News Brief

This Horrific Video of an Ethiopian Domestic Worker Falling in Kuwait Must Prompt Change

This video is one more reminder that African and Asian domestic workers in the Middle East are subject to unimaginable abuses at the hands of employers.

Be warned, this is not easy to watch.


This morning, the respected Middle East-based journalist Jenan Moussa posted a video to her Twitter of an Ethiopian domestic worker in Kuwait clinging to the seventh floor balcony and crying for help as her employer films it on her phone. We've embedded it at the bottom of the post.

According to this AFP report, the 12 second video was filmed and posted to social media by the woman's employer who has since been detained by Kuwaiti police.

From the AFP:

The woman holding the camera is heard telling the hanging maid: "Oh crazy, come back."

The terrified maid is seen screaming "hold me, hold me", just before her hand slips and she falls down to hit the awning, which appears to soften the impact.

The employer made no reaction as she continued filming.

The woman survives but according to the article has suffered serious injuries.

The video has spurred talk on social media about the abuses guest workers in the Gulf states—female domestic workers especially—suffer at the hands of their employers. Reports of physical and sexual abuse, imprisonment and wage theft are routine in this industry that sees hundreds of thousands of women from across Africa and Asia who go, or are brought, to the region to work in affluent households.

Kuwait alone is said to be home to 600,000 foreign domestic workers while the United Arab Emirates, according to Human Rights Watch is home to upwards of 146,000. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon are other countries with particularly dismal stories of migrant labor abuse. The horrific conditions have long come under fire from international human rights organizations as well as local groups and the women themselves, some of whom are agitating for better working conditions.

The video and some of Moussa's tweets are embedded below:

 

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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