Why not buy the security guards in your building a box of pizza?
Aakash Jayaprakash, Research Associate at Qatar Foundation who studies labor issues here, in a JustHere piece about the marginalization of low-income expats by more privileged residents of Qatar.
In his op-ed, Jayaprakash cautions portraying this demographic as one entity, because it denies people their own identities:
While the rest of Qatar’s more affluent populace enjoy the benefits of living in the richest country in the world, these workers are classified into a large umbrella group, and labelled ‘worker or labourer’. This leads to condescension and stereotyping, more than respect or empathy.
Giving away one’s leftovers after a meal, for example, is patronizing, he said. As is the Box Appeal, a campaign that asks residents to donate toiletries to people who would be better served with a salary hike, he added.
He concludes by pointing out that, according to one study, the vast majority of workers here are married with children, and not just “bachelors harassing girls.”
They have taken a big risk migrating to an unknown land, and simply cannot afford to create trouble here. It has cost them a large amount of money to secure these jobs, and have left their loved ones behind to help raise their children in conditions better than they had to endure.
Credit: Photo by Tahir Hashmi