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Friday, April 23, 2021

In TV interview, Qatar Emir says poor labor conditions ‘not acceptable’

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In his first television interview since becoming Emir last June, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Qatar would continue to participate in the fight against ISIL for the foreseeable future, even as he hinted at returning the country to its traditional role as a global mediator.

In a conversation mostly centered on foreign policy that aired last night on CNN, Al Thani also told host Christiane Amanpour that the conditions faced by migrant workers in Qatar was “not acceptable” and that the 2022 World Cup would be one of the best football tournaments in history.

In the interview, which was conducted in English, Al Thani also responded to accusations that Qatar either directly finances ISIL or turns a blind eye to its residents raising money for its fighters.

He said he did not accept anyone funding “certain movements” in Iraq and Syria, where Qatar recently supported an aerial bombing campaign against ISIL targets.

However, he said that Qatar and the US don’t always agree on which groups should be deemed terrorist organizations:

“We don’t fund extremists. But there are differences. Some countries and some people (think) that any group which comes from Islamic background are terrorists. We don’t accept that.”

When asked for examples, Al Thani said that Qatar views groups operating in Egypt, Libya and Syria differently than other countries.

Qatar has backed groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in those conflict-ridden states, which has put it in conflict with some of its allies and neighbors.

For example, the UAE – which sees the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to its political authority at home – has supported opposing factions in Egypt and Libya, to the point that some are calling the ongoing turmoil in the North African state a proxy war between militias backed by the two Gulf rivals.

Al Thani’s comments suggest that the country is renewing its traditional foreign policy focus of being a conciliator after spending considerable resources and efforts in recent years backing specific groups in conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Foreign involvement in Egypt, Libya and Syria came as the governments in those countries have faced mass uprisings in recent years.

Al Thani said the Arab Spring has caused “confusion” over Qatar’s foreign policy direction, which he called “very simple.”

“If you go back to our real foreign policy, we believe in dialogue. We provide dialogue. We believe in peace. We are a mediator … I’m not in a camp against another camp. Our country has its own foreign policy, our own way of thinking. And people should respect that …

It’s not a matter of being a friend or not a friend.”

World Cup

A week after acknowledging that there have been “problems and errors” in protecting the human rights of migrant workers in Qatar, Al Thani went further in his interview with CNN by saying the situation is “not acceptable.”

“I don’t accept it personally to see laborers, poor people, coming from other countries to come and help us develop our country and the atmosphere and the environment isn’t helpful for them.”

He added, “I’m personally hurt about the situation. I don’t accept that. Not even one Qatari accepts that.”

However, when asked by Amanpour about the exit permit system that requires expats to seek their employers’ permission before leaving the country, Al Thani said “we changed those laws” and also said “there are many laws that have been changed” and that the situation for laborers in Qatar has already improved.

While Al Thani didn’t specify the laws to which he was referring, the most significant reform to the country’s kafala sponsorship is still in draft form and is expected to be enacted toward the end of 2014 or early next year.

The new laws propose making it easier for foreign workers to change jobs and leave the country – changes that residents and human rights activists say don’t go far enough.

Separate regulations have increased the number of labor inspectors and mandated employers to deposit their workers’ wages directly into their bank accounts to ensure that they’re paid on time.

Companies operating in Qatar have recruited hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in recent years, many of which are constructing the stadiums and related infrastructure to help the country prepare for the 2022 World Cup.

Al Thani reiterated the country’s position that air conditioning technology would keep players and spectators cool both inside the stadium and in fan zones around the country.

He said Qatar intends to host the tournament during the hot summer months, but is receptive to FIFA’s consideration of moving it to the winter – “We’re ready for both.”

He also reaffirmed the country’s right to host the tournament:

“People should understand Qatar had the best bid and Qatar will provide and will do one of the best World Cups in history. And I’m sure about that.”

Thoughts?

81 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

LET THE GAMES BEGIN ….

Bursin
Bursin
6 years ago

“we changed those laws” and also said “there are many laws that have been changed”

I’m sorry but to what laws is he referring to?

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Bursin

Is he also under the rule of the new cybercrime law? The one about not stating false news? Just curious…..

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Bursin

lol imaginary laws have changed 🙂
But by law, Qatari people have to agree or they face 3 years jail time lol

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

So not one Qatari accepts poor worker conditions and the laws have been changed. Well that’s great news.

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Hahahha. why are you so sarcastic? Hahahahaha

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Does freedom of speech in Qatar extend far enough for me to say I do not agree with one word that he said in that interview? Very noticeable that he is dressed in a manner designed to appeal to the western world. Why then was there such an outcry against the girls who were suitably dressed for their charity venture in Brazil?

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

It’s strictly cultural, women are expected to be covered up in more clothing, those girls weren’t, thus the outcry. That being said, there would not be an outcry if it was a female member of his family dressed the same as those girls and I don’t think I need to explain why that is.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

You say you don’t need to explain, but please do, I don’t understand.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

You don’t understand why someone would not want to publicly criticize the emir or members of his family? Well, I could explain the reason, but I think you would learn better if you found out for yourself. So I suggest you try doing it yourself, and when DN publishes a story on you please confirm if you understand at that time by posting in the comments section, and if you haven’t figured out still then I will be more than delighted to explain why at that point.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Of course I know the reason, I’m not stupid, I was just dying to see it in writing that there is a different set of rules for the Emir and his family versus other Qataris. Mission accomplished.

Next mission is to prove that there is a different interpretation of laws depending on whether the person is Qatari or expat. Maybe you can help me with that one in the future.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Yes there is, an American drunk driver will not be punished as severely as a muslim drunk driver.

An expat can marry who they want to in Qatar, a Qatari male must be granted permission to marry a citizen not from the GCC, and different set of laws for Qatari females. So on and so forth.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

That is unfortunate and it makes me sad. I wish there was a universal code of law which we are ALL bound to and treated as equals when that law is violated. All drunk drivers should be punished harshly, all men/women should be able to marry whomever they please, and males and females should be bound by the same laws not different ones.

More importantly, I wish laborers were not scrutinized by such excessive restrictions that are not placed on us other expats. If we can’t all be equal to Qataris, then fine, but at least put the laborers up to level of the other expats when it comes to the interpretation/enforcement of the laws.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Well, even in the developed world, a different set of standards are applied to different ethnicities, take for instance how in the state of California it was found that statistically minorities would be charged with more significant crimes for possessing a gun than a Caucasian would. Now this is not to say that the laws of California is responsible for this, but it is the individual judges who preside over such cases who make it patently clear that while fair and just laws may be theoretically perfect and flawless, human infallibility unfortunately still exists. Here we are talking about a great state in what is arguably the greatest nation in the world for its achievements, position in the world etc.

So it unreasonable to expect a place like Qatar where its own citizens demand greater restriction of their own rights (requesting censorship, extra governmental regulation of certain activities etc.) to apply laws even anywhere near the level of justness one would expect in more developed countries. The only way it can evolve is when it experiences major pressure restricting its ability to perform its basic functions. That is why I said if for instance suddenly expats refused to come here on a moral basis, you would see a quick turn around on the laws. The WC alone has induced all kinds of talks and public address of the situation that was previously very limited, so say what you want regarding the commitments to change, the fact that there is public acknowledgment of the situation speaks volumes to the power of the external pressure inducing change in places like Qatar.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Well said Saleem.

Every day I read the world news, the US news, and of course Doha News, and I most often shake my head in disappointment when reading the US news. Trust me, I am not saying the US is ideal! But my comment before was about making rules for EVERYONE to comply with, I would give that same advice to the US.

I do like your thoughts about expats refusal to come as a means on communicating demands. If I had known more before I moved here, I would have done so, but I came in 2011 before this was massively publicized.

