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    My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

    Salam everyone...
    I usually dont start many topics, but my recent trip has been on my mind and I feel I need to discuss it...

    Ok here it goes...So I live in Australia...been here my whole life...left Pakistan when I was 6...havent been back since...Anyway, when my family and I made plans to go for Umrah earlier this year, I was quite excited and nervous...it was to be my first trip overseas (in my conscious life...lol)

    Anyway, everything about my umrah trip was amazing, the mosques in Mecca and Medina did not disappoint...and spiritually it was very uplifting...But there was a couple of social/racial issues that became apparent and to say the least, these issues ticked me off...

    One of the many things I learnt was that, being Pakistani was uncool... I felt the rift of being arab muslim/pakistani muslim was very rife in Arabia...

    One of the most salient experiences was at the prophet's (SAW) mosque...

    Ok... so its ladies time to see/visit the prophets (SAW) grave/house...my mother, my 2 little sisters and I lined up in the line for disabled people and their families...this is because my mother has trouble walking long distances and needs a walker...Newayz....we are lining up and we get weird looks from people....then this lady tells us that only one person can be with the disabled person...we look at each other going OMG...we wouldnt dare separate...it was after isha and a midst all the rush we were sure to get lost...so being stubborn and scared we stayed together...the line was very long..people were annoyed and kepting pushing, eager to see the prophet's grave..

    Remember, this is the disabled persons line and they all have wheelchairs, if youve never been pinned by a wheel chair..let me tell you..it hurts...one of these ladies apparently pushed my sister...my sister is sooo fiesty, she'll make chilli look sweet...neways she was pissed..and she went off at this lady in english...lol...when she was arab...me and my mum are trying to keep the peace..we had to calm my sister and the lady down...after those heated words...i looked around and I felt guilty...the line was massive..people were tired, it was boiling hot and geez it was the disabled persons line...i felt like I was cheating...

    Anyway..I felt guilty enough to tell my mum that I would join the normal, even longer line...she said it doesnt matter..but I insisted and said I would join her at the hotel room eventually...

    Ok so off I go...I joined it and I hear the mosque offical lady going on about sumthin in arabic...eventually when I got towards the front of the line I noticed the officials organising people through nationality (considering I dont speak a word of arabic I might be wrong)..I say this because she would stop some people ask them something, either letting them go in or telling them to stay behind...when it was my turn...she asks me whether Im arab....I replied that I wasnt and that Im Pakistani...she then goes on to tell me to wait towards the side..why asked her..she was simply not bothered explaining and insisted I wait on the side...I look to the side and there were 3 or 4 Pakistani ladies/aunties sitting on the side askin her the same question...why they were being told to wait...*I was hurt/pissed/dumbfounded to say the least...

    Seriously...I couldn't believe that they would make Pakistani people wait on the side while they let arabs through....dear god...newayz I decided I would not let this get in the way of me visiting the prophets (SAW) grave, considering we would be leaving for Mecca soon and joined my mum again...this time I did not feel guilty for being in that line...

    I told my incident to my Pakistani friend who lives in the UAE, she laughs it off and says something along the lines of...its that time of year where all the arabs from UAE got their chance to visit Mecca and Medina, so in a sense they were given preference...So what??...I bet those ladies being told to wait for no good reason, had more trouble raising the money to get there then the arabs did...I felt this was such an injustice...

    My Pakistani/UAE friend goes on to say how some Pakistani ladies do shirk, are pushy and rowdy...so what?? Do we just class all Pakistanis in the same boat?? Ok, say that some Pakistani do do shirk....well stop them..educate them...dont just class every pakistani as shirk doers and deny them of equality...

    When I got back, I was thinking it through it and wished things could have been different...

    Seriously....that is NOT the legecy that the prophet (SAW) left us with....we do not just become sooo selfish in our goals that we hurt or become unjust to our fellow muslims...All the pushing, yelling...the prophet (SAW) would not be proud...

    My point is that just by visiting the prophets mosque, pushing people while they are praying on riad-ul-jannah, writing on the separating wall (yes...people where writing on it...), crying and all that jazz - this is not how we honour our prophet (SAW)...If we love him, we must be kind to one another, follow his sunnah...this would be in my opinion a thousand times better then visiting the prophets (saw) grave and wresting with people to get there...Im not saying that we should not visit his mosque..im saying we should be humble in how we do this...

    **********

    I do have more incidents to share...stay tuned...
    A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

    #2
    Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

    I can understand your anger and I did experience similar things when I went, I found the arab mosque staff to be very rude to Pakistani ladies but TBH the pakistani ladies don't really do as they are told either. Well they didn't when I was there, they were pushing shoving, and not waiting their turn for ziarat, you know how they take you in country/language wise. The ladies just kept wandering off and trying to get in with a group going in before them. In western countries we are taught from a young age to line up, in Pakistan no one lines up and waits their turn and they take this habit with them wherever they go. The price they pay for this ignorance is the way others treat them due to this.

