An outdoor fridge stocked with free cold drinks and snacks. A tap that flows with free laban. An initiative to ensure residents who work outdoors are sufficiently hydrated.
Small acts of kindness such as these often go overlooked when it comes to the dominant media narrative of Qatar as human rights abuser, Doha News assistant editor Victoria Scott points out in her latest post for the Telegraph’s expat section.
Scott acknowledged that “no amount of free food or drink is going to change” the need for an overhaul of the system, so that working and living conditions are improved for Qatar’s most vulnerable.
But she added that attempts by residents – from all walks of like – to reach out to each other are having more of an impact than they’re given credit for.
“It’s easy to live in a bubble here, skirting around each other in the shops and on the roads, and keeping to our own ‘kind,’ the familiar, when socialising.
It’s easy to drive in an air-conditioned 4×4 past a bus-load of exhausted labourers returning to their camp at the end of their shift, cooled only by open windows blasting humid, dusty air, and pretend not to see. In fact, life is more comfortable that way.
That’s why these acts of selflessness, big and small, worthy and (in my case) embarrassingly unworthy – make me hopeful. Through them, the people of Qatar – and by that, I mean people of all races and creeds – are showing that they really are seeing each other. They build bridges between us. And in an incredibly divided society, bridges are a powerful thing.”
Have you ever experienced an act of kindness that’s changed your perspective on things in Qatar?
if only the people in power would take a leaf out of these residents’ books then the watching world would see Qatar in a different light. Sadly these, whilst fantastic to see, are but a “needle in the haystack” when it comes to helping those less fortunate in Qatar – The ‘dominant media narrative’, as you put it are just the relaying the facts to the wold at large. Until Qatar can self examine itself with complete transparency, then the true kindness of the Qataris’ will always go unnoticed. The government need to step up and be counted.
Never………oh once a Land Cruiser gave way to me at an intersection does that count?
That could be the driver. Does that count?
Yes of course by extension and association…;-) (and I’m just being sarcastic)
………..as very rightly noted “no amount of free food or drink is going to change” the need for an overhaul of the system, so that working and living conditions are improved for the most vulnerable…. and this sadly seems to be so true
“the dominant media narrative of Qatar as human rights abuser” Like I said before, haters are just gonna hate 😉
I already know that the comments are going to be, “the country needs to change” etc. etc. While I AGREE with that 100%, can we just enjoy a little nice story? Any nice selfless action should be appreciated, and I think this story is sweet. Yes, I want MUCH more for the workers here, but even these small gestures are a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say. And yes, I think a LOT more improvement needs to happen, but I will love any small action I see!
The media is not there to focus on what individual residents are doing, their role is to highlight what the state is doing to confront the challenges the laborers face when employed in Qatar, hence if there is severe shortcomings, the media will shed light on it.
While these generous acts do benefit the workers, if the residents suddenly stopped doing them, they would not be infringing on the workers rights, however the same cannot be said about companies who refuse to adhere to laws designed to protect workers rights, and Qatar will be responsible if they fail to enforce the law on those committing the violations.
When someone’s nice to me, like the man who went out of his way to give me his parking spot at the Souq and called me sister, I’m stunned. That doesn’t happen very often anymore.