, I was just talking about this yesterday with my husband!

    I struggle with having a cleaner let alone a live in maid! I always feel guilty when someone else is cleaning up after me, I feel like I should be doing it myself. However I do agree that it is a good way for some women to get jobs and she does do an excellent job on the house which I just wouldn't have as much time for with going to work and everything.

    When we were kids we lived in Dubai and my dad (Egyptian) insisted my mum have a live in maid to help with us 3 kids. He said thats what everyone did out there and if we didn't have one people would think we were weird. Ours was Filipino and she was lovely, she was treated fairly and all but I think my mum felt uncomfortable with her there 24/7.

    And about the child maids? That makes me so sad. What kind of a childhood is that :( Poor little girls.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have, from time-to-time, considered trying to find someone who could pass by my flat for a quick clean-through. Sometimes I am just working too many hours, or sometimes I may be sick and not feeling strong enough to do the cleaning myself. But on average, while sometimes I will procrastinate the chores, I welcome them. Were it not for those chores I would be even more sedentary - a lifestyle that slapped 40 extra pounds on my body when I spent a year living in Saudi Arabia, where, as most may know, maids are in abundant supply. But the ill-treatment of a maid is something I cannot stand for and even confronted a family about on one occasion when I found that their two maids were sleeping underneath the basement staircase! Astifurgallah al-Azeem! I also bought them a supply of hand lotion when I observed, up-close-and-personal the horrible cracks in the skin on their hands from the constant use of bleach with no protective gloves...it made me cry. Where is the humanity? I often ask myself. And as for child maids - gosh...why are they not in school? Which brings up the issue of, sometimes, the impossibility of their being in school because of paperwork issues that the family is unable to resolve. I remember reading about the case of an Egyptian woman who had to fight for the right to declare the true paternity of her daughter's father to be added to her birth record. The father fought vehemently because he was someone "famous". The fight went on and on and on. Ultimately the law was adjusted to accommodate cases such as that; but I digress... Suffice it to say, it is discussion worthy issue. Thanks for bringing it up sis.

    ReplyDelete
  18. FYI - I happened upon your post via Twitter. :-) Just thought you'd like to know.

    ReplyDelete
  19. When I first converted to Islam, the family who supported me had a live in maid and it seemed rather normal to me. Especially in families with so many children I guess. Personally I would not want a live in maid, but I can understand sometimes hen ppl do

    As for child maids or any small children working, as they do in this country, I think it is disgusting, and if it had been me amongst those obviously ignorant women, I would have given them a piece of my mind

    I never had maids before, but these days I have been able to talk my husband into letting me have one for certain jobs, every couple of weeks. I keep my own house clean, and only bring her for things I cant or wont do, like washing the windows. I mean, I am sorry but that is a hard job! I have to put on my hijab and niqab to stick my body out the window to try and clean it? Eek. Same with washing behind stuff - the stove for example.

    If we were in the West I am sure I wouldnt have one, but here it is reasonably priced and as you mentioned gives jobs to many poor and uneducated women.

    To each his own I guess

    ReplyDelete
  20. Abid, it is. And it's the fault of both the parents of the child and the people hiring them.

    Naseem, I've only seen Muslim ones but ::shrugs:: Yea, I don't really know what you want me to write about them.

    UmAbdulAziz. Yea. Somehow they rationalize it that they're helping her or something.

    Alia, I wonder, are there more strict rules in the UAE about this. I don't imagine it happens?

    Amalia, Yea I feel guilty too and I can't just sit there, I have to clean with them and make conversation. I guess it's about how normal it is where you are, too.

    Aishah, I agree, I can see becoming very lazy if one didn't have to clean a thing on a daily basis. Lots of kids don't go to school here. It's sad, but true, they think it's more valuable for the kid to bring in money. Thanks for commenting.

    UmmTravis, Yea a grown woman coming in periodically to help out is a good thing. Yea in the West stuff just doesn't get as dirty as here too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I personally wouldn't want a live-in maid at all, but a live-in kid is awful!

    If people don't want a maid to be old enough to be a threat to their marriage then maybe they should either trust their husbands more, or if they really think it will still be a threat, don't get a live in maid at all!

    I don't like the thought of someone poking around and cleaning my stuff anyway, though, I'd prefer to clean for myself except I'd love someone to do the kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Salaams,

    I was just thinking to myself that when we aren't paying for preschool anymore, I'd like to reallocate half of that money to having someone help with housekeeping two-four times a month (specifically bathrooms and kitchen). In the U.S., you find someone you can trust that has insurance in case of damage or theft. And they are always over 16 unless they work with their parent.

    My father's family, in Lebanon, had a live-in maid. She came at 10, I think. She was from a poor family, same age as my dad, but she was like a nurse to him. She wasn't given an education, but she did marry high above "her station" after working for my family. She did eat at the family table and was either given a bed or slept with my aunts. I think she was treated as a foster child, Cinderella-style but with love.

    No matter how often I think about it, and despite that I've met her and she clearly thinks of me as her own niece, I can't wrap my head around having a child-maid and not at least teaching her to read. I realize my grandmother died illiterate, God rest her soul, but my grandfather (God rest his soul) was a teacher and all his children went to college.

    Maybe this is just romanticized American thinking?

    This maid was Lebanese. After her, they had maids from different countries (Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, etc.) and tried to give them a bed in a room or have them eat at a table with them, but the maids refused. I guess they are trained to keep their distance.

    I also noticed the issues with race among the people I met. It's too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I came back to comment again. I've been thinking about this post whole day...
    I'm not against of having maids once in a while esp. if woman is working or attending some classes to improve her worldly or religoous knowledge. But even then I don't think having small child as a maid is correct decision.
    And if there are kids in the family who are older, like 6-7 years old they have to be able to help mother in household chores. Don't they teach their children to work and help around the house??

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jaz, me too, I like my privacy!

    Shawna, that's interesting and I'm glad it is possible for some to get out of it. I don't think it's a romanticized American thing, well, I'm biased but I doubt that the thought of teaching the girl anything but how to clean something would probably not cross the minds of women here.

    UmmAbdulAziz, I'd been thinking of the conversation all day too. Some families have their kids to chores here but I notice it's more the girls :/.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Heheh I love my privacy way too much to be able to handle a live in maid. Having said that, I am glad I get help for the cleaning. I would absolutely love it if I could find a babysitter for the odd weekend night so my husband and I could actually go out.
    Still it's even worse here in Kuwait, the maids are everywhere. I feel sorry for the kids sometimes. But then again, you never really know maybe the moms are really caring but have to work for the money and this is the best arrangement they could come up with. That is of course only if the maid is an adult.

    ReplyDelete
  26. JessyZ, Yea I feel bad when kids spend more time with the maid/nanny than mom.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow, great post Mona. We have a lady who comes in on a Sat am to do the heavy cleaning...but we mostly employ her because she's so destitute.
    We tried having a live-in maid once but that was a BIG mistake...she was not used to living in the city and had never come across Muslims before. Eventually we resented her presence as we had no privacy. I don't know who was more relieved when she went back home...us or her.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Washi, I can see that happening, I'm like that I don't feel comfortable having a maid and a live-in would be even more problematic.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I totally agree with U on "IT'S NOT OK TO HAVE A CHILD CLEAN UP AFTER YOU AND YOUR KIDS AND YOU'RE BOTH IGNORANT, RACISTS!"

