Arabic Poetry

Identity Crisis

I have recently declared war against Lebanon/Lebanese, and this is another battle I am waging fiercely. I have been looking for a decent job in a not-so-decent country for about three months now, and yet have not found anything that is well paid. And although I was about to give up, it dawned on me! I can work as a house maid!

See, here in Lebanon, a Sri Lanki or Philippino or Ethiopian house maid/cleaner (all due respect) usually charges between $5 and $7 an hour. Let’s do a simple mathematical calculation:

Say this maid is to put 9 hours a day into work (working hours in Lebanon as per the Lebanese Labor Law), and is charging $5 and hour, this would mean that they are making $45 a day; meaning $225 a week (if this maid/cleaner is to work 5 days a week). Again simple calculation, $225 x 4 – they would be making $900 a month.

$5 an hour
=> $5 x 9 = $45 per day
=> $45 x 5 = $225 per week
=> $225 x 4 = $900 per month

On the other hand, a Lebanese standard salary range is between $500 and $700 a month. Since we used the minimum in the previous calculation, we will use the minimum with this calculation as well. So, our Lebanese employee is making $500 a month; this means they are making $125 a week, which implies that per day our employee is  making $25. Nine hours of work a day would mean that a Lebanese employee makes $2.78 an hour.

$500 per Month
=> $500 / 4 = $125 per week
=> $125 / 5 = $25 per day
=> $25 / 9 = $ 2.78 per hour

I am having difficulty understanding the formula in this country. No offense meant to the Sri Lankis, Philippinos or Ethiopians, but someone please explain! Some of these house maids/cleaners are actually lending money to Lebanese people with interest!

Another thing that infuriates me is when a company “imports” an American/Canadian/French/British to fill in a management position, and pay them a huge sum of money (not to mention the housing and other benefits) when there are many Lebanese who can fill that position. I don’t get it!

Our beloved capitalist employers do not want to pay us – the Lebanese working citizens – what we are worth, and yet willingly spend huge sums of money for a foreigner. Why? If I am to apply to a position in the USA/Canada/France/England or any other part of the world (except the Gulf, since they are too lazy to work and have a lot of money to blow); but if I were to apply to a position in any part of the world, I’d have to have extremely special qualities and capabilities to be accepted. Otherwise, a “local” would be hired for the job.

Not in Lebanon; we love humiliating our own and boosting the “others”. And you wonder why we are in such a screwed up state?!! Too bad, working as a house maid won’t be possible – I still hold the Lebanese nationality.

I salute the “foreigners”!

1 thought on “Identity Crisis”

  1. Well, Sam, there is nothing wrong in what you are saying. BUT the picture is the same all over the world. In the States for example, Indians work in High Tech places, etc…
    As for you being a maid in the Lebanese household, I would not recommend it…because you know I guess , they are sexually abused!

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