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Maids or servants?

Ok, so we all learned in US history that during the times of slaves there was another form of service being provided to wealthy New Englanders: Indentured Servants. These we people from the "old world" who wanted a new life but couldn't afford it. So they would sign contracts to work as servants for a set period of time and afterward they would be set free. At least that is what I learned, if that is incorrect... oh well.

Well, a very similar thing is sweeping the nation of Lebanon. It isn't that new, though, it has been going on for quite some time. The women of Lebanon (especially the well off) are hiring full-time maids/nannies. I like to call them indentured servants, because they dont really have too many freedoms or rights. They work by cleaning the house, making food, and/or taking care of the children. Some women have more than one but most stick with a single servant.

These women come from a few countries around the world, but I will not mention it here. They work for almost nothing in order to try and support their families back home or to go to school. In addition to their 'wages' they are given a closet for a room and a minimum number of garments to wear. They are treated like crap. And I feel bad everytime that I am at someones house and they come to serve me by filling my glass with water or picking up my dirty plates. It is wierd and I don't know how to act toward/around them.

There many stories of women who treat their slaves..i mean servants well. They would give them a few days off in the month and they don't always make them do all the work. But the outcome seems to be the same. The servants take advantage of their masters and stop working. They begin to tell their masters what to do and they only do as they please. With these stories I don't know how to act toward them. Since they don't work for me, I treat them with respect and much gratitude. And since I am not looking into buying...hiring a servant anytime soon, I will not worry about how to order them around.

One last story: Our cousin who just moved back to Lebanon was at the mall and was taking her 1 year old son to play at the mall. When she got in all she saw was servants with the kids. She looked around and did not see any Lebanese women with their children (they were all shopping). One of the mom's finally came back and yelled at the servant because her child had snot coming down his nose. The servant quickly took out a tissue and cleaned it. While she was cleaning it the mom was disgusted by her own kids germs...Then my cousin was told by another mom that it her son was too attached to her. Um wait, is he not supposed to be attached to his mother???

Posted by serj n syn 01:42 Archived in Lebanon

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