Saturday, May 12, 2007

roaming labourers

Recently I made a comment on bachelors (primarily laborers) moving into residential neighbourhoods of Sharjah by the hordes - within the community blog. I received some flak for my comment - as it was perceived by some as "insensitive".

I have the following to state to those fellow bloggers and all else who care to listen:

We've see huge scary looking buses, which carry the less fortunate souls drive pretty recklessly across the narrow (well kept) lanes of some Sharjah residential neighbourhoods. The buses drop off the labour folks - mostly in the evenings. This is the time moms & toddlers are out playing or out for walks in the neighbourhood and parks.

I am infuriated - sincerely infuriated by the fact we now have hundreds of labourers roaming about these well kept and perhaps some of the older neighbourhoods of Sharjah. I am upset these men stop and stare at the women and leave all sorts of debris - sandwich wraps, coke cans and plastic water bottles, once they move on. I am upset these men feel it is alright to tress pass into a private garden and pick flowers and more. This might seem totally harmless - but this is new to me. I have not seen so many people (not with the best hygiene or education or awareness) walk into my garden and neighbourhood parks (all pretty harmless) on their way home from work.

It's not comfortable or safe from any perspective, and it's not just me who thinks this way. My neighbourhood is made of up people from varied backgrounds - there are Emaraties, various Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis and a few EU's. Everyone feel rather bolted - by the new "roaming labourers" and completely crazy buss drivers.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for labour rights and treating them humanely etc all. However I cannot just stand and watch the neighbourhood I've grown up in, turn into some horrible & unsafe place.

Most of the residents have lived here for 3 to 4 decades and along with Sharjah municipality we've all done our pennyworth to keep the place, clean, safe and developed. Hence it hurts and causes much discomfort to have these new visitors - who neither care for the cleanliness or safety of the residents. Call me cold - I don't care. This is my home, and my neighbourhood. All those who've lived here for decades have worked hard to keep it a safe, clean and a wonderful place to live.

I realize the souls are returning after hard day's work - but come on, there has to be better a alternative - such as low income and affordable housing, perhaps not within certain neighbourhoods of Sharjah. I don't want to see a lovely 3 bedroom home, down the road turned into a labour camp with about 30 men living in it!! This is one of the reasons why I feel affordable housing perhaps in the outskirts of the city is a viable option.


IYM said...

I totally agree with you Rosh..
One of the reasons we're moving out to a new neighbourhood in this coming summer is exactly what you're describing.. our area is becoming simply unsafe..
Our neighbour just next door rented out his big 2-story Villa to a group of God knows how many labourers who keep spying on us all day long half naked through windows and balconies..
At least we can afford moving out to a safer and cleaner place.. what about those who can't afford it?

rosh said...

Yes I know - SHJ still is a wonderful place for families, however most of the single men (who are hardworking as well) do make us all uncomfortable.

It might sound cold to some, but what about people living in those homes? Some of us have lived in the neighbourhood for 30 to 40 years and have valued our safety, security and serenity in the area. It is hard to see this lovely neighbourhood turn into another labour camp - yes that is what it is becoming, a labour camp.