Acceptable Racism

A Krispy Kreme original Donut, with a small black Americano is what i ordered. Not long after I sat down with my two dear friends. My phone rang. At first I thought my sister was laughing, but then again I never heard her voice in extreme shock. After a few moments of trying to explain, I understood she was in the middle of a shocking car accident with my mother, her best friend and her best friend's mother. I rushed, drove, with the attempt to stabilize my body and mind to avoided another car accident. As I arrived  to the hospital, and after several hours of tests, they were dismissed with minor injuries. I was asked by the Doctor to pick up their medications from the hospital's pharmacy. As I queued up, a group of young men in their early twenties were talking, almost shouting if you ask me. One of them said "He should go back to his country for he is not as pure as I am (Naming a country in the African continent), this is my country, I can do what I like when I like". The conversation seemed too casual, with no reaction from any of the many people who stood in that area. I was staring, not believing what my ears were hearing. Not for long though, for my shock seemed to wear off quicker than the smoke coming out of a lit cigarette evaporating into thin air. Eventually I knew that no one was going to say anything. My biggest disappointment was that not even I cared enough to object with a single word. I just stared and walked away hoping that I could control my lips and strength for long enough before I do something that I will regret, just to hold my rage for long enough to leave that building they call a hospital, with the words of the great man Ali Bin Abi Talib echoing in my skull ''Words are under your control until you speak them , but you come under their control once you have spoken them''.

Not sure to why  I was surprised, or worse, why was I even angry, I expected myself to get used to such ignorance with my life experiences. See racism has existed for generations, in most parts of the world. However, it has become less obvious. It became smarter, more hidden, but never the less still exists. People increasingly stood to fight against its evil principles. From buying slaves to serve one another, to discriminating against one's right to get on a bus, to deny others equal jobs and opportunities, to fear those who are different to us in any form or shape. Back in the old days, we didn't all know nor interacted with various cultures nor races. See it's no excuse, but we seemed to undress our cloth of ignorance and use our lack of knowledge as a hanger. But that hanger is too old, too rusty, too ugly and not strong enough to carry its own weight in such times. Now we are part of a global village, with technology, with books from all parts of the universe and the knowledge we acquire on a day to day basis  has changed the world as we know it. But the question that started to bang against each corner of my brain was, how could it still be justified in an educated society, a society that has well explored the world, yet managed to find a road to an "Acceptable racist" ideologies?

To treat the working class with humiliation, and find it part of a casual talk ... that's "Acceptable racism".
To reject a man for marriage based on his ethnicity and find it very acceptable to publicly and casually admit it ... that's "Acceptable racism".
To have a pay scheme change depending on the nation you come from ... that's "Acceptable racism".

Here is the thing my friends, we are the problem. Each time one is in anger, and loses that bit of control, we blame things on those who are different to us. It's a feeling of belonging that it gives us towards the society we are in. So instead of working hand by hand with every member of that society to create a better world, we hold our very own weapons to destroy it.

I don't know what to do about it, and I am coming to accept its existence. All I know is, I long for a land, where people are treated for who they are. All I know is that I love my home, but I despise many things about it and I do wish for an equal society.

It's the few good men and women that I see that give me hope, yes a thin light that I can barely witness, but I feel its existence. It's a hope I have in the teaching of the man who walked this land over 1400 years ago and implanted a seed of justice, and no matter how many of the majority try to kill that justice with their actions, a few minorities always resurrect it with their positive behavior.

In regards to the gentleman who proclaimed that he should do what he likes in his country, I wish I could go back to the situation and say:
"No my dear ignorant airhead, those people you're referring to contribute to the society just as much as you do, every working member does... NO sir, you have no right to do what you want to whom you want... No sir, you're religion nor governed state would never approve of that... NO sir, enough is enough, your likes have destroyed our society beyond recognition ... NO sir, I am sick and tired from having to justify and defend my society to the world against the disappointing ignorance that people such as yourself carry ".

