Monday, August 17, 2009

Tips to get jobs in Saudi Arabia

Taken from a blog, if those in Saudi would like to share their experiences and other tips..please do so....

The following are practical tips and guidelines to help facilitate ones search for that ideal Saudi position and what to expect once an offer is received!

First and foremost have a professional resume. Ensure that key accomplishments are clearly stated. Have a strong objective statement such as why you want to work in Saudi Arabia, what position you seek and why you are the most qualified individual for such a position.

Circulate your resume. Put it on the usual web sites and/or message boards. Some useful places to submit a resume for employment in Saudi Arabia include:

Career Builder – this web site is utilized by many Saudi companies and institutions seeking candidates. – this web site specializes in advertising positions and opportunities in the Middle East region and always has a variety of differing types of positions available in Saudi Arabia. – this well known web site also has search engines and links for jobs in Saudi Arabia.

Executive Jobs in Saudi – as the name states, this web site specializes in positions in Saudi Arabia.

Clarendon Parker – an international recruiting firm with a local office in Riyadh.

Helen Ziegler – the best web site for those who are seeking a position in Saudi Arabia’s medical industry.

Aramco – with US Headquarters in Houston and locations throughout Saudi Arabia, this is one of the largest of expat employers in Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.

It is further suggested that instead of waiting for an employer to find your resume, bring your resume to the attention of a target employer instead! There are directories which identify American companies which have a presence in Saudi Arabia. And if one works in a specific industry, again there are global directories organized by industries too. Use these directories to identify potential employers. And of course as with any perspective opportunity – DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the company, know its mission, vision and values. Is it a public or private company?

This segues to the next step which is for any interaction with a prospective employer, do not simply send your resume and hope for a response. In many cases a good cover letter will give a lesser qualified candidate an edge over a more qualified candidate who only submits the resume. Let the employer know why you are interested and why the employer should hire you. This is the time to not be shy and advertise your strength and skills. If you do not consider yourself number one for an opportunity then why should a Saudi employer? (or any employer)

The initial contacts with a prospective Saudi employer may likely be through email which should lead to scheduling of a telephone interview. In all dialogues (email and voice) be professional. Do not try to be cute or gushing or showing off ability of Arabic. Answer questions candidly which illustrate your experience, understanding of the position and sensitivity to the Saudi culture.

Once selected for a position in Saudi Arabia, it is absolutely essential all the “ducks are in row” and by that I mean have your paperwork in order. Requisite documents include passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), shot record, degree, certificates, letters of reference, employment verification for starters.

It is not unusual to be asked to present letters of reference and employment verification from all past employers. And Saudi Arabia is more formal than the States in the sense that reference and verification documents should be on the company letterhead and ideally with a raised stamp/seal and an actual rather than stamped signature. Educational documents, employment documents will need to be certified by the issuing state, authenticated by the relevant government authorities and then authenticated/attested by the nearest Saudi embassy/consulate.

Once accepted for a position in Saudi Arabia it can take from one month to up to 9 months for all the processing to be completed. Be patient, it will happen!

Now, 'Marriage Tourism' in Egypt

Last time we heard about the rampant mis-yar (temporary marriage) in Indonesia by Saudi men or ever popular 'mutaah' marriage practiced by certain sects of Shiah (even Sunni) is...

Outcry in Egypt over ‘marriage tourism’

Nadia Abou el Magd, Foreign Correspondent

Tourism is viewed in Egypt as a positive force, providing jobs and cultural interaction and driving the country’s economy. But a sinister side to the industry has come to the fore again following the launch of a campaign against “marriage tourism”, where a visiting Arab man pays to wed a young Egyptian girl, usually below the legal age of marriage.

The marriages last any amount of time, from a couple of hours to years. Often they are simply a pretext for the man to have sex with the girl legally, while sometimes the man will take the girl back to his country, where they often serve as maids to other wives.

Last week, Moushira Khattab, the new minister of family and population, launched a campaign against underage marriages to Arab tourists in the villages of Cairo’s 6th of October Province, about 40 kilometres south of the city, known for their high levels of poverty and unemployment and where marriage tourism is rife.

A hotline has been set up to provide legal advice to parents who have taken, or are considering taking, money in exchange for temporary marriages of their daughters, as well as to raise awareness about the issue.

