How one Saudi family remained loyal to their Sri Lankan maid after 28 years

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Sarouna left Sri Lanka to take up domestic job in Saudi Arabia nearly 28 years. When her Saudi sponsors moved houses, she was not used to the new tile floorings and so slipped and injured her leg. While others would have sent her back to her home country, the al-Zakdi’s went the other way.

Abdulaziz Khalaf al-Zakdi from the Saudi city of Hail said Sarouna was living proof that housemaids were not machines meant to work at one’s will, but ones who become part of a family they work for.

Abdulaziz said Sarouna came to Saudi Arabia in 1989 to help his family with the household work and has stayed with them for a whole generation. When they moved to their new house recently, Sarouna slipped and suffered from bruises, and was not able to carry out her duties the way she used to. The family did not abandon her, but instead, helped her recover from her injuries by financially and physically helping her with the needed treatments.

They continue to pay her as a staff member and are also in contact with her children to reassure them about her health.

“We will keep on taking care of her as long as she is still living with us,” al-Zakdi told Al Arabiya.

Al-Zakdi says that the family loved her because she was loyal and loved the kids; she was able to manage the household works perfectly. He said that Sarouna has good managing skills as now supervises four other workers and a driver. She is in charge of taking care of the house’s needs and goes with the driver for grocery shopping by herself.

Abdulaziz said that he has a large family including him, his wife, five children and his mother. He said that his brothers and their children come often to visit his mother.

For her part, Sarouna said that her sponsors and all the house members treat well and consider her a part of the family.

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