Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Many Saudi families in Riyadh have protested against companies housing their laborers inside residential districts, saying the presence of large numbers of single men in their neighborhood breached their privacy and hindered the free movement of women and children.
Abdullah Mubaraki, a professor of sociology, justified the fears, saying the presence of foreign laborers in a neighborhood would negatively affect not only the tranquility of families living in the area but also their privacy and freedom.
“Residential districts are known for their calm and tranquil atmosphere with children playing in courtyards and parks and women freely visiting their friends in the neighborhood. The presence of foreign workers in such districts will put so many restrictions on families,” he said.
“Some families may be forced to prevent their children from playing outside their houses as a precautionary measure,” Mubaraki said.
He said the presence of workers’ lodgings inside a residential district could tilt its demographic balance, restricting activities and movements of families. “Saudi bachelors are not allowed to live in areas where families live and I think the same restriction should apply on foreign workers,” he added.
Some families have installed surveillance cameras in front of their houses while others have issued warnings against foreign presence in the neighborhood. “This shows they are not happy with single men living in close quarters,” he added.