A Migrant Experience of Gulf Malayalees in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People


  • Sameerah Fathima M.A, CELTA Independent Researcher




Gulf Malayalees, Deepak Unnikrishnan, Temporary People, Kafala, Keralites.


Abu Dhabi-based writer Unnikrishnan, originally from Kerala, explores the precarity and transience of migrant groups in his Gulf immigrant tales. Research was done to determine the issues that Indian migrant workers encounter in the Gulf states. In 2015, the UAE surpassed Saudi Arabia as India's most important Gulf destination market. C. (Chanda & Gupta) Although laws and programs have prioritized and safeguarded the well-being of Indian migrants, they are not limited to this group and are available to Gulf migrants as well. The sponsorship system, also known as Nizam al Kafala, governs and keeps tabs on the dynamic between migrants and their employers. The kafeel, or sponsor, is legally responsible for the worker in this kind of international contract migration. Humanitarian concerns inspired an initial trial of the system, which had a tight coupling of the work permit and the resident permit. The Kafala has eased several restrictions on foreign employees, including the need that they get exit visas from the Kafeel. The stories and experiences of Gulf Malayalee migrants were the focus of ethnographic and literary research into the lives of Arab Gulf migrants. However, the use of fiction to better comprehend migrant experiences is a relatively uncharted territory in the field of migration studies. This essay uses Deepak Unnikrishnan's Temporary People to examine the plight of emigrant Gulf Malayalees.


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Works Cited:

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Tedeschi, M., Vorobeva, E and Jauhianen, J.S. “Transnationalism: Current Debates and New Perspectives.” GeoJournal, vol. 87, 2022, pp. 603–19.

Unnikrishnan, Deepak. Temporary People. Restless Books, 2017.

Vertovec, Steven. "Migrant Transnationalism and Modes of Transformation." The International Migration Review, vol. 38, no. 3, 2004, 970–1001. www.jstor.org/stable/27645423.




How to Cite

Sameerah Fathima. (2023). A Migrant Experience of Gulf Malayalees in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People. Creative Saplings, 2(02), 24–38. https://doi.org/10.56062/gtrs.2023.2.02.285