Actually, when I first moved here my first thought was “does CNN know this is going on?!?!” Years latter when it actually came to light in the media, I was so pleased because I thought at least with some global attention things might change.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

If you dont stop this, we will find you wherever you are.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Edited because I am now aware one of the expats was posting as a Qatari. This is the top talent Qatar recruits, people who impersonate others online in their free time, lol.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

LoveItOrLeaveIt, stop posting as a Guest… have the courage to show your true thoughts, it’s not like we can see your real name.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

To be fair to him he agreed to the interview, many leaders in the gulf wouldn’t do that and attempt to explain the situation. In respect to the exit permit answer his underlings probably told him they had changed it but did not give him the full details or left out important Information as they are protecting their businesses. When you are running a country you can’t look at every law in detail, that is where you have to rely on your advisors. If your advisors don’t give you the important information or leave out certain parts that leaves you exposed in situation like this.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago

“In TV interview, Qatar Emir says poor labor conditions ‘not acceptable’”

I am starting to think Doha News is becoming sort of an unofficial Labor Union. Out of all the topics that were brought up in the interview, you came up with that title !? It all goes back to your hidden agenda.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Good for DN if they are. About time someone stood up for these and other people.

Mr. B
6 years ago

Conspiracy mongering is not helpful. Doha News knows its reader base wants to hear about labor rights reform since the vast majority of expatriates are deeply unsatisfied with the system that exists right now. That’s a basic business model. Sorry to hear you’d rather blame shadows rather than recognize a reality.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

“Deeply unsatisfied” yet stay here year after year taking those pay checks that come from a system they deem to be cruel and unjust, right? I guess if they are ever offered lucrative jobs at corporations that operate sweatshops or kill animals for the sole purpose of using their hides then it is acceptable, provided of course that they go online after work and voice their dissatisfaction with their employer’s practices.

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Without Labor Ministry data, it’s hard to say for sure just how severe Qatar’s ex-pat brain drain is (love it if you found that), but one can assume the most highly qualified do leave and find jobs elsewhere because they find better labor conditions. (And if they like the region, why not go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, make about the same money, and not have to deal with the hassle and capriciousness of the exit permit?)

I doubt you’d find much data that supports ex-pats generally staying in Qatar much longer than five years. But if you have access to it, I’m open to the link. (Stories about a guy you know don’t count; I’d like to see numbers in their thousands).

I think you’re also oversimplifying the morality here. We all take jobs with paychecks because we are doing things we would not do otherwise unless we were paid. That always involves trade-offs. That is not to say that workers do not have the right to voice dissatisfaction with their employers; that they don’t have the right to demand changes within the system they work; that they must automatically accept everything from their boss or political leader simply because they were there first. Such a worldview is despotic and anti-human and corrupts all those who willingly enforce it.

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

I agree with Mr. B. I have recently taken LoveItOrLeaveIt’s sound advice and left Qatar after only three years on an ongoing project – and I was one of the longest serving staff members. People may be arriving in droves with the lure of tax free salaries but they are also leaving just as fast. Our staff turnover was probably around 50%. The much hated Kafala system was instrumental in my decision to leave. Whilst I was not a low paid blue collar worker, he system is exploited by most companies to keep salary increases (if any at all) well below inflation.

There have been rumours of a change to these much hated laws ever since I arrived, but there seems to be no intent to make any meaningful change. Perhaps a sports boycott like the one imposed on Apartheid South Africa may focus the minds a bit more.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

I agree. If people do as you said you have done, or did what you said would be a measure that would induce change, then I am certain change would come. However based on my observations for the years I have been in Qatar, the majority of expats I have encountered just complain and stay year after year, after year. Rarely have I met some who leave on principle , and those few who have done so, I can greatly respect because it is their actions that reflects their moral convictions, and depending on meaningless posts on DN to feel good about themselves.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

Indeed workers have a right to demand changes from their employers, nowhere did I suggest otherwise. My point is more those who talk about the immorality of the labourers situation yet had come to Qatar knowing full well this place has significant issues with certain Human rights. If you work for a IBM and don’t like how they do something and voice it, there is nothing wrong with that, but if you work for an ivory poacher and then complain about the evilness of his business then you are just a hypocritical idiot.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

So you are the perfect human being that has never done Anything hypocrite? Brother, you are defending slavery only because if you don’t you will be put in jail. You yourself are a slave whether you agree to it or not.

Paycheck is a means of survival and yes it can supersede being truthful with your beliefs. Everyone would rather lie to themselves and advocate for slavery while they are underneath its umbrealla if the stakes were their own starvation. This is perfectly human.

I am not trying to be mean here, but you need to chill out some son,

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

Where did I defend slavery? Please show me where I had said anything that would suggest I agree with it. However I can say I have never willingly involved myself in any situation where I have comprised my moral convictions for some money.

I am sure I have been guilty of some forms of hypocrisy, but certainly not to the degree where I had packed my bags and relocated to a place where I had fundamental issues with their commitments to morality and ethics. Even in Qatar I have denied myself many lucrative opportunities because I had fundamental issues dealing with certain characters whose backgrounds I am very familiar with and simply didn’t sit well with me.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Your sole presence alone defends slavery. In a way you are being hypocrite yourself by staying somewhere that enslaves people, while as you claim you are against it.

See the power of money? It makes us contradict with our own beliefs.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

Actually my main residence has been Singapore for 10 months now and will most likely continue to be so for at least the next decade, when I am in Qatar it is because all my family live there. Or would you suggest I sever all ties with them too in order to not be a “hypocrite”?

Even if I still lived mainly in Qatar, there is a big difference between remaining there because of circumstances of birth compared to having no cultural ties or other reason to be there beyond making money, and choosing to do so despite claiming to have serious reservations on the treatment of laborers there. Sorry but not everyone will compromise their moral convictions for compensation. Using your logic we can extend the blame to the whole world, the countries that buy Qatari natural gas, and the citizens that accept governments that permit the purchase of gas from nations that don’t protect laborer rights. USA, UK, Japan, Thailand, Belgium, etc., all can be blamed, right?

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

My point was not to question your morals in life as much as to point out that for many people, getting that paycheck is also a means of survival, which also is very circumstantial. Being born in Qatar gives you absolutely no ties to Qatar by the way and we all know that. You are as much of a foreigner as anyone else who was not born in Qatar. So let us be real a little 🙂

Thanks for being civilized while responding. This surely confirms that you were only born in Qatar 🙂

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

Actually I was born in Switzerland, but to a Qatari family, hence the circumstances of life dictate that I have immediate ties to Qatar even if my birth took place abroad.

Don’t get it wrong, I have no issue with someone’s personal reasons for coming to Qatar for a job, they are entitled to live their lives as they please. My issue is with those who portray themselves as crusaders for worker rights after having come to Qatar and who knew beforehand what the situation is like. It just makes it very difficult to take them seriously.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Saleem,

Most people go to Qatar without knowing what to expect. Like myself, I expected another foreign country, which will be a great cultural, social and working experience until I saw what I saw.

The only problem with Qatari people is that they do not acknowledge what is going on and just try to dilute the situation. Of course, they can’t because otherwise they will rot in jail. But, you can’t ask people not to speak up when they see slavery and corruption and all what goes down in there. I am sure MANY Qatari people are great people, but the fact remains that the majority of them are unsympathetic, unapologetic and just pure arrogant.

This is why people express their views. I never even considered to be a contributor on any of these topics until I read about the new law that prohibits people from expressing their freedom of speech and thought. I take it now as my new mission to defeat that rotten philosophy because I might be saving someone somewhere from making a terrible and deadly decision!

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

I have seen a very significant number of westerners speak to the “office help” in a disparaging manner, as if they are somehow idiots for not speaking English as well as them, yet at the same time a lot of them made remarks very similar to the stuff I read on here from some expats about worker rights, feeling more comfortable around me because my English is better than the average Qatari. The fact that those office workers complained to me about how they were treated by those expats revealed to me how comfortable they too must have been around me, and that sort of behavior from those expats also constitutes “pure” arrogance, and based on the comments I read on here, I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant number of the expats are those workers had the misfortune of having to be around.

It’s no good advocating human rights for workers when you intend to treat them as sub-humans in your day to day interactions with them.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

You are absolutely correct Saleem. That was the most shocking part of my experience in Qatar. I actually met expats that are as racist if not MORE racist than actual citizens, who really do not know any better. It is a disaster if you ask me. The way the law is implemented makes you really wonder if you are living on earth or on some other planet. It starts by implementing the law with complete fairness, where no one is not on top of the law, even SHIEKHS!. It is non of anyone’s business to interfere as long as Qatar’s ambitions do not drive more unfortunate people to get trapped and treated like that. Also, you can’t pay people according to their passport, because that alone feeds the monster that is called racism. Qatar needs fundamental reforms and NOT mega events at this point. This is why people world-wide are freaking out and going crazy! It is not that they are jealous as Qatar citizens think. Enough is enough man, really…

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

I agree 100%. The environment in Qatar does allow expats to feel comfortable to express views or behave a certain way that they would not dare to do so back home because back home they know they would be reprimanded for that sort of conduct. I also agree that such mega events should be the last thing on Qatar’s mind on the list of priorities for the country. Unfortunately as I said to “Expat girl” earlier today, no one’s opinion really matters in Qatar, because in the end only a handful have the power to make changes based on their opinions.

It definitely begins and ends with the law, and when you enact new laws that are followed by poor enforcement, you just lose even more credibility.

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Of course there is a difference between working for an immoral employer and having the gall to complain and working for a decent employer in a country where parts of the state are immoral. I did leave Qatar after I completed my one year contract because of the khafala system, not because my employer was evil. They did right by me and I them; that being said, knowing that a new boss had the potential to abuse me without consequence was enough to drive me out.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

My paycheck comes from the good-ole USA, thank you very much. Now of course my American employer bills my time to a Qatari company, so ultimately that is where the money comes from, but the point is that I get my paycheck every month from my employer regardless of if I am supporting a project in this country or elsewhere in the world. There is a reason that the Qatari company pays a premium for us expats to provide support. We cost more than the local equivalent (about 3x more for the bill rate, this goes to my employer not me!!) so surely if the local talent could do the work, they wouldn’t employ us costly expats.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

If there was local talent and in sufficient numbers then of course they would rely on them, but there isn’t. My post refers more to those who are directly hired by Qatari orgs, and then come here talking about how evil the system is against laborers when they contributed to the problem by agreeing to accept a job in the country in the first place.

As your rightly pointed out, this country does depend on foreigners for the majority of its functions, so if foreigners stopped accepting jobs on a moral basis, trust me when I say you will see drastic changes to the laws, but that won’t happen because people just love the dough too much and are more than satisfied to do their part by coming on to DN to become online Human Right activists for the night, while still supporting the “evil” system by the day.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

While I don’t whole-heartedly agree with you, I really respect your viewpoint and I appreciate that you communicate your thoughts in a well thought out and logical manner.

And you are correct that some individuals come out here for the dough and couldn’t care less about the human rights issues at hand. I do care though.

I don’t know if this means anything to you or not, but I do also care quite a bit about Qatar and it’s future, and I do hope for the best for Qatar in the future. But it does frustrate me when I see things that, looking at the BIG picture, do not seem to benefit Qatar in the long run. Please do not view this as me hating Qatar, but rather not understanding why it does things that, in my humble opinion, are not in the best interest of Qatar,

I know it is not my place to determine what is best for Qatar, but when I read about Qatar’s 2030 objectives, and then see actions which go against (not toward) those objectives, then I get worried. Please know I do want the best.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Well even if you as an expat had the best of hopes for this country, the reality is the situation here makes it not even the average Qatari’s place to determine what’s best for Qatar. That’s just the reality of the system here, it is not like any Qatari has a say on what it is good or not for the country, Qataris are expected to accept, and what comes our way comes, good or bad.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Well I do hope that the decisions made by the leaders of this country will foster a very good outcome for Qatar.

Call me an optimist, but I hope that “the system” will work. Before you call me naive, I have met so many young Qataris who I find extremely inspirational, and every time I do it renews my faith in this country, and I think that there are very good things in store for Qatar if that talent is tapped into.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Local talent? Lol

Only very specialized areas : women/food/cars/rest.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

only very specialized areas… lol I take it Mr. Aberdeen your glorious college degree didn’t cost much…

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You are absolutely right. I was awarded a full scholarship at MIT. They say it is a decent school, but you never know these days, when big schools sell their souls to open their doors in places that is an insult to their very vision and mission.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

hat off and good answer. Most people don’t know here that MIT = excellency!

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Thank you sir. In fact, it was a joyful four years of my life. It was my childhood dream and I truly worked hard to make it happen. I was born in a very poor family of six, and I had to work at a gas station and as a pizza delivery boy during that conquest to afford my living expenses. After I graduated with honors, I got a sweet deal to work for a major Qatari firm. When I speak about Qatar, I speak according to my very own experience and honestly, going to Qatar was one of my worst life experiences. Though, it made me become aware of things that I was never aware of. I still believe in humanity but it breaks my heart to hear about people dying daily while nothing ever gets mentioned or done. Words don’t count Emir, actions do. Islam is a beautiful religion when implemented right.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago

الله .. الوطن .. الأمير

Mr. B
6 years ago

In a coup-prone state like Qatar, it makes sense the emir, especially a young one barely tested, isn’t terribly interested in challenging the powerful, vested interests in both the Qatari business community and government that benefit from the exit permit system and labor abuses.

The UAE’s rulers managed to overrule their own vested interests to create a more favorable working situation in their country. That being said, they never went on CNN to announce they were doing so. If/when things get better in Qatar, it’ll be quiet.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

I don’t agree with your comment that Qatar is coup-prone state, what would make you say so? Plus I don’t think the Emir begged to go on CNN to announce it, he was asked to do the interview and he was simply answering a questions when asked.

In other news by dohanews, qatar worked are the most bullish in the GCC on job opportunities! seems like kafala system does very little to deter job seekers

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

How do you think al the rulers here came into power? And there have been thwarted attempts in the past 10 years.

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

“Coup-prone” comes from the fact that the country has had four leaders since independence; two of them assumed power through a coup. (Sheikh Ahmed was deposed by Sheikh Khalifa in 1972; Sheikh Khalifa was deposed in 1995 by Sheikh Hamad). If 50% of your power transitions happen through coups, you become “coup-prone”. Beyond the fact that Sheikh Hamad standing down without warning does beg the question if he was pushed out by competing Thanis. Even if he wasn’t, 50% is still a ludicrously high number of coups for a country. (See this great story at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/features/world/asia/qatar/qatar-text/1)

I think you should see the emir as the politician he is; he would have walked away from an interview if he didn’t think he could control it in some way, and he was no doubt coached to give the most harmless answers he could. (All politicians are).

GCC workers may be bullish, but Qatar’s government is less so. Productivity remains low; hydrocarbons are still too much of the national economy. You can check the Qatari government’s own stats at http://www.gsdp.gov.qa/portal/page/portal/gsdp_en/knowledge_center/Tab2/QatarEconomicOutlook2013-2014.pdf).

Kingpin
Kingpin
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

Your links dont work. Can you report? I would like to read the first one

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

The story comes from a National Geographic article called “Qatar: Revolution from the Top Down.” If you Google it, it should come up.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

yay… you got your facts right.. go google!! now let’s put your fact in context.. or will that confuse you… ?? signs?? you mean dohanews didn’t report it for you.. or the previous amir didnt text you to let you know… any yes he was pushed out by competing thanis.. like his son! or was it the jews… must be the jews again… dude do you even realize how dumb your comment is to a qatari reading..

what is this white boy syndrome.. you’ve been here for like 9 month and you think you have the place figured out and how it runs figured out…

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Not sure which part you’re taking issue with and being condescending to. Is it that facts are accurate? That the definition is correct?

By the way, being a Qatari doesn’t give you special access automatically. Just because you’re from Doha doesn’t mean you’re not ignorant of the internal affairs of the state.

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I would never presume to think that I understood how things worked here. There are complexities I could never hope to understand. But your comment doesn’t actually address any of his points. Historically, there have been coups here, and there have indeed been coup attempts in the last 5 years, even if they weren’t reported here. They were reported in other nations’ newspapers, such as Egypt’s al-Fajer, and the details in that report were confirmed to me by high-ups I can’t name. Then all Qatari government workers received a 60% raise, and all defense personnel received a 120% raise, and it was coincidentally ONE WEEK after the failed coup the raises were announced. Just because it isn’t covered in local media doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Miller

I will tell you how it works.
Basically, the Emir of Qatar pays off the shiekhs of the country following a simple yet effective process. Every Althani branch of the tree has their eldest male being taken care of very generously so that things remain under control. Why the eldest? because Qatari families owe a lot of respect to the eldest male in the family and if that person is being well taken care of, then things are smooth. Not too long ago, an internal semi-revolution was being planned to happen and it was put down in its last minute. There is a lot of dirt and envy going on in between the big boys in Doha, but their philosophy is simple. “do not let the word get out” – This is applied in everything starting from family disagreements, royalty disagreements and even accidents that occur in the country.

The media is so controlled to the point where it is told what to write and what to not write. There is a process in which before any news comes out publicly, it has to be approved to get out.

Now the payment system from the Emir to the Althanis and/or other citizens is based on how close you are to the top of the tree. The closer you are the better pay you get. On average, a Shiekh in Qatar gets between 30,000 – 60,000 Qatari riyal per month and this is ONLY the paycheck. Of course you get all the other perks of power, non applicable law and being a first class citizen. So, if you are a Shiekh, even traffic violations gets waived for you. You also get a diplomatic passport. Also, you get to have perks outside Qatar in neighboring Gulf states.

The way they make money is amazing. Imagine that rejecting VISAs and kicking out people from the country is a multi-billion dollar business. When someone in Doha gets ordered to leave or banned, that person can PAY to reverse that decision. Of course you do not deal with the authority that edits that database record directly, you deal with his minion and that is mostly someone of an Asian or Indian descent. You meet up with the person and pay in cash an amount that ranges between 7000-20,000 qtr and sometimes more and just like magic, your record gets updated like nothing happened. Also, if you ever decide to open your own business in Qatar and if you are looking for a sponsor, you better have a Shiekh as a sponsor because only then, the government becomes magically responsive where a paper that usually takes 3 months to be approved or signed will get signed while you are having your tea inside the government office. This is just a recap summary 😉 I call it Qatar 101

It is fun to be a Shiekh let me tell you.

If you have any specific questions, please run them through me. There is a big chance I can be of help 😉

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Miller

Lol how “high up”? Most high ups are unaware including members of the royal family.

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

My source was in the US State Dept. Allow freedom of the press and actually print the local news in your local papers if you want your country to be taken seriously.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Miller

LMAO! Yes, because your “source” says so it must be true, we must take your word that his word is true, news that no international media outlet had access to except for Egypt who is not on the best terms of Qatar and your “source”.

I don’t make the laws in this country, so instead of making irrelevant dumb remarks, substantiate your claims with something credible or just acknowledge you rock a tin foil hat.

Mr. B
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Double points for the racism too.

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Please tell me you are joking here.

My friend, if Qatar tomorrow genuinely allows every single person to leave the country like what happens in the 21st century or like 20th or even 19th century, your projects will NEVER end.

Qatar enslaves people because if they don’t, not one employee will last more than 1 month. You know it and I know it and MANY people know it. The more you try to deviate from that fact and touch non-relevant issues like “job seeking”, the more people will take you less seriously.

Picture yourself after finishing your degree on your glorious school.. Picture applying to work for me. I give you a contract that you LOVED. However, when you fly here to start working for me. I take your passport, pay you one quarter the amount that I promised, if not less, and on top of it, I prohibit you from entering any mall, beach, resort, restaurant etc on your only day off… Also, picture another guy named MIKE in that same country that you moved to work in, going online and saying things like.. well, no one told this guy to come work here.. he decided and we are doing him a favor by employing him.

Now, you are being MIKE. understand?

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

That applies to the mislead laborers definitely, but certainly not to the overwhelming number of under qualified overpaid expats brought in droves by poorly managed organizations, those types never seem to leave.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Are you serious? If our villas are a microcosm of the country, then let me tell you, it is like a revolving door of people constantly leaving. New families come in, current families leave. Most WANT to leave within one year, most are lucky enough to “get parole” after 2-3 years. Very few have the unfortunate situation of having to be in Qatar longer than 3 years, bless their hearts.

I won’t even address your statement about “under-qualified” because it is such lunacy it doesn’t deserve attention.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Not addressing a fact doesn’t mean it cease to exist. If Qatar is inefficient and incompetent in several areas, it is more likely than not also not very successful in how it conduct its recruitment processes. Sorry but you can’t have it both ways, it is not like the incompetence “switch” turns off when it comes to recruiting yet remains on for every other area in the country.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

I think both of you are correct. The under-qualified, underperforming, but over-paid expats with shady qualifications, do end up staying long and pull down the productivity.

On the other hand, the qualified and appropriately paid ( at the time of hire) expats tend to leave soon and create the constant turnover.

Removal of the Kafala rule immediately will create a huge stir, which the market is not ready for in Qatar, and it will take 2-3 years at the minimum for it to return to normalcy. And if the World Cup is to be hosted, they cannot afford to make any real changes to the system, no matter the pressure from the International Media.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Agreed. The talented usually leave very fast once they arrive here.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Exactly. We are going after 2 years, and would have gone earlier except for the tax implications back home. Both have secured high paying jobs in our respective sectors, bye bye soon.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  James Aberdeen

shhhh… james.. don’t let out our secret… we don’t want folks the discover the scam we’re running…. otherwise word will get out globally and Hamad Int’l will seize to see the 12 to 15k ppl per month moving to doha for work… all 12k + are part of this slavery ploy were running that no one seems to be aware of it…

oh glorious school graduates….

James Aberdeen
James Aberdeen
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Schadenfruede will be sweet, just wait and see. I am sure we both will live enough to see it in our lifetime 🙂

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

how could I not understand there was a change in the law! Thanks CNN for letting us know!

KK
KK
6 years ago

So we are all in agreement, haha.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

This guy s good and his father was good too.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

الله .. الوطن .. الأمير

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Every one on DN will be reported to MOI. See you all in Jail.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Loveitorleaveit, why do you keep deleting your username? You do know that anyone who has instant email notification of comments switched on will get an email of all your comments and your username showing. Deleting it afterwards is useless.

I’ve noticed most of the alleged anti-Qatari trolling started after the new online law was passed, as if someone is faking and actively trying to create trouble and get DN shut down. These people must have very sad lives.

Noushad
Noushad
6 years ago

It is a big tragedy to the worker who works in construction field where atleast their basic needs also not considered. Must change their attitude. Authorities should take a view to Sheehaniya infra like roads and street lights and quality of goods which is selling in the market there.
Will be the best if authority can show up a officer where we can highlight the issues

Noushad
Noushad
6 years ago

It is a big tragedy to the worker who works in construction field where atleast their basic needs also not considered. Must change their attitude. Authorities should take a view to Sheehaniya infra like roads and street lights and quality of goods which is selling in the market there.
Will be the best if authority can show up a officer where we can highlight the issues

Mathew T Jayaraj
Mathew T Jayaraj
6 years ago

A real treat to watch,his views are straight from his Heart ,Happy world Heart Day!

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