    Most pakistani people that came from pakistan for umrah , it was obvious that they were from not so well off backgrounds so maybe this was a once in a lifetime chance for some and they were not sure if they would return so thats another reason I think they do this.

    All in all, I did see the discrimination towards pakistanis there, oh yes and my BIL who also lives in the UAE informed me that the families there have school hols so they all come for umrah during the hols too.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

      ^^ Yeah, Ive been told the same thing Mrs NM, I also did see a lot really silly things that Pakistanis would do...but still I feel its not good enough to deny certain nationalities the chance to visit the prophet's grave..simply based on their nationality...By all means correct their behaviour...remove them from the premises if they are being pushy and rowdy but segregating them on the basis of nationality is not ok...

      They were old ladies...I felt so bad for them...
      A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

      Comment


        #4
        Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

        Why didn't you tell them you were austrailian? You haven't even lived in Pakistan since childhood...
        The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it.

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          #5
          Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

          ^^ Because I identify myself as a Pakistani first and then Australian....it doesnt matter that I havent lived there...we still keep our identity alive even though we live in Australia...

          I know what you mean, but seriously, me telling them that Im Australian, how does it change things...

          Those poor ladies didnt have an option of saying they were from a western country...
          A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

          Comment


            #6
            Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

            I just remembered one thing...

            I remember how we were lining up and waiting for the women to be let in....and they open the gates....and we hear this weird sound...it sounded like a war-cry....we realised it was the ladies yelling and running to be the first to get to the prophets (SAW) grave...me and my sister looked at each other and cracked up laughing ....lol...it was hilarious...

            If you've ever seen people line for post Xmas sales outside Myer or David Jones and then run inside eager to get cheap products...thats what it was like...

            Lol sorry for the unworthy analogy and yeah...
            A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

            Comment


              #7
              Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

              ummm they don't just segregate Pakistanis and Arabs, they do that for every nationality now, Egyptians go first, then the Turks, then the Persians, then the Pakistanis and Indians are also segregated. They give you a pre-lecture in your native language so you can better understand?
              Anyway it's their new thing so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

              IMO your looking too much into things, everyone loses their temper once a while, its unfortunate if someone irritates you or you feel you're being insulted because there's a lack of communication.
              Most women visiting the Mosque are illiterate, they don't understand basic commands. I'd be frustrated with them too if I worked there.
              I get around this by speaking to them in a few choice Arabic words, so they know I understand them and they will straighten out right there.
              It is not the fall that kills you. it's the sudden stop at the end.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                kashmiri, I think you have a little misunderstanding added up in your anger. this time of year, right from the monthof Rajab actually, this year, the holy cities have had millions of umrah performer and hujjaj round the world. I honestly think they are doing their holy best to accommodate us and other zaireen. being an Aussi maybe you got disappointed because obviously those are still Muslim cities and not western to come up to the standards of the westerns.

                From Rajab uptil Zil'iqad, The zaireen to the Roza Mubarak (which cant be seen even, at the ladies section) are grouped country wise, now arabic speaking people may have tented to form a group for themselves because they do not have this language difference. From what I have witnessed by being there (idont remember how many times) Pakistanis dont really look like a victim of some mishandling or misbehave. There is always an urdu speaking lady in there, a member of the management team there, who forms pakistani women ina group and brings them to the Riyaddul Jannah turn wise. i honestly didnt any bias and discrimination about it. its just inorder to ensure atleast less of chaos since, imagine if there were not even turns, only the pushy and unruly would have won AND NOT TO FORGET its The Prophet Sal Allah O aleh Wasallam's abode, in front of which, the believers are required not to even raise their voices!

                I didnt find any discrimination and bias there anywhere alhamdolillah. Rather, people in both the holy mosques look for a reason to be gracious and kind, regardless of who you are. Its such a sameness running in everyone's blood. well this is what I experienced at least. Not to forget the fact anyway, that some of the pakistani women really behave awkward there, so even if you found any discrimination, thank OUR NATION for that. Well it will be unfair if I would suffice the impropriety of behaviour to the Paki's only, many arab ladies, old usually (from different countries but Arab ingeneral and not the native ones, the zaereen) also happened to be a reason of discomfort but well its the Holy cities you know, the gracious ones, you simply get away with it all.

                Saudi-Arabian people have wonderful manners, they are hospitable and kind. (again personal experience) And this is mainly so because they are aware that they have been blessed with this divine responsibility and hospitality.

