Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is a goldmine for millions of people from Asian and Arab countries that are reeling under high levels of unemployment.
Ebrahim, an Egyptian, is among those now forced to leave a four-year job in the construction sector and return home because his work permit has expired. “I arrived here at four o’clock this morning and I’m still waiting for my turn to obtain an exit permit,” said Ebrahim, as he lined up with some 100 other illegal workers outside the immigration office. His face was drenched in sweat and he was constantly wiping it away.
Ebrahim expressed hope that he would obtain the document that allowed him to leave for home without having to pay any penalty or serve jail time. He also hoped he would be able to return to Saudi Arabia because, he said, “the situation in Egypt is very bad.”