“We will raise awareness and tell these people [the parents] that they are violating the law – that actually they are committing a crime,” Mrs Khattab said in a telephone interview with The Home is Yours, Egyptian state TV’s main talk show, last week. “Poverty is no excuse to sell their daughters.

“We are looking into a comprehensive solution that would include education, registering birth certificates, getting rid of poverty and the ignorance of the families,” the minister continued.

“Religious leaders should undertake their role and explain and correct misconceptions about religion, that this is not marriage sanctioned by Islam.”

The programme was discussing a recent study by the ministry that surveyed 2,000 girls in three villages in 6th October – Hawamdiya, Badrashin and Abu al Nomros. It found 74 per cent of the girls below the age of 18 were married in this way to non-Egyptians, mainly Arabs.

“Al Hawamdiya used to be famous in the past for its sugar factory, now its has become notorious for its girls, who have become like golden chicks for their parents who use their bodies in shady marriages with rich Arabs,” said Wael Karam, chairman of the board of the Menf Association for Development, a local non-governmental organisation.

Mr Karam cited one case he found particularly shocking: “A father of a girl named Iman, 17, has made her marry 10 rich Arab men already. He didn’t mind her moving from one man to the other as long as he was being paid in advance for each of these ‘marriages’, which is done under the pretence of keeping with law and religion.”

A recent study by Menf found that 40,000 underage and young girls have been “wed” in tourism marriages in Egypt since 2006, which has resulted in the birth of 150,000 children.

Ms Khattab said the “husbands” rarely recognise the children from these marriages and more often than not return to their home countries, never to see the girl or the child again.

“This is so disgraceful to Egyptian women and Egypt,” Magdi Afify, a member of the Shura Council, parliament’s upper house, said at a press conference held by Menf on Saturday to launch a parallel campaign against the “dangers of touristic marriage in Egypt”.

“The practices these men are involved in amount to rape and should be punished as such, by death sentence.

“They are not only tarnishing Egypt’s image, they are causing the spread of vice, as many of the 40,000 women involved in these deals are potential prostitutes in the making. This is a very serious issue.”

Malka Razaz, a female Islamic scholar and expert on marriage law in Egypt, said marriage tourism is not a new phenomenon and has grown considerably over the years.

“I started warning about such marriages about 15 years ago, but the problem is that nobody listens until a catastrophe takes place,” Ms Razaz said, speaking at the Menf press conference. “Enjoying a poor young girl for a short period of time, in exchange for money and without any responsibility from the so-called husband, can’t be called marriage; this is a trade, a very low one.”

The participants at the press conference said these “deals are conducted by a broker, a lawyer, the father of the girl, and the rich would-be husband, with the girls having no say in them”.

Mr Afify of the Shura Council said Egypt’s child laws should be amended to criminalise touristic marriages.

Though Egypt’s child laws were amended last year to raise the age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18, touristic marriages are not registered with the state.

Most of these marriages are urfi or secretive marriages, where lawyers, who act as brokers and take money from the deal, write a contract with the father and the husband. The marriage is not registered and therefore not recognised by the state, and does not give the woman or her children any moral or financial rights beyond what is paid at the marriage.

Even worse, some of these marriages are conducted orally between the father and the husband, with no written papers. Analysts and rights activists say poverty is ultimately what leads parents to sell their daughters.

“The issue has to do with economic circumstances,” said the human rights lawyer Mohammed Abdullah Khalil. “For a father to sell his daughter, and a girl to sell her body, it’s very similar to illegal immigration, where the youth are so desperate they sell everything they have and take the risk even though there’s a 90 per cent possibility they will drown in the sea, just to escape poverty.”

Amina Shafiq, a veteran journalist and a member of the National Council for Women who also attended the Menf conference, agreed.

“Had we managed to eliminate dire poverty, those fathers would never have thought of selling their daughters like this, and the rich Arab tourists wouldn’t have approached them,” she said.

Is PPSMI Teaching children to fail?

This is something to ponder about the standard of our teaching....however, it could be one small matter that needs to be addressed this part of PPSMI which had spent billion RM of our money?

Teaching children to fail
R. Nadeswaran

envelopes that land on our table always get immediate attention. While some are routine anonymous notes with more venom than facts from disgruntled members of the public, a few contain unsubstantiated allegations while others usually are from self-appointed do-gooders who think they have the right cure for all our country’s ills. A few contain valuable information which helps us in our journalistic efforts to uncover some wrongdoing or another. But when the contents of one such envelope were opened on Wednesday, it was not only this writer who went berserk, but also several colleagues with whom they were shared.

