A group of construction workers have been sleeping in the open for the past eight months – because it is better than living in the “hell” of labor camp accommodation.
Five men, four from North Africa and a south Asian, were seen bedding down for the night next to an under-construction 7-storey residential building at 11pm in the heart of Doha on Wednesday.
“It is an irony that we build these ‘residential apartments’ and don’t have a roof to sleep under,” said one visibly exhausted worker.
“My company did provide me with accommodation when I landed here in January, but the rooms were overcrowded – 12 in one room – and the food quality was horrendous. We simply decided to live out in the open rather than the hell my company calls accommodation. The decision is solely ours.”
According to the laborer, there are more than 200 Nepalese workers at the company-provided accommodation located in the Industrial Area, as well as the dozens of Muslims from his home country, Egypt.
“How are we supposed to live together with people who have religious and cultural habits, diametrically opposed to ours?” he asked. “There is a remarkable difference in our bathroom habits, food tastes and living style, all of which we were forced to share.”
“We have also made a makeshift bathroom onsite, while our clothes and ‘bedding’ gets bundled up every morning and tucked into a brick-made storage space,” the worker explained.
Despite making the best of their environment, the laborers admit they often spend a torturous night struggling to get to sleep on old, worn mattresses and pillows – and in the midst of the summer humidity even breathing becomes an act of great difficulty.
The laborer added: “The winters are tolerable in the open, but now half the night is wasted scratching my skin due to heat rashes. For most of the time we just pretend to each other that we are sleeping and gaze at the stars.”
The Egyptian said he and his colleagues were not the only laborers these days to spurn camp accommodation for the open skies, and he claimed other workers were sleeping at under-construction sites in Muntazah, Mansoura and Najma.
“We like our Arab-speaking Qatari brothers. (Do any of you think Gulf Times added this fake quote to make the Qataris seem more human like?) It’s the construction firms that maltreat us. Actually that’s an understatement. They treat us like animals. I’m just an employee, a number, to my company,” he said.
‘It is an irony that we build these residential apartments and don’t have a roof to sleep under. My company did provide me with accommodation when I landed here, but the rooms were overcrowded – 12 in one room – and the food quality was horrendous. We simply decided to live out in the open rather than the hell my company calls accommodation’
Source: Gulf Times