qatar’s migrant workers ‘celebrate’ their own world cup
Qatar: Migrant workers outside Doha are now enjoying the World Cup they helped build. The event’s victims and their impact remain remembered far from the city’s lights
Qatar could not have staged the 2022 World Cup without the assistance of migrant workers, some of whom perished in the process.
The Asian Town Cricket Stadium outside of Doha was once again a bustle of activity on Tuesday when their national team performed its final World Cup match against the Netherlands.
Thousands of spectators packed the stadium and gathered around the same large screen. There have been a lot of migrant workers watching the World Cup in the Industrial Fan Zone.
This location, 45 minutes from Doha with its stunning Corniche boulevard and shimmering tower facades, is free of tourists. The migrant laborers’ exclusive domain is this stadium.
Thousands of people visit to watch World Cup games every day. Between 20 and 40 years old, they are nearly mainly young guys.
The majority of them are from Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, or Bangladesh.
The majority of these workers were builders who helped the hosts erect the tournament’s infrastructure. Some even suffered buddy losses.
On this particular night, though, the emcee of the show brought several of them up onto the large platform to play Hindi word games, to loud cheers from the audience.
Some of the video was uploaded on Omna Rayan’s TikTok profile, where he has over 2,000 followers. Omna Rayan is a 26-year-old Nepali construction electrician who relocated to Qatar four years ago.
He has gained popularity among his friends back home thanks to his photos and videos of life abroad.
The majority of Rayan’s monthly income of 1,200 riyals ($329/€319) goes to his parents in his native country. According to Rayan, “the remuneration is better here than in Nepal.” It was the cause of his relocation to Qatar.
The same is true for Ibrahim Gazi, an Indian construction worker of 25 who, like many others, was unable to realise his dream of going to a game in person.
“They were sold out when I went to get tickets,” claimed Gazi, a team leader at work who makes 3000 riyals ($823/€797) per month.
On the other hand, Shams from India was one of the fortunate few. He has been in Qatar for about 13 years, during which time he has developed something for himself and his family. He obtained a ticket and paid $60 (equal to €60) for it.
Shams stated, “We contributed to building this nation. “Why shouldn’t we be able to enjoy the World Cup and celebrate it like the Qataris do?”
Although the sandwich shop he operates on the grounds is branded with the FIFA logo, alcohol is not offered. Behind the desk, Shams murmurs, “Beer is not permitted.
Even if the costs mentioned are modest by Western standards, these men from Southeast Asia value what Qatar has provided for them.
They can maintain their dependents and earn more money there than they would in their native nations.
However, many of their families have experienced suffering as a result of these professions.
Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, which organized the World Cup, said this week that 400 to 500 migrant laborers had perished in the lead-up to the competition.
Later, this number was changed to 414 fatalities between 2014 through 2020. But according to media accounts, there have been over 6,500 fatalities, with many migrant laborers forced to toil in appalling conditions.
According to Al-Thawadi, the World Cup’s inspection of employment rules strengthened them and helped shift perceptions of migrant employees. To reduce fatalities, they have also enhanced health and safety protocols at work.
Human rights organizations, however, have urged FIFA to make amends for the impacted workers and their families, several of whom are currently unable to work because of serious health issues.
Qatar, on the other hand, has rejected these efforts, claiming that all workers who were promised wages had already received them through its Workers Support and Insurance Fund.
But the allure of football is that it can take you away from the problems and difficulties of everyday life, and that is exactly what has been happening at the Asian Town Cricket Stadium all across the competition.
In between football games, several musicians take the stage to perform. Lincia Rosario, an Indian actress, was tasked with keeping the audience interested this evening, as well as with halftime trivia that left those present scrambling for answers.
It is a pleasure to carry out this task for them, Rosario told DW, “since they are the individuals who constructed the stadiums and are the reason Qatar is what it is today.” “I’m here to keep this moment memorable for them and to help them enjoy the hard work they’ve put in by living in the present.”
A few males worked up the nerve to enter the stage and dance to the loudly played Hindi music. The others loudly applauded while they danced.
The same could not be said of the match, as several players left dejected after a 2-0 loss, with host Qatar dropping all three of its group matches. We adore our crew, Ibrahim Gazi declared.