The header on the note read: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Selangor: Program Peningkatan Prestasi UPSR (Selangor Education Department: UPSR Performance Enhancement Programme). It was a mathematics test preparatory paper for Standard Six pupils who would be sitting for the exam next month.

Going through the 40 questions, there were no less than 33 grammatical errors – more than 75%! Poring through the 18 pages of questions printed on 10 sheets of paper, one can only conclude that the questions were set in Bahasa Malaysia and were translated by a less-than-competent cikgu who was not proficient in the language. It also showed that whoever supervised this project never bothered to check them. Instead, they were sent to the printers with an accompanying note which was signed: Saya yang menurut perintah.

These are not exactly bloopers which could be blamed on the printer’s devil. These were not created by some untrained person who makes a living by making people laugh or a writer for David Letterman. These are what the authorities believed were correct and accurate. Some samples:

» Which of the following convertion is not true?

» What is the shape of the incline faces?

» What is estimate value in l of 60 glasses of water?

» How many oranges does Diana gets?

These are just mild. Here come the "better" ones:

» What is the difference value between the two number?

» The average of four number is 18. The fifth number is 28. What is the average of five number?

If you thought these were bad, here come the gems:

» Diagram 8 shows the Pravina’s twelfth birthday. Her brother borns 3 years 6 months after Pravina borned. What is the age of her brother at 7th January 2014.

» Diagram 10 shows the mass of a packet of flour. The flour is fill in three containers. First container fill in with 3.98 kg of flour. The rest of the flour in second and third container. Which of the flowing mass is for second and third container?

» Bar chart in diagram 16 shows the number of events won by Red Spout in Annual Sport. Table 4 shows the mark of each places. Calculate the total mark of Red Sport in Annual sport.

For years now, we have been debating on the declining standards of the English language. This test paper was set for pupils who have had six years of primary school education. The medium of instruction for mathematics and science is supposed to have been in English. If the teacher or teachers who set these questions cannot write proper English, how do you expect the pupils to write or speak the language?

This test paper shows that we are teaching our young minds to fail. It is also a reflection of the lackadaisical attitude adopted by many who claim to be in the "teaching" profession. Further, it displays the seriousness the authorities take in ensuring that our kids get a good grounding in the language.

In a nutshell, these mistakes mirror what has happened to our education system. As kids, we were taught to dot our "i"s and dash our "t"s. We were made to do "corrections" to the homework if we got it wrong. Our teachers spoke to us – both in Bahasa Kebangsaan (at that time) and in English – without mistakes in pronunciation or delivery. They were thorough. Teaching was a profession which was delivered with utmost passion.

Today, some think of English as a language of our colonial masters and therefore shun it. The system of education has been systematically dismantled and even nursery rhymes like "Jack and Jill" have been dropped. They took away the hallowed turfs in cricket pitches because "the game is only played by flannelled fools from England". They have negative opinions about other people’s history. When we were in primary school, we already knew about Alexander the Great, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi, Prophet Muhammad, Gautama Buddha and Lao Tze because we were taught about not only the lives they lived, but also their values.

In the same breath, the same few who take anti-colonial stands and preach about nationalism have no qualms about sending their children to the headquarters of the colonialism where everything is taught in English. Unable to communicate, they form cliques, become reclusive and then claim that "the English students refuse to mix with us." Why do you need the colonialists which you detested or were taught to detest? A parody? No, it’s much more than that.

We are at a crossroads and the debate on the medium of instruction in our schools continues to rage on. Both sides of the divide have their own reasons, some of which are justified. The debate is not going to end any time soon. The crux of the matter is that you can’t please all the people all the time.

But what we can hope for is while the debate ensues, the people tasked with moulding the minds and hearts of the younger generation do not abdicate from their responsibilities by adopting slipshod methods. Yes, change will come about in 2014, but in the interim period, can they make education fun by not making all these inexcusable silly mistakes?

R. Nadeswaran went through the old school where students had to write perfect sentences. A mistake or two would end up with an earful from the teacher or in worse case scenarios, errant students would get two of the best on the buttocks. He is editor (special and investigative reporting) at theSun. He can be reached at: