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Friday, June 25, 2021

Hundreds of low-income expats in Qatar left homeless after eviction

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All photos by Chantelle D’mello

Hundreds of residents in Qatar’s downtown area of Musheireb were forcibly removed from their apartments by police officials yesterday, effectively leaving the men homeless for the night and scrambling for new accommodation today.

According to witnesses, Internal Security Forces (ISF) showed up at around 9:30pm on Tuesday night, supervising an exodus that lasted around two hours.

Speaking to Doha News, MD Faiyaz, a 32-year-old resident who was at work when the mass evictions began, said:

“I was at Al Sadd and got a phone call saying that the police were at our apartment. They were breaking down doors, hitting people and throwing them out of the houses.”

Faiyaz said he lived with seven others in a studio apartment with five beds.

The Nepali expat, who works as a tailor at the Al Wadi Group, said that no prior notice had been given to the residents of his building, but added that other nearby complexes had been served eviction notices by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) a month prior to yesterday.

Other residents were given a warning two months ago, when in April, the electricity was shut off at several residential buildings in the Musheireb area, prompting a chorus of complaints from some of the thousands affected.

Abdullah Sayed, who was evicted yesterday, said that the power in his home had been cut off two months ago. But the developer of his building restored the electricity when complaints were made.

However, Sayed said no other information was communicated to the residents following the incident.

“No one has come by to collect rent for the past two months,” he added. “We have an agreement with (our landlord) to stay here, but no one has come by yet.”

Msheireb

Several of the buildings in the Musheireb area have been marked for demolition to make way for newer, more upscale developments.

But the majority of the thousands of people residing in the Musheireb area are low-income Asian expats from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, who said at the time that if they lose their homes, they’ll have nowhere else to go.

Searching for solutions

Another expat who lost his housing yesterday is Badruddin, a 31-year-old Nepali salesman who works for Amir Perfumes. He said:

“Friends of mine who were in the area and who live with me called me up and told me that red police cars (ISF) were in the area. They rounded people up and gave them five minutes to get all their things out of the apartments.”

Both Faiyaz and Badruddin – who resided in the same building – spoke to Doha News this afternoon while sitting on the pavement under the shade of a building in Musheireb, next to their belongings.

They said they spent this morning searching the city for affordable apartments, to no avail. Currently, the two said they make about QR2,000 each a month, and are given QR200 as a housing allowance.

When asked about how their employers have responded to their housing crisis, Faiyaz said:

“They told us to take the morning off to go look for apartments, but apart from that, we received no other information.”

Ramadan woes

Several of the people who lost their homes told Doha News that they spent half of last night on the street, and the other half in the same rooms from which they were evicted.

“We tried to sleep, but we were scared that the police would come in again and start throwing us out,” Faiyaz said.

The evictions come as the first week of Ramadan comes to a close, leaving many of the workers observing the holy month with no food and no housing.

The prohibition on eating and drinking in public has also posed a challenge for the now pavement dwellers. Many food shops are closed until sunset, and if the men do obtain anything to eat, they could get fined for doing so publicly.

Musheireb eviction

The day after the eviction, numerous people could be seen moving more of their belongings from the buildings to the streets.

Blankets, suitcases, towels and clothes could be observed in the area’s alleys and and street corners.

Musheireb eviction

In some places, doors were broken down and ripped off their hinges. According to eyewitnesses, internal security forces who had enforced the evictions last night had caused the damage.

Many people who spoke to Doha News complained that unnecessary force was used during the eviction.

Longtime resident Lubaib Gazir, who saw the men being removed from their homes and posted about it on social media, said:

“Some even had tears in their eyes, and most of them (were) just packing up whatever things they could from their houses – AC frames, gas cylinders, rice bags, clothes etc. Most of them didn’t know where to go next to spend their night, and were just waiting outside on the street clueless.

It was such a sad scene seeing everyone flee out of their homes getting whatever they could from inside! It was kind of a night which I never saw in Doha before.”

And Sayed, who is still looking for housing, said:

“They could have said it nicely, but they didn’t. There was no humanity. Just force.”

He also asked Doha News if any humanitarian workers would be on their way.

When reached by phone today, a Nepali embassy representative said they were unaware of the problems facing some of their nationals, adding they could only look into the matter if someone filed a report.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been updated to reflect that Badruddin and his friend make about QR2,000 a month, not QR1,000, as was initially told to Doha News.

