The United States - 165 million -- one fourth of those surveyed
Britain, Canada and France - 45 million each
Spain - 35 million
Saudi Arabia - 30 million
Australia and Germany - 25 million each
I just find things like that interesting. :)
Now on to Naser's story . . .
When his uncle is unable to pay the fee that the Saudi sponsor requires, Naser, aged 15, is requested to meet with this man. His uncle was told the sponsor was willing to wait for the money so Naser headed to the sponsor's house in order to get the renewal information taken care of. Instead the sponsor shares that Naser can settle the debt ... and it doesn't require any money. His body will do just fine.
So is there any wonder this young Eritrean man is trying to numb his pain by drinking perfume and sniffing glue?
And later when his uncle kicks him out of the house for being a "bad Muslim," Naser is at the mercy of his friend Jasim who owns a café where men go to meet other men! And I don't mean just to smoke shisha and play a game of chess! Remember this is Saudi Arabia where the men and women are not allowed to mix.
Jasim gave Naser a job in his café and wanted him to wear tight cotton trousers under his thobe.
"Look, Jasim, I can't wear this to work. It is bad enough wearing a thobe. I can't imagine what it will be like wearing something as tight as this. I'm tired of customers pinching my bottom all the time and promising gifts if I agree to their propositions." . . .
"Don't worry, you will wear it under your thobe. But can you blame them, Naser?"
"My dear, in a world without women and in the absence of female glamour, boys like you are the perfect substitute. Why hide your attractiveness and your tender physique like a veiled woman? You are the closest my customers have to a beautiful and sensual person roaming freely in their world. So why sit on your beauty like a bird without wings, when you can fly?" . . .
"Naser, I want to make my café like a paradise, where everything one desires, one gets. They can lock women away, but they can't cage our fantasies. I want to find other ways to set passion free."
For a while, we didn't say anything to each other. And I did what I always did in Saudi when there was nothing else I could do. I closed my eyes.
So while waiting tables Naser realizes Rashid wants an inappropriate relationship with him. He storms to his room and his friend meets him there.
"Naser, it is hard for me to ask you to do this not least because ..." He paused, sighed deeply, and then said, "Naser, Rashid likes you. He said he must have you because he wants you to . . . "
"Let me guess. He wants me to be his boy until he gets married. I have heard it many times before but I am not going to do it."
"Naser, we can't refuse Rashid. He might not look it, but he is a very important man for this café. I didn't tell you this before, but for me to keep my business open, I have to do certain things, obey certain rules. I am a foreigner like you; I could be kicked out from this country any minute if I don't follow the rules. You are very dear to me, I will only ask you to do things for a reason. If this shop is shut down, where will you go? Who will open their house to you?"
Quotes from pages 56 and 59 from The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia