With reporting from Riham Sheble
While the rest of Qatar sleeps, a whole team comprised of thousands of men from other countries has been working to keep the nation clean and manicured.
To express appreciation for their efforts – and perhaps gently remind people to pick up after themselves – the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) this week shared a TV segment about the teams.
The footage, originally aired by local television station Al Rayyan, shows the efforts that go into keeping Qatar clean.
According to the video, cleaners typically work at night, manually picking up trash and sweeping up dust, sand and litter in urban areas. Meanwhile, street cleaning machines spray water and soap onto the roads to remove other debris, while garbage trucks haul tons of trash to landfills.
The work is part of an initiative launched in 1981 named the Public Cleanness Project, which goes into overdrive during periods such as Eid when higher-than-normal volumes of garbage are generated.
Some people have previously suggested that low-income expats and domestic workers appear “invisible” to others, despite making up roughly a third of Qatar’s population.
Because they work long hours and are restricted in where they can go, many are rarely seen moving about the country for leisure.
In recent years, there have been campaigns to appreciate and recognize the country’s street cleaners.
Last year for example, the MMUP organized days in which young people temporarily took over the jobs of Qatar’s cleaners.
Under the hashtag #شاركنا_وخلك_مكانه (Join us and put yourself in his place), people tweeted about their experiences, with some saying “We now know how the cleaners feel and what they go through, especially in this terrible weather.”
Residents of Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have also produced short videos in recent years that allow viewers to go for a walk in the shoes of low-paid expats in an effort to foster greater understanding and empathy.
While Qatar employs legions of workers whose job it is to keep the country clean, government officials continue to ask residents to do their part by not littering and keeping beaches and other public areas tidy.