There is a little story I must tell you all in order for you to understand my situation. First of all if you aren’t familiar with Saudi Arabia than you do not understand the “sponsorship system” or “kafeel system”. In Saudi Arabia in order to get into the country you must be invited; either by work, a family member, or for a conference or education. Unfortunately, due to the way the regulations are written and enforced, the sponsor as an entity can own you. You can become a slave in 2014.
I was on the sponsorship of a major contracting company that feeds the oil industry like Saudi Aramco. I worked for Saudi Aramco under the sponsorship of this company. I started my contract in September 2012 and got married in the country in January of 2013. After finishing my contract I decided I did not want to renew my contract and wanted sponsorship to be transferred to my Saudi husband. My company refused. Thinking that we would be able to rectify the situation, I overstayed my “final exit” which is essentially the paper that tells the passport offices my company has washed their hands of me. We issued complaints to the Ministry of Labor and the Amara (Governor’s Office) of the region. It has been months and we have not received a reply. My iqama (residency permit) is going to expire in a month, which will render me illegal in this country. My bank accounts and telephone numbers will freeze.
I am conflicted because:
1) I have already wasted so much time with this situation I do not want to exit. I want them to be punished!
2) I love this new job and I do not want to abandon it!
3) I’m stubborn.
4) Medicals (which are required to come here) are ridiculously expensive in the States right now and I no longer have insurance there.
I am not sure what is going to happen with my situation, but I feel lucky to have this job at this moment.
Good Things About Week 4
1. Midterm marks the halfway point of the semester!
2. I got my computer, internet, and a phone in my office!
3. It is now over since it is Thursday! (In Saudi Arabia the work week runs Sunday-Thursday.