World Cup slaves
A story worth telling. Don’t read this if you want to have a nice day.
7 months ago I boarded a flight from Doha to Kathmandu. While waiting in a long line to step onto the plane I decided to talk to one of the many Nepali’s I would be accompanying. As we spoke I learned that he had been working in Doha with all of the other men waiting in line. I asked him how was it? His reply was something I saddened to think back to. His expression was somber as he looked at me and began to tell me how bad his experience had been. Cramped living quarters, little to no food, long grueling hours of work, and little to no pay to send back home to his family far off in a remote Himalayan village. For the past year this was life for the hundred or so Nepali workers waiting in line with me.
Once I boarded the aircraft I was greeted with a business class seat next to a British professor who was teaching in Doha. As the flight took off and we began to talk, I brought up the man I had spoken with in line. I soon found out how terrible the situation for Nepali migrant workers in Doha (likely the entire Saudi Arabian peninsula) really was.
She told me this: The Nepali workers who come to Doha looking for jobs are usually from the remote villages in Nepal. They’re lured by the prospects of making 4-5x’s the amount of money they could make back home. Recruited and lied to. They take on what is sometimes a one day trek to the nearest bus station, a 24 hour bus ride to the capital city Kathmandu, and then a 4 hour flight to Doha. Once they arrive they find out fairly quickly it’s not the dream opportunity they had been told. Now a desert, a sea, and a thousand miles away from home with no contact with their family, trapped.
They’re worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Sometimes without pay which I found out later on in a Dubai emergency room. A Bangladeshi man arrived with his friend who hadn’t spoken, had water or food for over 2 days. There was no head trauma or any physical damage to him. It was physiological. The nurses told me they get this sort of case often. The short of it is this. The man is not paid, told not to speak about it and threated with deportation by the boss.
Back to the flight. At one point in our conversation she told me, “Watch this now the flight attendant is going to bring back some bottles of whisky to calm them down”. Sure enough within minutes a flight attendant came by with whisky. I can’t imagine what those people must have been feeling like.
I asked cant their government do anything about this? The response, no? Why? Because they can simple say to the Nepali government, if you don’t like it then will kick your people out and bring in people who can. Her final unforgettable words to me were this, “They work them to death and when they die they bury them in the desert. No one can hear them scream. “
This article was just released confirming what I heard. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves
Modern slavery yet I hear no news of it in the US. I guess we can all enjoy watching the world cup being played on a graveyard.