The eternal theme of domestic workers…

I was commissioned by The Global Journal (Geneva, NY) to illustrate an article by Ruthie Ackerman on Domestic Workers in Lebanon for their December issue. I finally received my copy in the mail, and I’m sharing the illustrations with you!

What are your thoughts on the above? Miss you, and can’t wait to udpate you on the “new” adventure in the making 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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18 comments

  • Sahar Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    Loved it! Covers most of the scenarios 😀

  • Darine Sabbagh Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    It would’ve been funny, if it were not so sad! I think the next generation of Lebanese will speak a 4th language which will be the language of their domestic worker nanny that raised them.

  • Maria Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    it is true yet it is very sad ,i really wish things will change for the better

  • hiba zunji Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    great, your touching the problems directly

  • yasmine Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    Congrats – the drawing are wonderful and very true. It is sad to know how some people treat their domestic help…..

  • Christine Basha Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    our concept of domestic workers = MKN = Masse7 Kannes Naddef… sadly this is the real situation…
    however, this is nothing compared to other countries of the Gulf!

  • Fadi Friday, January 14, 2011   Reply →

    Is it just me or all these situations seem extremely familiar?

    Great drawings – keep it up!

  • annie Saturday, January 15, 2011   Reply →

    This has to be by far your best illustration as it covers both a reality and series of real scenarios in the Lebanese society ,I loved how you portrayed the women chatting at the beautician’s

  • Danielle Sunday, January 16, 2011   Reply →

    Modern day slavery is right. Who is going to fight for their cause? Great illustrations as usual Maya..

  • jad rt Sunday, January 16, 2011   Reply →

    I’v lived in few Europeans countries (France, Switzerland, Germany) and i’v never seen any family (rich or poor) who has a maid! these people live the simple life.
    Lebanese are snob and everything is “3aib”
    i don’t know how this trend hit our society!
    the maid cooks, raise the children, walk the dog…well she simply does everything!! and then when they go out to a restaurant they put the poor maid in a far away corner!
    Lebanese (women specially) are so lazy and wants to live as kings and queens with servants all over them.

    very nice illustration Maya 🙂

    • Ramy Monday, January 17, 2011   Reply →

      Well than you were lucky not to notice it.. migrant workers exist in every single country in the world… and their needs are never or rarely met.

      Its a sad thing, I volunteer a lot of time in Lebanon with domestic worker involved NGOs.. and although you may not believe it but its good in Lebanon we talk about the stuff they are put through, its better than lets say what happens in the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Venezuala, Colombia, Romania etc where new won’t even highlight anything on the issue because its 3aib for those countries to be involved to begin with

      • Georgia Wednesday, January 19, 2011  

        Unfortunately it is a minority with limited power who actually want any change, and a majority who actually keep domestic workers in these conditions. Migrant workers exist everywhere, true, but in the western world it is more commonly in construction or factory work. This too is a hard life in poor and often illegal conditions, although it could easily be argued that domestic workers are in the most vulnerable position as they do not necessarily have the right to see anyone outside the house at all and have no right to change job or leave the country if their employer chooses to make it hard on them, especially once the passport is locked away. Illegal immigrants are often in as bad a position slaving for the network which shipped them into a western country, but here in Lebanon it is legal – or at least ignored by the authorities.
        However a smaller proportion of people in the western world keep domestic workers in terrible conditions too, partly because they are sometimes kept secretly and not declared as there it is totally illegal to pay 250 USD as a minimum wage for 6 days of 10 hours (the legal maximum in the Leb) let alone 7 days of 16 hours.
        Either way… there’s awfulness in every country.

  • fadi Wednesday, January 19, 2011   Reply →

    where do you get that nice musical taste from 🙂
    thanks so much for the songs! i love them all!

  • Marillionlb Wednesday, January 19, 2011   Reply →

    Congrats Maya, but please allow me to dampen the mood just a little bit. Although what you describe is true, it is not the entire truth. Many migrant workers are treated like members of the family and some even have children outside wedlock and are raised (by the mother) at the employer’s home. And yes I know more than just a few. On the other hand there a vast number of migrant workers who come to “supposedly” work and try to get extort money out of employers by telling them stories such as (and this one is the most common) “Madame, ana husband very bad… drink too much take all my money. Now no money for daughter go to school or mother sick…etc”. And when Madame does not respond by giving money, madame will find money or jewelery stolen from here house and the migrant worker gone.
    This is the other side of the coin which I hope one day will be put under the spotlight.

  • Nahil Friday, February 4, 2011   Reply →

    every little thing here is 100% TRUE and 100% PATHETIC! It’s great to have people help us, but at least let us appreciate them and not treat them as slaves or pay them barely their needs. They are in Lebanon because they need to find work and support their families… I hate how we treat them as if they are a property … lol i like how u said clean madam’s house w ekht ekhta w maba3rif min kamen haha ma32oul?? eno takhaneha…

    fi we7de haram jebouwa men NEPAL, w her life was seriously miserable, keno y2aflo 3laya w hek u know, fa kenit tetala3 barat shebek tshouf jabal tfakir eno honik is her home, nepal. marra fazit men el shebek w metit… fakarit fiya tehroub 3a bayta… makenit 3arfe 7ata eno hiye b gher kawkab ismo LEBNEN!

    Let’s end this bad reputation we have! Put urself in their shoes ya 3alam ma32oul we have become so lazy and cruel?!?!

  • Pauline Wednesday, February 22, 2012   Reply →

    Bravo pour ces dessins qui pointent avec humour un problème de société flagrant mais que personne ne veux voir. J’ai réalisé un mémoire de recherche sur le sujet, il est disponible à l’IFPO (centre de recherche de l’ambassade française) et s’appelle “les employées de maison malgaches et philippines au Liban, facteurs de vulnérabilité et stratégies de résistance”. Plusieurs ONG se sont attelées à la tâche difficile de protéger ces femmes mais elles n’aident que les cas les plus graves. C’est toute une mentalité qu’il faudrait changer… Bravo à tous les Libanais qui en prennent conscience, c’est un grand pas. Les commentaires sur cet article sont un bel espoir!

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