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Kenyan woman in Saudia allowed to sleep only 4 hours a night

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MuhsinMs Lila Muhsin believed travelling to the Middle East would end her financial problems. But that was the beginning of untold anguish.

She had applied for a job as a house-help in Saudia Arabia to help fend for her family. Despite the country’s reputation of forced labour and racism, Muhsin hoped for the best.

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But within weeks, she was trapped with a hostile employer. Her black skin made things worse, and the employer’s children chided her saying she smelled. A school dropout, Muhsin’s search for employment in Kenya was futile.

“In 2005, I did a week-long door-to-door search for a job,” recalls Muhsin, who is a resident of Likoni in Mombasa. “I used to wake up very early in the morning, cross the (Likoni) ferry and go to every company, hotels and other businesses that I thought would offer me a job, but it was fruitless.”

She says: “One day a friend to my brother who claimed to own a recruitment agency in Mombasa said he would help me get a job in Saudi Arabia and the pay will be good and the family was not hostile”. In January 2010, after fulfilling all the necessary travel requirements Muhsin was off to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

The agent promised to facilitate her return to Kenya in case of any problems or if her employer turned hostile.

“And in the first week I did not like what I saw. The first day, they welcomed me, second day they inducted me on how to do the household chores and that is when the problem began. I used to wash the entire house from walls, floors and ceiling everyday and that is minus washing utensils and clothes for the family of six,” she says.

The earliest time she could sleep was 3am every day, and wake up at 7am. This was too much for Muhsin, but she decided to persevere for the sake of her children she had left back in Kenya.

“The utensils were too many to be done in minutes. I used to take several hours washing them because, for instance, the woman used to use up to 50 spoons just for tasting food and that is besides the utensils she used to cook and serve food. It was tiresome,” she says.

She claims attempts to call the agent to explain to she was going through, were futile as he dismissed her calls.


The agent allegedly said he did not remember her, which angered Muhsin and that is when it dawned on her that she had to be strong and work since her hopes of being transferred to another employer had dwindled.

And whenever she cried after every confrontation with the woman, the husband would console her. Little did she know he wanted to use her for sex.

“On Thursdays and Fridays the family used to go out at night,” she recalls. “After the man dropped the wife and children he would look for an excuse to come back home. Since he had copies of keys to all the rooms he used to open my bedroom and try to lure me into having sex with him. But I used to escape his traps by stating a verse from the Quran. Since he was religious he would withdraw.”

The man became stubborn but Muhsin threatened to tell his wife and he ceased his sexual demands. Meanwhile Muhsin had also asked him to help her come back to Kenya since her passport had been confiscated by the wife.

The woman had told her that she would only leave after she completes her debt of Sh100,000, which she had paid the agent to facilitate her travel to Saudi Arabia. One day Muhsin woke up and began to scream saying her daughter had been taken ill and was admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

“They contributed money for my travel and treatment of my daughter then gave me an open visa thinking I would return. I was relieved to get out of their country.” But she is contemplating going back to theMiddle East since it has been three years since she came back and has not gotten employment.-standardmedia.co.ke

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