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Sun 10 Aug 2008 08:00 AM

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Poor Saudi women forced to sell organs

Unable to find employment, women resort to selling kidneys to help out debt-ridden families.

Saudi women unable to find employment are being forced to sell their kidneys in an attempt to get their families out of debt, Arab News reported on Sunday.

The Saudi daily highlighted the case of one family in which two sisters plan to sell their organs because they are unable to watch their mother suffer under the weight of debt she has built up after her husband walked out 12 years ago.

“I cannot see the sad faces of my family members and stay doing nothing about it. I have posted my will to sell my kidney in discussion boards on the internet but no one has taken me seriously,” said the elder 25-year-old sister, who did not want her name published.

“I insist on it though my mother is not happy with it as she is worried about my health. After announcing my decision, my 23-year-old sister said she would also sell her kidney.”

The sister said they have approached charity groups for assistance, but to no avail. They are told the father should take care of them, she said.

While selling organs is illegal in Saudi Arabia, it is seen as acceptable for families to give financial donations directly to the organ donor, according to Arab News.

The 14 centres for kidney transplantation in the kingdom made 382 organ transplants last year, the newspaper said.

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Naz Hussain 12 years ago

Well maybe the Saudi Royal family might like to take some of that oil surplus money out of the Federal Reserve, Swiss bank accounts and God knows where else its currently being channeled and begin looking after its people. Surely it's not against Islam to look after the affairs of the people, now is it?

Bikash Mallick 12 years ago

The tale of two sisters & a mother" shows how helpless & neglected they are in their so called wealthy country. Protection for all aspects of women are a basic, preliminary responsibility of a community. God bless them they choose ultimate way to donate their kidney to keep mother alive.

Julie 12 years ago

I think it is a very sad situation when anyone has to sell their organs to survive or carrying on living. The father should be made to help this family out of debt years ago. It is very typical of a man especial in the middle east to walk away and forget I for one should know I too was in the same position. Saudi is a rich country and the government should step in and help people like this family who are left to fend for themselves. The sisters should be preparing for some kind a future for themselves, what happens if their own kidneys fail in the near future. Who will help them!!!

T Crowe Semler 12 years ago

King Abdullah has many issues and challenges to face in The Kingdom. We hope and pray he will place the issue of his people's poverity at the top of his policy list. We must take a stand for the finanical wellbeing of the citizens especially those who are abandon, widowed, and orphaned. King Abdullah's grace and compassion for his citizens will bring about the true justice for all those who are in need.

Kishwar Shaikh 12 years ago

It would be rewarding religiously if the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia considers to help the poor family by sanctioning a monthly pension sort of thing; and at the same time provide some sort of earnings to these poor sisters. For the Royals money spent on this poor family would be like "a drop from the ocean".

Amazed 12 years ago

With the oil price reaching all-time high you'd think that the Saudi citizens should be in good shape economically. What a shame that two young women has to sell their organs just to stay afloat in their "worlds largest oil-producing" country! Isn't it the same country, one of its princes is buying an Airbus 380 superjumbo for personal use and one of its Ambassadors buying a famous castle too!!! The irony!!!

Hussain M 12 years ago

replying to amazed.... i have only one word to say... INDEED IT IS! high rents, soaring commodities costs add to that the lowest paid nationals in the gulf and you have an organ donators' bonanza, and no clear solution in sight. the absence of a welfare system is to blame, but im surprised these women, especially the mother, didnt take it to the courts... and if they did where is the justice system. under law the father should bare all costs. my heart go out to these brave women.