I will dream of that society, and although it seems further away from any other dream I have or will ever have, I have the right to dream it.Till that dream comes true, I will cleanse my heart from all this acceptable racism that my world permits and encourages. Maybe, just maybe I will one morning wake up feeling the pride of a man with a free justice spirit.

Jeddah - 16/11/2011


  1. I loved reading this Faisal! It's a testament to your good sense :)

  2. Indeed, racism is an ugly truth. I myself, was a victim of it as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia. In my two years of working in Al Khobar, I have rarely seen or experienced the usual courtesy that we all know that should be given to every human being. But it seems that most of the Saudi nationals, (take note please, NOT all of them) don't regard the expatriates as an equally human beings as they seemed to treat them like animals...especially the Filipinas, Sri Lankans, Indonesians or Bangalores. If they don't respect nurses or other professionals, how much more those who work as domestic helpers? We all know the truth but we are somehow blinded by this inevitable reality. Or maybe, we all possess the immunity to this. Not only in Saudi Arabia, this is happening all over the world. In my own point of view, education, religion or economic status has nothing to do with it. This racism which has started from ages ago is like a disease of the society...a disease with no cure. Unfortunately, this is being taken for granted because the main reason of the expatriates' existence in ones country is to be able to support their families back home. Thus, racism will remain as it is. How great it would be if this will be eradicated in our society!

  3. That's one of the reasons why I wish I wasn't born here.

    One of my dreams was to adopt a child, to think of how much you can change the life of a soul that's is already here on Earth is just so overwhelming. But it had fade long ago when I realized how he/she is gonna be treated differently by the society here.

    Another great piece Faisal. And 7imdella 3la slamat your Mom and sister :)

  4. First of all, al7amd le ALLAH 3ala salamt your mother, sister, and their friends.

    Dear friend,

    Racism is in the human nature. It started with Able & Cane. So, don't be angry. All we can do is to try our best to reduce it to a point where others in society would feel ashamed & outcast to show it. The only way to eliminate it is to find the gene responsible & destroy it.

    I've experienced racism in every country I've been to in one way or another. Racism is triggered by either Stupidity, Jealousy, Vanity or all of them. In some societies, it is a way of life. Unfortunately, those traits are embedded in the human race's genes.

    When our beloved Mohammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم, passed away, Al-Ansar & Al-Mohajireen argued who should be Khaleefah. That was a kind of racism. Even though, they all knew Prophet Mohammad's saying: "There is no difference between an Arab or Non-Arab except in fear of ALLAH (Taqwa)." This shows how, sometimes, our genes take over & we forget our principals, but a good person would eventually suppress this ( only Allah knows why we have it ) gene.

    I've learned thru experience not to argue with less minded people ( this is kind of racism ), as the saying goes: " Don't argue with idiots. People might not differentiate between the both of you." I'm glad you walked away from that situation, because the only outcome would've been a worthless fight.

    I'm glad you were angry, 'cause it shows your good nature. Show your anger by teaching your surroundings the ugliness of racism. Don't force it, make them UNDERSTAND. Racism is but one of many defects in our lives. When we recognize these defects and work hard to reduce them, then we can claim that we have a better society, not pure mind you.

    Keep it up my friend, I like your writings.

    God bless you.

  5. Sunrise: And I thank you for your testimony :)

  6. Sophia: I am sorry to hear about your bad experience, yet I must again emphasize on the fact, that because of those nationalities you mentioned(Philippians , Sri Lankan, etc...) that many of the foundations of our health sectors exist. An appreciation must always be paid to everyone who countributed to this societ, for they are part of it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I truly enjoyed reading them.

  7. Danya: Allah Ysalmek. Well if to adopt was a dream of mine, I wont be held back by any thoughts of the negative perception this society might hold. I have a Friend who is blessed with many kids, yet adopted a child, and I am so proud of her family, and the Love they show to each other. Re-consider your dream my friend :D

  8. Myya: I appreciate your long response and the effort you took into both reading and writing on this blog. I am glad that you take joy in reading my writings.

    Most importantly thank you for teaching me the new quote, i very much like it:" Don't argue with idiots. People might not differentiate between the both of you".

    I hope to read more of your thoughts in times to come :)