Saudi Gazette/Okaz report on an issue in one of the two holy cities that serves as an object lesson in how Saudis need to up their appreciation of human rights. A groups of widows, divorcées, and orphans are being pitched out of their housing in Madina because the buildings they’re living in need repair. Keeping their housing in repair is, of course, necessary. But the country offers few options to what already exists. It’s hard for widows without extended families, divorcées who chose not to live forever with their parents (if still alive), and orphans whom Saudis do not wish to foster. The support structures to support them are few enough and, as the article alleges, in poor condition. I think the government needs to focus on the fact that times have changed. No longer is the ‘extended family’ there to provide support. Someone, i.e., the government, needs to step in to provide housing for those whom its strictures push into corners.
No place to live for widows, orphans and ailing women
MADINA: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs branch in Madina gave 24 families, including widows, orphans and divorcées, less than two weeks to leave buildings where they have lived in for a number of years, some of the residents told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
The families, who lived for decades in the two endowed buildings, said they were suddenly told by the Ministry’s Endowment Branch that they must move out by December 24 because the buildings must undergo maintenance.
Residents said their pleas had no effect on the decision and officials refused to secure housing for them, despite their being inability to do so.