DQ’s Al-Kindi Plaza draws Riyadh OFWs on weekends

Being an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) isn’t a walk in the park.

It involves a lot of sacrifices in search of a better life for loved ones in the Philippines.

Some are subjected to inhumane treatment, ranging from physical abuse to sexual assault and loss of life. This was what happened to Jullebee Cabilis Ranara, who died in Kuwait at the age of 35.

 Her body was found thrown in the desert. Investigations showed she was raped and murdered, her body with burns.

Despite all this, OFWs somehow find ways and means to be happy although longing for home.

A few could afford to travel as tourists to expand their horizons or in search of better job opportunities.

Others meet friends in the city where they work. For instance, in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, there are now different places where OFWs and other expatriates meet to pass the time, discuss projects, or discuss business.

Inside the DQ (Diplomatic Quarter) is the Riyadh Development Authority, where Al-Kindi Plaza is located. Pinay DHs meet there on weekends – Fridays and Saturdays. They work in embassies inside the DQ.

Sometimes, a Filipino couple works in the same embassy. The husband could be a driver, while the wife would be a household help.

At the Al-Kindi Plaza, Filipinos catch up with one another if they have not seen each other for a long time. They talk about the latest news on fellow OFWs or new Saudi policies affecting them, which they have discussed on social media.

They discuss plans, such as when and where to take their annual leaves, what they will do while on vacation, or how long they intend to work overseas. They usually say that, because of homesickness, they will go home after they have bought a house and lot and the children have finished studying.

The DQ is self-sufficient. It has residential areas for diplomats and city residents who can afford the rent, a five-star hotel, supermarket, gasoline station, fast-food and coffee shops, a gasoline station, and a pharmacy, among other things.

It was established in 1978 on an area of 800 square hectares. In addition to the embassies, government agencies are also located there.

The DQ also has several parks. In the morning or late afternoon, diplomats and DQ residents can be seen walking or jogging for physical fitness.

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