Migrant Labour, Immobility and Invisibility in Literature on the Arab Gulf States
Restrictive migration policies in the Arab Gulf States aim to ensure the temporary stay of migrant workers and to prevent what is seen as their political, economic and cultural threat on host countries and their citizens. By examining two novels on migrant workers’ experiences in different Gulf places—Taleb Alrefai’s Ẓill Al-Shams (The Shadow of the Sun, 1998) and Benyamin’s Goat Days (2008)—this chapter argues that discriminatory and exclusionary policies result in the creation of a locale in which individual migrants are deprived of having authority over their own movement and are unable to connect with their material surroundings. Their mobility or immobility, a direct result of their subjugation to the material environment, is an actual reflection of their marginalization and lack of power vis-à-vis the state and its citizens.
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