A Lorry Driver's Shattered Dreams


Proud to be a Muslim
A Lorry Driver's Shattered Dreams
Ali Al-Zahrani, Arab News

Abdul Rahman and his sponsor's water tanker, which also doubles as his
home, in a Riyadh suburb. (AN photo)

The story of Abdul Rahman, an Indian national working in the suburbs of Riyadh, is a human tragedy. He accepted a job
as a lorry driver in the Kingdom in hopes that he would earn some money
and live a better life. He did not know that his fate at the hands of a
local sponsor would leave him with no accommodation, barely enough money
to eat and live and nowhere to go. He does not possess an iqama (a
residence permit which all non-Saudis must have). Neither does he have a
driver's license. The only thing he knows in Saudi Arabia is the route
that takes him 250 km north of Riyadh to the well where he fills his
sponsor's tanker with water and then returns.

When Abdul Rahman first came to the Kingdom, his sponsor assured him he
would be well taken care of. That, he alleges, was the first falsehood.
"He got me into his car and drove me back and forth along this route
which I take every day. He told me this was the route I would be driving
but he didn't give me any details."


Abdul Rahman's job is to fill the water tanker every week from the well
north of Riyadh and then sell the water to customers in the suburbs of
the city. In the evenings, he makes himself as comfortable as he can
inside the cab and tries to sleep. He never knows when a customer will
bang on the tanker asking for a fill up. "I live alone. I do not even
know what the inside of Riyadh looks like," he said.

Half his SR700 monthly salary - which is sometimes paid two or three
months late by his sponsor - is spent on food and drinks and he is
usually left with less than SR300. "I have seven children in India whom
I have to provide for," he explained.

His only comfort, he says, is to listen to the voices of his wife and
children for a minute or two every week when he calls them from a
friend's cell phone. "Some of my customers who understand my condition
have also helped me by offering their cell phones for a few minutes," he

Good-hearted people who sympathize with him offer him food and drinks as
well as blankets and clothes.

For the past year, Abdul Rahman has not had the luxury of living in a
four-walled room. His sponsor's tanker is in fact his mobile home. That
is where he sleeps, rests, and waits for customers to arrive 24 hours a
day, nonstop. "I also have the responsibility of guarding the water
tanker," he said.

Abdul Rahman says his sponsor refuses to allow him to go to Makkah to
perform Umrah or Haj. The excuse given is that Abdul Rahman does not
have an iqama - which is true but an iqama is a document he should have
been given within a few days of his arrival in the Kingdom.

The man says he was a Qur'an teacher in India and since he arrived in
Saudi Arabia a year ago, he has had no access to TV, radio or any media.
He says he does not know what is going on back in India or in the
Kingdom. He says he feels suspended between two worlds.

When we asked him for his sponsor's number so we could talk to him,
Abdul Rahman refused, saying he did not want to get into trouble. "You
can help me out by giving me a blanket. It's cold now in Riyadh and I
have asked my sponsor for two weeks now to give me one. Each time he
says 'Insha Allah.'"


I have heard many times such news here in India, even one of my fathers friend had experienced the same ( for 10 years he was not able to go home, he use to sell APPLE )

Now here people afraid to go to Saudi Arabia for jobs

May Allah forgive our sins and enter us into Jannah -Aameen


Junior Member
It pains to read such stories. There are many like this.
A friend on mine, a white american convert got a job in Medinah with the intention of moving to the Prophets land. He got a job as an english teacher. His sponsor did not pay his salary for 6 months. He was treated harshly. To the point that it changed him for ever.
MAy Allah SWT guide those who live in the heart of Islam and Allah SWT has given them the privilege of being the safegaurds of those lands.


Junior Member

we b hearing many stories about saudies,even american in past not sure about now cuz they r depending on nonmuslim white american more now then in past,but they even made movies about labour laws violation & discrimination,thats why some time dispite media propaganda living in america,u cannot stop your self saying god bless america.in past one of my family member went through same,his sponser put em in the middle of desert bodyguard check in the night,no bed no bathroom,one time meal,some how they got escaped & went to suadi labour court,labour court decide in there favour & diden't punish the sponser but made them pay there 6month salary & one way ticket back home,since then my family member hate that place so much that he says i would go to isreal & live there but not in saudia,we tell him about not every one is same,look how the court decide in your favour but every body has there own mind.may allah save us from hate.
one thing every one says the saudia is most beautiful place to b in ramadan,cuz every one try to drag u to there house for iftar,its so much khair & blessing in ramadan,may allah give us tofiq to have ramadan & its application all year long not 4 just 30days only ameen


Asslamo Allaikum Dear Brother,

Alhum dolillah I am a practising Muslim & have lived/worked in Saudia and the West. I do not beleive myself to be an apologist nor someone who praises excessively.

Living conditions for "Muslims & Non-Muslims" from Poorer Countries in Saudi Arabia is "appalling" & you have to have "selective vision" not to notice in day & day out....

I have seen/heard/talked to People during my stay there & I don't beleive that it is hidden from People who land in Jeddah for Hajj/Umrah but it is certainly worst in the rest of the country (which is not visited by Pilgrims).