104 COMMENTS

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osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago

The I in ISF is for Internal.

Skander
Skander
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

I was confused when they said International too.
Anyway, the law is getting enforced BUT it still seems inhumane to just leave them there without help and no shelter in ramadan!

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Skander

This is the worst possible timing. I can’t think about this right now, but it looks like whoever rented those apartments was informed, and didn’t inform the residents.

Electricity was disconnected (usually done at the end of any rental), and probably reconnected illegally.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Yes, apologies – fixed it earlier.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

I thought it stood for insensitive or inhumane after this incident.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

That’s not their job. They had instructions and had to execute them.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

With excess force? Sir I have 25 years policing experience in Australia Solomon Islands PNG Cyprus and Lebanon. And am currently on leave from my home police force where I hold a high rank I also hold graduate and post graduate quals in leadership and. Public sector mgt. If the reports are true then the brutal tactics used are not simply executing an order they are crimes themselves. The action of the ISF is cowardly and morally corrupt as well as unethical and inhumane. There are orders and then there are decisions made at the operational level as to how they are executed. Using force on passive person is not acceptable at all and those responsible should be held to account. But we all know they won’t.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

I have no idea what actually happened. I don’t think brutal tactics were used.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

‘There, but by the grace of God, go I.’

…and you, for that matter. Poor souls.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

I wish the ISF would tackle the problems on the roads with the same enthusiasm that they have shown here. …….and before somebody says it I know that they are only doing their jobs. It is easy to pick on those whose governments don’t fight back though or don’t have wasta.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

The ISF have no remit to enforce traffic rules.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Doesn’t appear as though even the traffic police have the remit. Useless.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Agreed

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

The internal security force (ISF) was established under decree-Law No. 23 in 2004 and entrusted with many tasks related to the smooth running ans security of Qatar.
Most recently, the ISF demonstrated their capabilities and professionalism during, the Gulf Cup 17 and West Asia Games, the high-level conference hosted by the State of Qatar. In addition to this primary role, the ISF collaborate with other national security agencies such as the Ministry of the Interior represented by the Civil Defense and traffic and patrol department in waging campaigns against traffic and civil law violators.
The primary ISF responsibilities can be summarized as :
1) Assisting and supporting concern state agencies in maintaining security and stability.
2) Responding to terrorist acts and any other acts that may jeopardize internal security.
3) Ensure the safety of dignitaries, leader, and guests of the Qatar.
4) Work and coordinate stakeholders to combat smuggling crimes.
5) Dealing with the riots.
6) Securing conferences, meetings and other events.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I have taken this from Linkedin. I dont know a lot about these guys but my point was the uneven application of the law.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Don’t see traffic rule enforcement in that list….

Forced evictions however could be covered under a few of those broad remits, most notably 1, 2, and 5.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Not in the points, but check above that – ISF collaborate with other national security agencies such as the Ministry of the Interior represented by the Civil Defense and traffic and patrol department in waging campaigns against traffic and civil law violators.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

“the ISF collaborate with other national security agencies such as the Ministry of the Interior represented by the Civil Defense and traffic and patrol department in waging campaigns against traffic and civil law violators” –

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I’ve received traffic violations (unfounded in my belief) in person from ISF personnel, so you may be incorrect about their remit to enforce traffic rules.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Maybe you cut him up in the traffic or wouldn’t move out the way while he was on your rear bumper flashing away 😉

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

You actually received a traffic violation in person..
Wow that is a first for Qatar….

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

this is just sick

Emma
Emma
6 years ago

And here was me thinking that Ramadan was a time for reflection and helping out those less fortunate

theobserver
theobserver
6 years ago

ISFers may be legally right but ethically and religiously wrong.

Remember, what goes around comes around.

Bassel
Bassel
6 years ago
Reply to  theobserver

The Qatari Gov needs to take a slight look back at history and what happened to people with similar behavior

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago

If Ramadan is such a special holiday then I wish two things would happen during Ramadan:

1) Idiots in other countries should stop using Ramadan as and excuse to kill other Muslims (or any other people)
and
2) Qatar Gov would actually be moved by the meaning of Ramadan and abolish Kafala and punish those, by law, that would continue to perpetuate the ancient system.

Ramadan Kereem!

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

2 aspects of the current sponsorship system that needs to go away ASAP are the exist permit, and the NOC to switch employers, no matter how long you’ve been working. Both are morally wrong, and are hurting the country too.

theobserver
theobserver
6 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

Well said!

Ann
Ann
6 years ago

God be with you all.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Ann

God forgot the poor. These people are on their own.

Gues 11
Gues 11
6 years ago

How nice of them to evict these poor people during Ramadan. Aren’t we supposed to help people during this holy month? Where’s the humanity in all this???

Al Kohol
Al Kohol
6 years ago
Reply to  Gues 11

Yes. I am a bit confused here, because isn’t it not the case with Ramadan to remind yourself of the poor and also help them?! Shouldn’t everybody rush in in masses to support these poor guys?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

“Many food shops are closed until sunset, and if the men do obtain anything to eat, they could get fined for doing so publicly.” What about supermarkets and grocery stores? As for being fined for eating publicly, I don’t think it’s that difficult to find a secluded enough place to eat.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

Just a few points:

1) It should be the responsibility of the employer / kafeel to help their employee / makfool to find to suitable housing. It’s quite ridiculous and inefficient to give them a day off and ask them to go around and look for hosuing

2) The ISF were simply following orders, so don’t hate on them

3) It’s safe to say that most of the tenants in this case knew that they were to be evicted. That the eviction took place during Ramadan is unfortunate, but had the tenants not ignored the eviction notice and left when they were 1st asked to leave, all of this could’ve been avoided

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

In response to your points:

1) I couldn’t agree more! Not only is it ridiculous and inefficient, but it is negligent and, to me, lacks any sort of human compassion

2) I doubt the orders contained mandatory provisions that the orders be carried out in such a barbaric and inhumane way as described above (although I could be wrong); so I do feel that the way in which the orders were executed are to the accountability of ISF

3) You may be right… it may be safe to assume the tenants knew they were to be evicted (although we can’t be sure) but I guess I am just so saddened by the thought of these poor guys that I suppose I don’t really care what they knew or did not know… I’m just sad to think about them, what they went through, and where the they are right at this moment; I don’t know, I guess I could describe it best by saying it makes me want to cry. I do wish that maybe Ramadan would have inspired ISF (or those who give their orders) to be more compassionate; I know there is no requirement to forgive tenants to be evicted, just maybe do it in a more compassionate way out of the sense of human decency.

What I do know is 200 QAR housing allowance is a joke and the employers should be ashamed of themselves.

Ali
Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

2) Did the orders include beating them up?

3) Leave to where exactly? Where do you expect someone with a housing allowance of 200 to move to?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Ali

2) Do we know for a fact that that took place? If it did, then it’s wrong. And if so, feel free to hate on them and curse them and their families too!
3) Well Ali, if you cannot find affordable housing and your employer won’t help you, then the only logical option is to leave and start elsewhere.

Kim Herd
Kim Herd
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

And under the Kafala system that’s possible how?

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

You do realize leaving is not an option for everyone? some of these oppressive employers will not give their workers exit permits if they are trying to leave.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I don’t see what justification the employer would have for not giving the exist permit.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

They don’t a justification to not give an exit permit, do they?

Ali
Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I think it’s the duty of employer to provide accommodation to these people. By the way I didn’t make the above comment, it’s some other “Ali”

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Thanks, good to know 🙂 And that’s just what I said; the employer need to either provide them with housing, increase their housing allowance, or let them find a new employer.

Jen
Jen
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

3) But how do you lave if you can’t get your passport and a letter of no objection or an exit visa?

Farhan Khurshid
6 years ago

“Reflect Your Respect” for all human beings..

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Sadly I think they actually were reflecting their exact amount of respect when it was decided that today was the best day to evict them.

Farhan Khurshid
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

It is so sad to see. With all that Fifa+Labor Laws fuss going around; this incident will only make things worst.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

That’s a totally different campaign. Unrelated. Explain more please.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

There’s no logical explanation Mr. Q; the people behind the modest campaigns have nothing to do with these evictions.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago

Touché. Very well said mate!

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

I remember reading articles of notices being posted and shared for over two years!

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
6 years ago

I found this article very difficult to read. These people are already treated badly enough, but this is simply outrageous. Those men are someones son, father, husband, uncle, brother and they are treated like dogs. Something needs to be done. And quickly.

Bini Vinod
Bini Vinod
6 years ago

Instead of throwing ppl at night without the consideration of the ramadan period… they shud hav caught the landlords who allowed them to stay. Although they are low income expats they contribute to a bigger portion of the country’s workforce. This was least expected from a country like Qatar ….

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Bini Vinod

Land lord didn’t allow them to stay, nor does the land lord have the authority to evict them. The land lord told them they needed to leave, but they refused to listen.

Bornrich
Bornrich
6 years ago

I’m not defending this action for one moment. However, Doha isn’t alone in clearing slum areas in preparation for a major sporting event. Barcelona removed great swathes of slum in the run up to the Olympics. And even today Brazil is doing the same for the 2016 Games. With a cold, hard, rational head, most would agree this has to be done for the public interest. (I visit this area on a regular basis and have been concerned for the health and welfare of the inhabitants.) However ‘public interest’ is a broad city planning concept and invariably there will be individuals who lose out. There’s also a concern that private interests will take over – landlords demanding business and residential rents ten or twenty times the current rate.

Effectively, these people haven’t just lost accommodation, they’ve lost their ‘right to the city’ and that’s a great shame for any world-class city.

PlanetCitizen
PlanetCitizen
6 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

I agree with your point, governments across the world need to take actions in providing decent accomodation as a basic human right.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

In my mind at least the issue is not should they have been evicted, or should the area be cleared but it is in the manner in which the order was executed and the insensitive timing of the event (first week of Ramadan).

It would not have taken a lot of effort for a small group of ISF agents to visit the area three weeks ago, walk around and tell the people face to face that there will be a planned eviction happening on x date. That way they can be sure that the residents have been informed and that they at least have a fighting chance of finding alternate accommodation. This approach would also benefit the ISF as the likelihood of them being confronted with aggression on eviction day would be reduced.

Humans are capable of extraordinary things when acting out of desperation and self preservation, it would be wise not to test the limits.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

Eviction notices have been posted for these buildings for up to 2 years now. The electricity was cut off back in April. What more notification do you suggest?!!

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Eviction notices posted in a language that the building inhabitants could read and specifying a specific eviction date is what I would suggest. On top of that as I have noted in my original post I would have a small group of ISF agents visit the area in advance to provide verbal notification.

I don’t think any of my suggestions are too outrageous given that the circumstances.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

The claim that because the notices were in Arabic the residents couldn’t have known about the eviction is really stretching it. If it were one building only with few people living in it, then sure that’s believable.

However, based on the known facts (even from this biased account here), sorry, but I don’t believe that the language was the real issue; rather, the people deluded themselves into believing that there will be more delays, and that they don’t need to start looking for alternative housing.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I agree, I am sure they were aware that they were going to be evicted at some point, they just didn’t know when (especially if as you stated in your previous post that notices have been on the buildings for two years).

What I am suggesting is that it would have been more effective to post fresh notices in a language familiar with the residents citing an exact date of eviction, this would then be followed up a visit or two a few weeks before the date from your friendly ISF agents to to provide verbal notification.

Is this type of approach was taken then this whole story would not have made the news and people wouldn’t be forced to live on the streets.

Al Kohol
Al Kohol
6 years ago

As Qatar is a wealthy, developed and modern country. I assume the public welfare office will send its staff over to get these homeless people into temporary housing and help them find new homes. Especially with the recent bad press about their situation one would expect that Qatar has done the most to ensure there is no potential for further bad press. So Dear Doha News, what is the progress here?

Are they in temporary housing now? What is the welfare office saying?

Chantelle D'mello
Chantelle D'mello
6 years ago
Reply to  Al Kohol

For now, they have been provided no temporary housing. During the interview, they mentioned that they would be fine had other housing been provided, but that no arrangements had been made with regards to relocating them. As for welfare, there isn’t a centralised public welfare officer that takes care of these issues. Individual embassies or other NGOs that take an interest in the situation are the only places that can help the workers. It’s a sad situation made worse by the lack of help they’re facing.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Al Kohol

Wealth – yes. Developed and Modern -no. Public welfare?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Al Kohol

You are being sarcastic right?

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  Al Kohol

As of today, some of them have found accommodations, while others are still looking.

Al Kohol
Al Kohol
6 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

Thank you for your update.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

If they were living in a place that is going to be demolished, now they can only afford the partitioned villas that, most probably, will get another visit by police since most of them are illegal…catch 22…
Isn’t is the employers obligation to provide accommodation for its workers? how come the country allows such a thing happen during the Holy month, specially with all this bad press already out there?
It breaks my heart… These gentlemen are fathers, brothers, sons that must provide the little they make to their family! An affordable rent here is like chasing unicorns…Mission Impossible!!!
For the people that evicted them: Put yourselves on their shoes! What if it was YOU? What if you didn’t have your fancy car and money? A house to go to with AC and food ready on the table?! To be sent to the curb, with all your things in this heat!

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

2 months free rent…maybe that was an initial sign? It might sound mean but if you haven’t been in the middle of 600 asian workers, some under the influence of luma, all wanting to rip apart the white guy that tried to help, you’re not allowed to judge me. That aside…

I feel for these guys but 200 qar allowance for housing? How did those companies get those contracts approved by the ministry? How are those companies still operating?

PS: I’ve seen ISF helpless and powerless in front of large groups of “low income workers”. I believe the authorities realize Qatar is an indian/asian colony and they’re trying to instill fear…slowly but surely bullying will not work and other means of cohabitation hopefully will be found.

No one really wants an organized country wide Sheraton incident. Food for the thought. ..

DExp
DExp
6 years ago

Send the photos to Amnesty Int, EU, and HR Int.., then go and stay at your company compound itself or your employers residential compound after intimating the International media groups, sleeping at street should not be your destiny.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

This is really sad and heartbreaking, especially during Ramadan. Seriously housing allowance of 200 riyals?! I doubt the cheapest hotel in Qatar has a room for a night at 200 riyals! If you can not afford to pay labors a livable wage, then either you dont have enough revenue to keep your business going or you are a coldhearted greedy person/company that keeps all the profit for yourself.

Win
Win
6 years ago

Middle East is synonymous with Islam…If this is what Islam in Qatar is … I have lost faith in their version of Islam and I am quite confident God will punish those responsible for mistreating these poor people. Ramadan is not this…this is just plain bullying !! May god have mercy on the souls of those responsible !!

Amber
Amber
6 years ago
Reply to  Win

Who said middle east is synonymous with Islam? It did originate here ,but arabs and their culture is far away from Islam. Majority of muslims aren’t even arab. This situation has nothing to do with islam anyway. This situation has to do with greed of people wanting their upscale buildings going up as soon as possible and not caring who gets stepped on.

Win
Win
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

You seem to be missing the point.

PlanetCitizen
PlanetCitizen
6 years ago

Nepal government to only look into their problem after filing a report?! So much for the Nepalese government looking after their own citizens.

Very unfortunate to see this happen during Ramadan…

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

200qr allowance is disgusting.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

Capitalism will ALWAYS trump over democracy, religion and morality.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

…and if you think that some of this embassies would step in and help or assist then you are sadly mistaken as a lot of this embassies are more interested in their own personal welfare and well being then the welfare of their community colleagues. Abusing, beating up and chasing out helpless people and poor workers does not send the right signals to the world at large

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago

It is sad that these people have been evicted from their homes. low income areas are being knocked down to make way for new 5* luxury apartments, everything in Doha must be 5* they are building so many prestigious places that there is a severe lack of low income accommodation and living areas. Putting all these guys in labor camps is not the answer. Qatar needs to put some serious effort into building low rent, good quality accommodation, for what is actually the back bone of Qatari civilization and development

candi
candi
6 years ago

Soooo how do we help?

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago

This is not a welfare state. The government has no requirement to look after the welfare of these people. Neither do their companies.

I’ve known for years now that this area was going to be demolished and re-developed. These people were also aware of that. All stories have two sides. We are just reading one of them. Yes I do agree, communication is p!ss poor in this country and the heavy handed approach is often too liberally applied, but I think there is fault on all sides here.

Flame away folks, but that is the reality of it all. As LIOLI likes to say, LIOLI… In other countries, these folks would build themselves informal housing out of whatever materials they can find.

Favelas of Rio and Alexandra Township Johannesburg; Informal settlements both, with the inherent problems thereof. Msheireb was a favela of Doha, just contained within old buildings with AC units. Poverty is alive and well in other areas of the world too.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Another view of Alex

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

The emergence of favellas is not a normal development that we should accept. It is the indication of the complete failure of the state to provide proper jobs, salaries, education, healthcare and housing to people. That Qatar is actually importing these issues and bringing more people to populate its “favells” as you call it is funny but shows how poor planning is done here and how bad the decision to bid for the World Cup was in the first place. Western countries struggle to host big events even if they have most of the infrastructure ready. For Qatar this struggle is even bigger and Qatar unfortunately does not have the means to tackle it.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yacine, if it’s not a normal development, then why does it occur in so many countries around the world? Do we really want to go back to the days of the work-houses of the Industrial Revolution in Britain??? Those were a resounding success weren’t they.

The reality is, people have come here at the chance of earning a higher wage than they can get back where they came from. To do that, they make sacrifices, and probably do so willingly. That there are other people all to ready to exploit them is a sad and unfortunate reality.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Thank you Saffa. Contrary to my previous way of thinking, you have convinced me that two wrongs, do indeed, make a right.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

Merlin, we can debate the wrongs of this world until the cows come home mate, but it is reality. It happens everywhere. Why are people suddenly expecting the Qatari government to step in and set up a welfare state for people who chose (and I use that loosely) to come here and work.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

You are comparing apples to oranges. The “favells” in the rest of the countries house un-employed local or immigrant population who are not bound to an employer under kafala system. While, the ISF was right in handling the eviction, the timing and roughness factor are the my main points of criticism.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

No all of them Deepak. Most of them develop as a result of migration of people from rural areas towards large urban centres in hopes of finding work. How is that different from what has happened here? People have migrated here looking for work and housed themselves according to their (financial) means.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

It is different in the fact that the people migrated from rural areas are free to go back to the same rural areas when it comes to a worst case scenario. They are free to look for other job options in the urban cities . They can legally look for other part time jobs for extra income. They do not undergo the bait and switch contract and salary terms that majority of these workers suffer from. I could go on about the differences, but I don’t feel like arguing on these as it’s quite depressing.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

Perhaps what Saffa is wondering, me too, is how come we get the sense that many of the people commenting here seem to care more about Qatari wrongs than they do those of their own or their own countries? On this homeless people issue for example!

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman- Comparing one country with another is irrelevant, the issue is here on our doorsteps- able bodied employed men, who are working to create the infrastructure for their host country, have been made forcibly homeless. The issue in the UK is utterly different, these are servicemen who are unable to adapt to civilian life for all sorts of reasons- health, disability, psychological- and the UK does have things in place to help and support. I would also suggest that dealing with a nation of almost 70million with a percentage unable to work or otherwise support themselves , at time when economic downturn due to global financial misdealing is about as far as you can get with dealing with a population of 2million, most of the employed in one of the most economically viable nations on earth. Responsibility rests firmly here.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

It’s very much relevant; why is the same problem viewed differently from one country to the other? It’s a double standard. People here are acting so shocked at those that were legally evicted as if evictions don’t take place back home. As if!!!

There are plenty of examples from the U.S., U.K, and elsewhere of able bodied people who lost their housing because they couldn’t afford to pay the rent or mortgage anymore. The idea that people become homeless only because they’re unable to work is absurd and has been debunked many times over.

The UK can afford to provide housing and social assistance to asylum seekers, including radical clerics like Abu Qutada, but it will not do the same for the young men that were sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan?!

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Speaking as an expat worker, I think it is only fair and reasonable to expect that there would be some decent accommodation in the country you have , after all, been invited legally to work in. Suggesting that people should just be content to somehow create a makeshift hovel and be glad of it is , frankly an unbelievable comment. You may say, Saffa , that it is the ‘real world’ . Not in my world, and not in one of the richest nations on earth with the richest residents on earth. Yes, I do think that the government should provide something, yes I do think it should be a ‘welfare state’. Unless Qatar is happy to publicly build its Brave New World on the visible misery of those who toil here.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

ODB, if that is your expectation, you should have done your research before you came. I don’t expect any country I migrate to to provide me with accommodation when I head there to work.

Oh, and lucky you to be “invited” to come and work. I wasn’t, I chose to come here to work.

Somehow, just because Qatar has an income of billions from it’s natural resources, everyone expects them to give it away to everyone who comes here? WTF, is this a socialist country? No, it’s an emirate with a single titular (benevolent monocratic / autocratic) ruler.

Wake up and smell the cooling coffee, no one “owes” us anything in this world. The only expectation we have is to not get out of life alive, oh and pay taxes unless you can avoid them legally.

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Please people, tell me where we get this expectation of being owed something in this world. Life owes us nothing.

As Iain James says below/above: “There, but by the grace of God, go I.”

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

The expectation of any immigrant worker is that accommodation will be available- the fact that these workers have an ‘accommodation allowance’ shows that employers are expected to make suitable arrangements. Of course you are ‘invited’, Qatar needs your expertise in whatever field. The government grants a visa specifically for your skillset. You didn’t just get a plane here then hope for the best. I am in the fortunate position of having a well paid job with appropriate accommodation. These men are, everyone of them, being exploited. Yes, they made the decision to come here – to work , to make a better life for their loved ones back home. That does NOT mean that they should be treated like cattle. They don’t expect anything for nothing, but it seems that even the little they have is taken away along with their dignity, which is shameful in my book. Expectations as workers in Qatar, is respect and a decent place to rest their heads.

Jadalla Khazaal
Jadalla Khazaal
6 years ago

Read this article last night. By the time I was done it had me steaming and kept me up for atleast 2 hours. I wonder how long before it makes international news.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

… and hopefully all this lots of new workers they say are coming in all the time will not end up in such or a similar situation or on a housing allowance of Qr 200.00

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

I’ve known and heard time and time again that the area was up for demolition and no one could reside there. I’ve also heard people seeking out housing specifically in those areas because any area deemed to be demolished, land lords couldn’t collect rent and therefore they could live rent free until they had to go. I’ve heard of families doing this over the course of last year.

However, does that make it OK for the manner of this eviction? NO. Does that make their employers responsible to find them housing? YES. Is 200QR enough housing allowance? Depends on what rock you’re under.

SIGH…

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Hala

“Before evicting you, the sheriff will serve you with a copy of the writ of possession.324 The writ of possession instructs you that you must move out by the end of the fifth day after the writ is served on you, and that if you do not move out, the sheriff will remove you from the rental unit and place the landlord in possession of it.325 The cost of serving the writ of possession will be added to the other costs of the suit that the landlord will collect from you.”
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/evictions.shtml

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Yes this is the case in California which usually takes please after court proceedings if the landlord raises a case against the tenant with solid evidence to have them evicted (lack of rent payment, severe damages to the property, etc.).

In a case similar to what’s happening, depending on why buildings are up for demolition (and in California its almost always for earthquake retrofitting), either the landlord, the government or both will place tenants in adequate housing or provide them with what’s left of their contract, depending on the situation.

However, I put most of the blame here on both the tenants and the landlords as they both knew these buildings were to be demolished yet stayed and connected electricity illegally. I also put the blame on their employers for not following Qatar law in providing proper housing or decent housing allowance to their employees.

emg
emg
6 years ago

Sooo how do we help? Is there an organisation/charity here which could take donations directly for these poor people??

Al Kohol
Al Kohol
6 years ago
Reply to  emg

That was also what I was wondering. There is a Red Crescent in Qatar and that would be the ideal, but I don’t think the Qatari government has yet given the Red Crescent the abilities and allowance to help homeless. In Europe the Red Cross very active in the welfare sector, but mainly also because governments have empored them to be.

In Germany we also do have the railway missions in the train stations that take homeless people, give them food, water, fresh clothes and chances to wash as well as support to enter the welfare system to return to the society. Apart from that all EU governments are very active on support for homeless people.

Apart from these NGO that receive government subsidies for welfare offerings, the governments itself are also very active with public welfare. At the moment I see no such offerings for homeless or people in need in Qatar neither from the government nor from NGOs, but I am interested to know whether such things exist.

Furthermore I think this is also a problem for Qatar to get Western expats in. Especially from German speaking countries and the Nordics as these people have to give up lots of social security when they move to Qatar as Qatar neither offers unemployment insurance nor disability insurance or public pension.

Maia
Maia
6 years ago

This is really sad… if in Ramadan they do this i wonder what they will do in other days. and i thought that during this holy month people do good stuff to other people but apparently all they do is killing in the name of Islam. RIP humanity…

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