Last October 24, 2017 at around 11pm, I just had the scariest experience I had my entire life. I never expect it will happen to me during my stay here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It never happened to me in the Philippines nor I experienced successful pick pocet incidents. Thieves may have attempted on me a lot of times but never succeeded as I have been so vigilant in things like this especially on places I expect it to happen. But the experience I had recently was never in my imaginations during my stay here.
I am working as a nurse, specifically, a dental assistant most of the time and sometimes I am pulled out to Dermatology department or in the Emergency Room as the needs arise. lately, I am working in the morning shift and tend to sleep after eating every time I got home around 5 in the afternoon. I then wake up between 9-10 pm in the evening and sometimes go out at the little store (Bakala in Arabic) outside to buy something I need for tomorrow just in case I don’t have it in my cupboard. Well, I live on the 2nd floor of the same building as the clinic I am working.
So that night, at around 10:50 pm I decided to head out for a while to buy a 2-riyal pasta at the store just adjacent to the clinic’s main entrance. I have been going out at this time since I got here ’cause I am confident enough to walk alone outside at 11 in the evening since the clinic is still open as well as other establishments around. A lot of people are still walking along the streets also. So after I got what I need from the store I immediately went home to prepare food for my double shift work on the following day.
I started to walk across the road to head back to the clinic which is just right in front of the store too. When I was at the middle of road, on the concrete barrier between 4 lanes, where there were palm trees/dates grew; suddenly a teenager of apparently between 16-17 years old straight off tried to take my mobile phone I had in my hands along with my wallet. Thank God for the wisdom that though I was in panic mode, I was able to move and utter few words in Arabic for people to notice me and chased the robber who successfully snatched my phone after he tackled me at the middle of the road where we were almost hit by cars speedily racing along the streets as the green light just lit. It was difficult for my to see his face and where I would go as I have problems with light glares, I couldn’t almost see anything and all I see was car lights. he grabbed me by the neck by putting his arms around me so I couldn’t move; dragged me to the sidewalk and then managed to open my palms and took my phone and even attempted to take the wallet also. But I did my best and held it so tight that he struggled to take a grip of it. He only succeeded taking the phone and ran right in front of the Mosque next to the incident area. I kept screaming to call for help as I was running after the snatcher until good people came along to help and realized that I was being harassed for the robbery attempt. They held him down and I was able to retrieved my phone from another bystander who helped since the thief might have thrown it on the road [to avoid evidence if police comes] or gave it to his accomplice which was just also around the corner too [I saw him too!]. I was shaking while he was being held down and was asked few questions by a local who generously helped me. But when I got my phone back, I decided to walk back to the clinic to get away from the incident are which is just adjacent to the clinic’s main entrance. I never thought of calling the police to report, I just walked away. He was so lucky I was in a state of shock and wasn’t able to think of going to legal sanctions for the crime that teenager did that night.
Women working in the middle east should be more careful especially now the economy hasn’t been doing so well, a lot of people have financial problems now which could probably resort to this kinds of situation among young people. To all women working here, we should all be very vigilant no matter how long we stayed here. Anything could happen at any moment. This is no safe place even of it is just 10 meters outside your workplace. When bad people exist, crimes could happen. Be careful everywhere you go. Open your senses to danger, and be alert if things like this happen. Wherever you are going, never be complacent; always take care.
#LifeInKSA #OFW #pinoyinksa #ofwinksa #womenharassment #bevigilant