The Middle East and Discrimination against Immigrants

The economies of countries in the Middle East have developed remarkably in the recent years. Oil has made the Middle East a popular destination for immigrants due to numerous employment and investment opportunities. UN data has revealed that the highest share of immigrant population is to be found in the Middle East. In 2004, The UN Human Development Report placed countries in the Middle East among the top four destinations for migrants with other two countries ranked as sixth and ninth places. I chose this topic because numerous immigrants in the Middle East are facing discrimination and their plight cannot be ignored. Someone has to tell their story.

Bail, C. (2008). The configuration of symbolic boundaries against immigrants in the Middle East. Annual Sociological Review, 73(1), 37-59.

The author focuses on migrants who are undocumented or who entered the Middle East through irregular means such as human trafficking. They are the most vulnerable category of immigrants and are likely to encounter gross violation of their rights, since they are deemed to be non-existent. Smuggled migrants are gradually alienated, which results  in loss of identity. The source is particularly relevant because it exposes the researcher to a special category of immigrants who do not enter the country voluntarily and thus, their status is similar to that of slaves.

Baldwin, M.  (2007). Gender dimensions in migration in the Middle East and Mediterranean.The Global Commission on International Migration;Mediterranean Migration Observatory.

The book discusses the unique challenges that female immigrants encounter in the Middle East. They are vulnerable to abuse and violence both at work and at home. They have to exchange sexual favors for permission to travel form one destination to another. They either work in the domestic or service sector. This source is significant for the study as it gives a coherent analysis of gender-based discrimination of immigrants in the Middle East.

Banks, J. (2012). Diversity in immigration destinations. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.

Banks provides an analysis of the most popular immigration destinations in the world. These include The United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. The immigration rate to the Middle East counties has  grown rapidly over the past decades. Employment opportunities are the leading factor in attracting migrant workers to the Middle East. The source is quite useful as it discusses diverse immigration destinations and exposes the researcher to the similarities and differences in discrimination that immigrants have faced in each destination.

Claude, R., & Weston, B. (2010). Abuse of human rights in treatment of immigrants in the Middle East.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Respect and tolerance for human rights in the Middle East is almost zero, even for nationals. Most countries are governed by Islamic law (Sharia) and do not respect human rights which are deemed to be a secular law. Immigrants in the Middle East, therefore, face double jeopardy and have no motivation to seek redress unlike their counterparts in Western nations.

Gerdes, L.  (2009). Controversies created by immigration in the Middle East. San Diego, Calif: Green haven Press.

The author focuses on the fact that Middle East plays an intriguing role in international migration, because most countries there are countries of origin for many emigrants, as well as destination countries for many immigrants. The article exposes the researcher to the reasons why some people are leaving their countries of origin to look for a job elsewhere, while other people are entering those countries to work there. When immigrants are better off than the citizens of the destination country, it creates resentment which is manifested in form of discrimination.

Jureidini, R. (2011). Migrant workers and xenophobia in the Middle East. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

The author focuses on the hostility, which migrants in the Middle East face as a result of xenophobia. Xenophobia is generated due to differences in physical appearance, color, complexion, accent, dress, language and religion. Migrants are, therefore, blamed by locals for any crime that occurs. The source is important as it helps the researcher to understand the underlying causes of discrimination of immigrants in the Middle East.

Talani, L. (2008). Why do migrants leave their countries? Motivations to migrate to the Middle East.  Final Project Report, 24(5), 39-44.

Talani discusses the factors that attract immigrants to the Middle East. Labor force is the leading category as employment opportunities attract workers from less developed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. The second category of immigrants is refugees, fleeing from conflict in their countries of origin.  The third category of immigrants is usually the ones who are on transit to Europe, but do not possess the required documents. The source reveals the challenges faced by each category of immigrants.

Wahba, J. (2010). Challenges encountered in the labor market by immigrants in the Middle East. Journal of International Migration, 14, 179-199

Oil-rich countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offer massive opportunities to foreign workers. Immigration to the countries is directly related to the development of oil resources. The author analyzes the gross violation of labor rights in the Middle East and compares those to the standards in other immigrant destinations.

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