                As for the behaviour of the management team, you must have found it same in both the mosques. they HAVE to be strict, people just wont listen otherwise. Adamant ones even then do not.

                What I gather from you post, sister, is that maybe you went there not believing in the voice from inside, but only as a family trip (im extremely sorry but it just sounds like that) such and other things will bother everywhere, and we do complain too, but the Holy Cities are jut not as average as every where. You know even if you are pushed there, its a little test of whether you let it go, are you a meanie to pushback in anger or just did sabr fi sabeel illah, because maybe this is required to test whether you deserved to offer your attendance on the holiest, the most sacred places on earth or you were just lucky.


                I m sure your feelings will be utterly different when you will recognize the worth basically, of arriving there, and then you wont be feeling all this, even if the experiences will still be the same.
                Let the Sea be my mother, and the Moon my father;
                I will swim with the mermaids forever thereafter....

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                  ^^ Thanks for your replies guys...

                  I hope thats is the case...I just found instances where there were racial tensions, for example some of the stories one of our drivers were telling us.
                  They talked about how they favour arabs over non-arabs in clashes with the law etc...

                  I hope it is as you say, with no discrimination, but I believe some tensions are prevalent....my point to mention them is not to complain but to express my regret that we have such instances.

                  I think we as a ummah should be beyond discrimination especially during hajj/umrah periods...
                  A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                    For many years now, part of my father's business has been in Saudi (mecca and medina), so he has daily dealings with Saudi's of every level and has his own experiences plus those of his employee's who are mostly Pakistani. It's pointless to deny that certain ethnic groups face a lot of discrimination, whether it's in business or during pilgrimage. Your only saving grace on occasion is your foreign passport but it's the colour of your skin that's seen first. The guards in the mosque's also seem to have let the power go to their heads.

                    It's not dissimilar the same small minded, petty behaviour you experience entering Paksitan at the airport.
                    OMG Paki!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                      ^ that would be an ideal situation though. Lets just pray it happens
                      Let the Sea be my mother, and the Moon my father;
                      I will swim with the mermaids forever thereafter....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                        Originally posted by mirage View Post
                        What I gather from you post, sister, is that maybe you went there not believing in the voice from inside, but only as a family trip (im extremely sorry but it just sounds like that) such and other things will bother everywhere, and we do complain too, but the Holy Cities are jut not as average as every where. You know even if you are pushed there, its a little test of whether you let it go, are you a meanie to pushback in anger or just did sabr fi sabeel illah, because maybe this is required to test whether you deserved to offer your attendance on the holiest, the most sacred places on earth or you were just lucky.


                        I m sure your feelings will be utterly different when you will recognize the worth basically, of arriving there, and then you wont be feeling all this, even if the experiences will still be the same
                        Look I appreciate you taking the time to answer some of my queries but please do NOT make the mistake of assuming to know my intentions for being there. I am not freshie to islam - I recognise the worth of being there and made the choice of going there only after I fully believed I would be able to appreciate the worth of such a holy place.

                        Being pushed around is something I accepted and comes with the crowd environment, but other more deliberate behaviours are not acceptable. Of course I know one must be patient, but I want to reiterate the fact that one must be careful in trying not to push and making sure to go there with humble intentions and actions...
                        A woman came out of a mans rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior over, but from his side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                          i guess i have already apologized.no offense, please.
                          Let the Sea be my mother, and the Moon my father;
                          I will swim with the mermaids forever thereafter....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                            I went on Hajj this year. I am a British citizen but the colour of my skin happens to be brown. And unfortunately those guys like to club together all the people with brown skins as "Hindis". The whole experience of visiting the house of Allah could be a a great deal better if the people, particularly those in charge, demonstrate better understanding and etiquettes. At one instance I saw prayer mat pulled from underneath an old Indian couple who were praying.
                            Last edited by ramesha; Nov 19, 2011, 08:12 PM.
                            "Verily, I am leaving behind two precious things among you: the Book of God and my kindred, my household..(Sahi Muslim, Hadith Thaqalayn is narrated by thirty plus Companions of the Prophet)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: My thoughts on a recent trip to KSA...

                              There is racism and prejudism everywhere, Saudi Arabia, US, Australia and Pakistan. My view is how much will you let prejudiced ppl get in your way of what you want to do. In a perfect world such behavior would no exist, and yes, people need to oppose it and stand up against it, but don't let it spoil your experience. That being said, the give and take I just described, based on that I will not go and live in KSA, was there as a kid and that was enough.
                              Your friendly neighbourhood fraudiya loafer luccha lufanga awara ayaash aubaash ghunda badmaash man

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