“I’ve been working as a housemaid for the same family, for the last thirteen yrs. I choose to not take a holiday to Indonesia, so I’ve not visited my family, since I arrived. My salary was $160, but now I earn $400 a month. With this money, I’ve built a farm, and a big villa for my family. I retire next month. It’s funny, because I think I’m more wealthy than the old couple I look after in Saudi” shared Suty, who is now 68 yrs old. Many domestic workers fill the homes of Saudi families and share similar experiences to Suty. However, the spectrum of their reasoning, and how attached they become to their hosting homes is wide. Whilst some of the domestic helpers see themselves as mere workers that count the days on returning home, others see their duties as an escape from a worst scenario. Cleaning, cooking, and sometimes even taking care of the children or the elderly are normal duties expected from them. But without normal occupational hours, they either become included in the family, or attacked as a scapegoat for every problem that arises, as soon as their arrival.
My project is following many types of domestic helpers to study how are they conforming to a society that governs their own so closely.