    But some people argue that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had Anas (RA) as a servant when he was 10, but he didn't give him 'HOUSE WORK' and he never gave him more than what he could do! this is testified by Anas (RA) in his ahadith itself, well I don't know about the female servants at that time, though I've heard that there were girls who helped in the house of the Prophet, Allahu Alam there age, but definitely he wouldn't have given them too much work or treated them badly or degrade them

    As for myself the decision to have a maid would depend on the how much work and how big the house and how many ppl LOL ... but I'd never wanna burned the maid more than what she can do ... and definitely the homework and stuff is the MUM's job to help with ... why then did Allah give us responsibility if we'd have to leave everything to the maid!

    ReplyDelete
  30. MsUnique,:) the time of the Prophet(pbuh) was a different era. Islam is timeless but things change around us and school should be the only "job" of a 10 year old.

    ReplyDelete
  31. dallal2:55 AM

    I remember reading an article in a newspaper here in the US about an egyptian family who had somehow managed to bring over a child to work as their maid AKA slave. The poor girl literally worked day and night and never went to school. The husband and wife went to jail in the US for a period of time and ended up being deported back to egypt after that i believe once the whole incident was discovered.

    Anyways, I don't see the issue with people having a maid. It gives women who would be otherwise unemployed some way of providing for their families.

    The amount of judgement amongst some egyptians towards maids i find a little surprising though. I mentioned in passing to an egyptian guy that my grandmother was a maid (for the record i'm egyptian) and the look of disgust that came over him completely shocked me. He actually had the nerve to tell me never to mention it to anyone ever again. I'm apparently supposed to be very embarrassed. Egyptians need to get over their class obsessions

    To naseem, the word you're going for is "copt". Referring to someone as a coptic is like referring to someone as an "arabic". And asking if there are poor copts is about as silly as asking if there are poor muslims in egypt

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dallal, My mom told me about that story! I heard the girl had been abandoned by her family here and she was adopted by an American family.

    The guy who scoffed at your grandmother is so typical of how people think here, you're totally right. Egyptians need to get over class and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Mom of 23:45 AM

    This topic triggered me..and it seems that it had made the same thing to lots others..:)

    Regarding the maid issue in general i settled on not having any of them either live in or those who just clean and leave mainly cuz I'm not at all good at giving orders to anyone even those younger than me and it ends up with me cleaning after them cuz I'm just so timid to tell them that I'm not satisfied with this or with that....

    PLUS..I do love privacy A LOT and so do my hubby who is totally against the idea of having a live in maid for this reason..and i totally agree with "Ange" that if a woman "any woman" is a threat to ur marrige then the problem is either in u or ur hubby..don't blame it on maids or any other..

    Plus I'm totally against the idea of having a kid doing the cleaning after me and my kids .when my mom suggested getting me one at a hectic phase in my life when my kids were younger,my hubby answered her "don't..cuz I'm sure it will end up like this..she let her play "Legos" with her kids and she 'll be washing the dishes..and sure she'll be reading her a bed time story each night"..LOL

    I'm "EGYPTIAN" and never think the same way those Egyptian women think cuz I was raised in a home where live in maids slept in a bed next to me and my sister's bed..and I remember my parents used to pamper maids a lot especially young ones close to our age getting them gold gifts and clothes that most of them didn't want to return back home even for marriage..

    Moreover.. I guess God created mommies for a great job and for that job they are given a special place in "Jannah".part of this job is cleaning to make their families live healthier and happier.if they let any other do that job,may be they won't be having a royal suite in jannah but just an ordinary motel room.if some extra cleaning will make me have this place then "dust" is most welcomed anytime ...LOL :))..

    Don't forget ladies that cleaning is a work out too..burning fats is another plus..
    I'm living a maid free life for almost 6 years now..and is quite content el hamdullilah..

    ReplyDelete
  34. Mom of 2, I guess since you grew up in a home with servants it's been an adjustment to living "maid free" so that's good. I do doubt though that anyone's level or place in Paradise is determined by how much cleaning they do or don't do but I can see what you're trying to say. Thanks for commenting.

