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Nepal Idol

Nepal Idol

Singing reality show Nepal Idol will host its finale in Qatar on Friday, Sept. 22, organizers have announced.

The show is in its first year and is part of the Idol series started by Simon Fuller.

The finale comes following rehearsals in seven Nepali cities, with the contestant list now pared down to 12 people.

Nepal Idol/Facebook

Nepal Idol finale

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will be held at Asian Town’s amphitheater, in the Industrial Area.

It will be shot by more than a dozen cameras and drones, and televised line on Nepali HD channel AP1.

The winner will be awarded a Mahindra KUV 100 car, Nepali Rs2 million (QR71,000) and a record deal valued at Nepali Rs1.5 million (QR53,000), Gulf Times reports.

‘Proud moment’

The newspaper added that during a recent press conference, community leader Sagar Nepal called the hosting of the event “a proud moment for Qatar-based Nepalis.”

Reem Saad / Doha News

Asian Town is a popular venue for events.

There are more than 350,000 Nepalis in the Gulf state, most of them young men.

The expats comprise one of Qatar’s largest demographic populations, second only to Indians.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

Nepal Embassy in Doha/Facebook

Ambassador Ramesh Prasad Koirala

One of Qatar’s largest expat communities welcomed their long-awaited ambassador to the country this week.

Nepal’s Ramesh Prasad Koirala presented his credentials to authorities in Qatar on Wednesday.

He fills a post that has been left vacant for the past four years, following the abrupt departure of his predecessor in 2013.

Nepal Embassy in Doha/Facebook

Nepal Embassy in Doha

There are now more than 350,000 Nepalis in Qatar, accounting for roughly 13.5 percent of the population.

That makes the Nepali community the second largest in the country, after Indian expats.

Expanding community

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, Nepali leaders said they are pleased to finally have official representation again in Doha.

They also expressed hope that work can start on Qatar’s first Nepali school, as well as a cultural center.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“Now, we have somebody who can address our concerns about the welfare of our community,” the newspaper quoted Sushmita Ghoshal, President of the Nepali Women’s Association, as saying.

Ensuring workers’ rights is also on the agenda.

In January this year, Nepal’s Foreign Minister met with the Emir in Qatar, and suggested the construction of temporary shelters for Nepalis who are having work problems.

He also urged the country to set up a better mechanism for these expats to complain when they aren’t paid by employers.

‘Open jail’

Not much information is publicly available about Koirala, except that he was nominated for the post by ruling party Nepali Congress.

Diplomatically speaking, the new ambassador will have his work cut out for him.

Nepali expats in Doha have been the subject of intense international interest since Qatar was selected as the host of the 2022 World Cup.

Richard Messenger/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Many visiting journalists have zeroed in on human rights abuses affecting the group, which is comprised mostly of blue-collar workers.

But embassy officials have had to tread carefully when asked questions about worker treatment in Qatar.

One cautionary tale is Nepal’s previous envoy in Doha, Dr. Maya Kumari Sharma. She was recalled by her government in September 2013, less than halfway into her term.

BBC Sajha Sawal

Video still of Maya Kumari Sharma

At issue appeared to be frank remarks Sharma made to the BBC earlier that year, calling Qatar “an open jail.”

Local officials complained about the comment, and she eventually apologized.



Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat meets Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim

Qatar should build temporary shelters for Nepalis who are having work problems and set up a better mechanism for these expats to complain when they aren’t paid by employers.

That’s the advice a senior delegation of Nepali officials gave Qataris during a visit to Doha last week, according to Ekantipur.

Some 350,000 Nepalis work in Qatar, mostly in blue-collar positions. They comprise the country’s second-largest demographic group, after Indians.

Richard Messenger/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During his visit to Doha last week, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat met with the Emir as well as his Qatari counterpart.

He also spoke with the labor minister, discussing with all three the “safety and wellbeing of Nepali migrant workers,” according to Nepal’s embassy in Doha.


According to Nepali officials, chief complaints among workers include not being paid on time.

Qatar has been working to address this issue with the rollout of the wage protection system, which mandates that employers pay out salaries via direct bank transfer.

But many construction companies have been struggling with this system.

More than a dozen men wait to use the ATMs at City Center Mall.

Shabina S. Khatri

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Mahat also raised the issue of grievances, pointing out that the current process of lodging a complaint against one’s employer is too long and convoluted.

This however is also being addressed.

A few months ago, Qatar’s Cabinet approved the idea of setting up a labor resolution committee that addresses worker disputes within three weeks.

It is unclear when these will actually be set up, however.

New shelters

In the meantime, Mahat urged Qatar to construct shelters for Nepalis seeking refuge from abusive employers.

He also suggested that officials set up an institute in Nepal to produce trained and skilled manpower, and increase the quota for such workers.

For its part, QNA said Mahat and officials discussed “bilateral relations and ways of promoting them.”

But according to Ekantipur, Qatari officials were receptive of the suggestions and “assured all possible assistance.”