Our five year adventure in Doha, Qatar ended June 1, 2012, but the memories will always remain. It's back to Texas where I have decided...Qatar isn't cornering the market on "quirky", as I once believed. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world, Doha!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Not so Rosy Side

I know you're used to hearing from my lips all the fun quirky stuff about Doha, but there are situations that just can't be ignored. There was a story circulating recently titled The Dark Side of Dubai. It was a twitter sensation over here, as it was being "retweeted" over and over. I guess all cities have a dark side, some just more disturbing than others. Qatar's surfaces every now and then in the treatment of their laborers. Too many times, people are brought to this country with the promise of lucrative work, a roof over their heads, and food to eat, only to be met up with the harsh reality that they've been scammed. I say, "too many", because if it happens to just a few it is still over the limit. Today's Gulf Times reports about a situation happening right now...

"The group of 17 masons, who came from the north Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, in December 2007, have been living with no water, electricity and food, after their employer “abandoned” them in November 2008.
(click here for article)

In my dreamworld mind, this is unfathomable to me. Abandoned in a foreign country with no means to return home when all you were trying to achieve was to provide food and shelter for your family back home. As the article reveals, these people were working here for a pittance of 1200QR per month which equates to 330 U.S. dollars! So, I guess that can be justified by saying, "well, it's relative to what they would be making in their home countries". Maybe to a certain extent, but they still have to deal with the high cost of living in this country, work camp conditions, and being ostracized by the general population because they are so called "bachelors" (which is a rosy term for laborers). Make a visit to the malls in Doha and there will be signs posted marking Fridays as family days, "no bachelors allowed". Well, that is of course, unless you happen to be of the local or western type bachelor, or pass the litmus test when walking in. Friday is their one day off and they are stripped of the pleasures the rest of us are afforded. I just can't help but wonder what picture these guys are painted before arriving here. Would they still come if they knew "the rest of the story"? In all fairness, I have faith (I think) that most companies treat their employees with the fairness and respect that they deserve. For those that don't, I pray that the government finds a solution for these intolerable situations. Insha'Allah.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, my friend! I am right there with you on this one. I often pray for those that have been and continue to be abondoned at the airport right here in our own city of Doha. We are truly blessed!

    Regardng your "Got Skills" video: I'm not genius, but I'm guessing that's not just any ordinary bicycle, either. Truly amazing!


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