    ReplyDelete
  35. my singaporean uncle has had maids living with his family as long as i can remember mainly indonesian ones -the last one was such a great cook...in singapore especially the filipino maids are the worst because they're known to be notorious homewreckers and gold-diggers...this is not just by word of mouth but reported to in the news too...

    ReplyDelete
  36. Nur, we can not generalize about any nationality, race or religion. It's not that simple. If everyone went by what they heard on the news, you and I are terrorists.

    ReplyDelete
  37. http://www.happymuslimah.com/

    She has wonderful ideas and is very well written. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  38. iMuslimah, Thank you! I've seen this blog before, it's beautiful, I'll be sure to read it more.

    ReplyDelete
  39. i'm against child maids.

    in fact, i think if anyone offered me a child maid i'd:

    1. report that person to the authorities for child labour.
    2. check if the child has family, if she doesn't, i'll offer to keep the child for as long as i can. even adopt, if it came to that.

    i'm used to seeing live-in maids but personally i'm not comfortable with the thought of having a maid live in the same house as me.

    my family usually has a helper who comes once a week and helps us (i.e: me). she literally does housework with me when she comes. she'd be doing one side of the room or the windows while i sweep...

    and if she's not free, we call this cleaning agency who sends over like 2 or 3 people to help us clean the house.

    sorry for the long comment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Kit Pryde, I love comments and long ones are great! The thing is when I tried to argue against the idea I felt like I was the weird one! This might have something to do with the fact that I'm not able to express myself fully in Arabic as I can in English. And that I'm the minority. Thanks for visiting!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Mom of 24:45 PM

    Sure "cleaning"is not the only thing which guarantee a special place in paradise or else all of us would be cleaning non stop!!..:))..but what I meant by "cleaning" is taking good care of our families.certainly caring for our families include a very long list of other things many of them are spiritual rather than physical but let's say "cleaning" is 1/10 of the responsibility that should be done,so why not doing it and most of us "al hamdullilah" are still young and strong..
    I'm glad you got my point..and sorry for the very long comment but I like the issues which you tackle here in ur blog as it touches all moms especially stay at home ones like me..;)

    Happy Eid "in advance" to you & your family :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Mom of 2, Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I feel so sorry for children that have to work to support themselves and their families. However, I believe that if we do choose to give shelter to those poor children in our homes is not a bad idea, as long as you treat them with humanity and respect.

    I'm not saying it's okay to hire 13 year old girls to clean up after you and your kids. I'm saying that sometimes these girls have no other choice but to live on streets. I believe that working as house cleaners is a better option for them. We can actually provide shelter, education, good food and clothes for such children. They can grow up having a better future. If treated with humanity and respect that is. Ofcourse not all people who hire these girls will treat them as humans, but I see no harm in doing so if done with the intention of keeping them off the streets and treating them with mercy.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "I would say a man who is willing to go there is the threat, not an innocent child who has to labour her childhood away."
    I completely agree with Salma. The whole conversation was disturbing, but I can't imagine a child being seen as a threat to ones marriage. As you know, in the US the adult would almost always be seen as a predator. (With a few exceptions, of course. There are still victim-blaming sects of society) I can't imagine having any worker live in my home, let alone a child. That is so unfathomable to me.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sarah, Situations like that are sadly very few and far between.

    Aed, I agree, the whole conversation was messed up on many levels and has shed a new light on these women for me. A really bad one.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I don't even know where to begin.

    Being Filipina and just coming back from vacation, I kind of "get" why she said that Filipinos are the best - it is so COMMON over in the Philippines. You've got my thoughts racing a miles a minute that I will need to gather them and take off from this w/a new blog entry - just for you ;)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I don't even know where to begin.