The hospitatlity that you have described is common to many Muslim countries...I have had the pleasure of being taken in by Turkish/Moroccon/Egyptian Farmers outside of Ramadhan in their respective countries & insist on me having Tea/Water-Melon (etc.) despite their poverty...Pakistan is the same but I won't mention it because I am from there; therefore not a visitor while traveller (so its not the same)...

If the Moderators permit I can recount horror stories in graphic details but since this is not a political site & I have no bones to pick with my Saudi brothers so I will end.

Jazakullah Khairun

P.S: Being a Bengali is a crime in Saudia & all to see. West has its obvious issues but race relations are nothing like Saudia.


Asslamo Allaikum,

I believe that I must put a disclaimer on my earlier comments:

1) It is not my intention to compare Islam & Kuffar
2) It is also not my intention to compare Muslim countries to Western countries
3) It is also not my intention to compare track records of Muslim countries to Western countries
4) It is also not my intention to compare other Muslim countries to Saudi Arabia
5) It is also not my intention to overlook the Islamic activities and achievements of Saudi People & Scholars

I am simply commenting on working conditions of people in a country. I believe that comments regarding 1,2,3, 4 & 5 will simply take the subject of this thread in a different direction (which is reasonable) but I hope that my comments will be taken on face value.

Jazakullah Khairun


seeker of knowledge

Immigrants left their countries in seek of greener pasture. They left their home and love ones trying to find a better life not knowing how life would be in their dreamland. It is not just in Saudi, it happened in almost all big cities where the poor are often exploited. These people are a vulnerable community. As muslims we should help each other out but such is the world we live in. My heart goes to them.


A poet say:

"I live at the mercy of the leopard
I walk on the shoreline in between
the cliff and the waves.
As I sleep the python inches closer.
This is not the law of the jungle.
It is the way of the world."


Junior Member


Immigrants left their countries in seek of greener pasture. They left their home and love ones trying to find a better life not knowing how life would be in their dreamland. It is not just in Saudi, it happened in almost all big cities where the poor are often exploited. These people are a vulnerable community. As muslims we should help each other out but such is the world we live in. My heart goes to them.

What you point out is very true that in every country a new person has to face a few hard ships in order settle. But it’s also true that the way employees are ill-treated in Saudi Arabia is especially bad. I have heard numerous people tell me how they were treated.
And I have see some gotten ill-treated but have failed to do anything. Try telling people that you are form Saudi Arabia and you will hear bad stuff.


Proud to be a Muslim
Reason for posting this Article

Assalam Alaikum

The reason for posting this Article was, such things happens at our HOLY PLACE

When any Non Muslim hear this, they dont blame Saudi, they blame Muslims.
"If Islam means PEACE than why such thing happens at your HOLY PLACE"

I have no answer to reply them instead of saying "this happens every where in the world "

At the time of Prophet, most of the people accepted Islam by seeing Muslim's behaviour, faith, culture

then Why not now ??

O! Allah, please forgive us and increase our IMAAN so that other may impress by us.

I am proud to be a Muslim.

marzuki mohamed

Junior Member
:salam2: :mashallah:

In this case Abdul Rahman should find a way to make a Police report and

contact the India Embasy in Saudi Arabia to solve his case ASAP.

this is the problem in our Ummah comunity today.Thing like this always

happen everywhere-everytime.

--------------------------- 0 -------------------------------------------

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The Embassy under the leadership of the Ambassador Mr. M.O.H. Farook continually strives for further enhancing of excellent bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia and is fully committed to ensuring welfare of Indians resident in Saudi Arabia.

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marzuki mohamed

Junior Member
how to explain if they ask?

".....i'm very very shy to explain to our new bro & sis that just converted if they ask why or thing like this etc.. happen to them...."

"....this is the VIRUS/disease in our ummah today..."

hopefully our iman still strong despite this Test!



Asslamo Allaikum Dear Brother,

Just curious...

Have you been to an Indian Embassy in KSA or been to a Police Station in Saudi Arabia???

Actually let me change my unashamedly direct query (Sorry!) ...

Have you enjoyed the Pleasure of visiting the Indian Consulate or the Police in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (run by the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques) and witnessed the exemplary Customer Service on display?

Alhumdo-lillah I had the pleasure of enjoying the hospitality of civil Service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on many occasions up and down the country as part of my work.

Furthermore my 70 year old mother, pregnant wife & 13 month old daughter (All in Ihraam) also had the pleasure of enjoying the hospitality of Saudi Military & later on the Saudi Police. They were “off course” perfect gentlemen and exemplary in behaviour right on the mark according to “Islamic Shariah” as they should have been to a family of “Asian origin”.

May Allah (SWT) reward them all in this world and the next for their hospitality as we still remember them.

Jazakullah Khairun

marzuki mohamed

Junior Member
:wasalam: bro globalpeace,

thanks for your advice.

Have you been to an Indian Embassy in KSA or been to a Police Station in Saudi Arabia???=No.

Anyhow above info was copy from the official website just incase
if its might help that guy.Thx!



Proud to be a Muslim
This information will really help someone


This information will really help someone