The Curse of Being Pretty
I graduated a few years ago and found a job in a Middle Eastern country that shall remain nameless. It had always been my dream of working in a foreign land to show the world what I’ve got. I remember that first day like it happened yesterday. I walked into a building of the publication I was working for and went upstairs. Naturally I was unsure of where to go exactly. It wasn’t until I reached the top of the second floor that I was welcome by a man who wasn’t older than 30 with a creepy, snarky, bewildering smile on his face. “You must be the new girl,” he said. “Come, I’ll show you where you’ll be working.” After politely thanking him, I found myself quickly taken aback by his actions. Within the first ten minutes I remember hearing his office phone ring on numerous accounts, but he refused to answer them. Why you ask? He was more interested in gawking and sitting next to a pretty good looking girl. Talk about professionalism right? Anyway, that’s not where this story ends. Not by a long shot.
Days turned to weeks, weeks turned into months, until the inevitable happened; working in a coed environment is not an unusual thing in the Middle East. But I suppose some men are not used to it in comparison to others. So much so, that, without going into too many details, my body was abused by a man who held a higher position.
After that I went and filed a report with the head of Human Resources at the establishment. But alas nothing good came of it.
I was accused of lying, telling a tall tale, and of course, just craving attention. After that I didn’t know where to turn. If I went to the police with such a complaint I would carry that sexual label on me. I would have a Scarlett letter for the rest of my life.
This was a time of my life that I was desperate for money and the economy was in the gutter. So I tried with all my might to avoid interacting with my male coworkers but I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t easy. The establishment ended up not hiring me full time. And I ended up feeling very uncomfortable working with men. So much so that it’s borderline terror which of course is not a way for a @Khaleejigirl to live her life.