    Being Filipina and just coming back from vacation, I kind of "get" why she said that Filipinos are the best - it is so COMMON over in the Philippines. You've got my thoughts racing a miles a minute that I will need to gather them and take off from this w/a new blog entry - just for you ;)

    ReplyDelete
  48. bzmomma, I look forward to your post. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Oy vey! My head and heart hurt so much after reading this post. I'm moving to Egypt next year for a while. I'm guessing from this and other blog posts I won't be the most welcome ex-pat as I am biracial, black & Filipino! Lol

    In all seriousness where are these people's fear of Allah? Do they not know the ramifications of their arrogance? Ya Allah.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hijabi Apprentice, Who cares what people here think and there are SOME open minded normal people. You're right about arrogance!

    ReplyDelete
  51. well excuuuuuse me for not thoroughly editing my comment on a casual blog.

    all the coptic ppl i know are rich so thas wassup.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I recently wrote an article on my blog about this called "Maids in Morocco".

    I completely am against the idea of live in maids. Especially how they're treated in our society--no matter how "good", still inferior.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sarah Alaoui, checking that post out in a sec. That's what I think. No matter how well people treat their maids in the ME, it's never on the same level as the "masters". In the US if anyone was to even treat/speak their cleaning company or maid in a superior tone, they'd have to be a huge bitch.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Assalam-alaikam,
    I'm glad this issue is being raised in a number of blogs, the whole thing makes me truly sick, the lack of any morals or humanity and the nasty racism. How do these people partition off the fact that the person they have employed as a maid is also a human being let alone a child?

    May Allah (SWT) bestow on them hidayah and remorse.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Umm Salihah, I know, subhanAllah, I don't get how they compartmentalize that either. Ameen to your duaa.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What. the. hell?

    I'm not sure I understand why these women need a maid in the first place. Are they working? Have they already taught their own children the value of cleaning and hard work?

    I understand needing someone for the harder things, such as coming in to wash the windows or, for really large families/newborn babies, doing laundry. I get that.

    But dear God, why do they need someone every day?

    No offense to anyone who has maids and definitely not trying to tell anyone how to raise their kids, but what about teaching children responsibility? Frankly, a lot of the kids I've seen around here that have lived with maids are sloppy and have forgotten that we're all equal human beings.

    Argh. Astaghfirullah.

    ReplyDelete
  57. NoortheNinjabi, both the women I was talking to stay at home so yea, I don't get it either. I too think kids need to have responsibilities in the home as a part of the family. Too many people here do it all themselves (or the maid) and let the kids not lift a finger.

    ReplyDelete
  58. AA
    I tried to summarize the situation in Arab countries including Egypt in this post.
    http://shayunbiqalbi.blogspot.com/2010/09/1.html
    Allt he best

    ReplyDelete
  59. Exactly ! I am totally with you !
    quite old I know..but I been searching for a maid and I was tryin my luck online when I bumped into your article..which is exactly how I think of this issue ! ,,great one Mona..
    I am willing to go through your page..take care Ma :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Great Blog - lots of reading to do!
    I totally get where you are coming from on the whole maid thing. Once we were sat in McDonalds in Luxor and there was an Egyptian family from Cairo with their young maid. They got their food, the maid was then expected to rip the burger wrappers off the burgers of the parents and children and then sit away from them on another table. It was the first time I had seen anything like it and it made my blood boil. I have over 400 m2to clean in my home but I will never employ a maid because I just couldn't bear it. I know that many of these youngs girls are desperate for the work but I am sure that the majority are not treated with respect. It is too much of a class society.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ruby Tuesday, thanks:) That's sad, did she get to eat? A class society is right.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I know this is such an old topic that you probably not as interested but i wanted to comment.. when i was living in Egypt with my parents we had a maid.. but she WAS like one of the family.. she ate with us on the dinner table and we never let her sit on the floor.. but i have a feeling not all famalies are this way.. anyway she is an adult woman and she does her job perfect and because she has been with us for so long, she treats her home like its hers and she cleans it SPOTLESS. i think you should have a maid if you are going to treat her with kindness and as for that "breathing on the bed".. as if she has a disease or something astaghfirALlah.. may ALlah guide us all ameen.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting!