Workers won’t speak out for fear of being fired, but for some, hopelessness outweighs the fear. Qatari labourers building for the 2022 World Cup are forced into long hours on the side of roads or inside factories in the sweltering heat. Their living situations are just as trying: “We have been here for 2 months. And for 2 months we haven’t been given beds.” These workers entered into pseudo slavery due the loans they took to travel that they can’t afford to pay back, as the hope of the income they were promised was a lie.
“We have been here for two months […] for two months we haven’t been given beds.” Such is life for a migrant worker. Lured to Qatar by the promise of good salaries and regular trips home – they have their passports confiscated on arrival, and their wages slashed. Some work seven days a week, fifteen hours a day, returning home to overcrowded slums where even stray animals struggle to survive.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will cost the country $200 billion, and for the contractors charged with making it happen – finance is all that matters. “They don’t care how many die, only how much they get” claims one insider.