Qatar World Cup: Stadiums built with the blood of workers.

Qatar may be the richest country in the world, but it certainly isn’t an example to follow regarding general human rights.

Qatar will host the World Cup of 2022, and it is already building a titanic project. Qatari citizens won’t build themselves the stadiums but low-wage immigrants such as Bangladesh citizens, Indians, Sri Lankans and Nepalese will.

These migrants are not treated as humans but as slaves.

Nepalese have died at a rate of one every two days due to the dire working conditions and the extreme heat they are exposed to.

This Indian man shares a room with seven other migrant labourers in Doha, Qatar. The housing facility has been cited for substandard conditions. Photograph: Maya Alleruzzo/AP

The Guardian in 2013 exposed the mistreatment of immigrants and called it modern-day slavery,as defined by the International Labour Organisation. They face exploitation and abuses.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament.

Ram Kumar Mahara, 27 at the time, revealed that they could go without eating a whole day. “When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labour camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers.”

Migrants are dying in the hundreds but Qatar has been very slow to change the situation. An Amnesty International reported that Qatar was “dragging its feet”.

“Despite making repeated promises to clean up its act ahead of the World Cup, the government of Qatar still appears to be dragging its feet over some of the most fundamental changes needed, such as abolishing the exit permit and overhauling its abusive sponsorship system”

Recently, Damian Collins, an MP in the Conservative party in UK, has warned big sponsors that they should put pressure on Qatar regarding its mistreatment of migrants.

“If workers are dying Fifa has blood on its hands, as do these sponsors, for as long as they turn a blind eye to what’s going on there,” said Collins. “It’s time we raise our voices. People should demand more action is taken.”

Adidas, Gazprom, Hyundai, Kia, McDonalds, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Visa should immediately condemn Qatar for the entire Kafala system and the horrible conditions of migrants. They have not yet answered to the MP’s call. It seems that business here is more important.

An exhausted migrant worker travels back to his labour camp at the end of the day in Qatar. Photograph: Pete Pattisson

Collins added that if the cows of McDonald’s were treated as bad as the immigrants in Qatar, people would have stopped eating McDonald’s.

Qatar is also a very bad pupil in press freedom, and it recently repressed and scared foreign reporters that were too curious according to their tastes. Authorities followed, spied on, and arrested a BBC team that were invited by the PM’s offic to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May.
“This could be a method to intimidate those who seek to expose labour abuse in Qatar”, Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International’s Gulf migrant rights researcher said to BBC.

Fifa must be tougher on this and should suspend Qatar world cup construction unless Qatari authorities do the maximum to prevent all deaths and ameliorate the dire housing conditions.

I personally already made my choice months ago, if someone invited me to watch for free all the matches of the 2022 world cup in Qatar. I would gladly refused.

I won’t watch matches and applaud goals with the knowledge and consciousness that these stadiums were built with human rights abuses, mistreatment, slavery and blood.

Racist Attacks in Lebanon.

Another day, another Lebanese racist attack and harass Syrians.

Why do some persons act this way ? Is it a kind of revenge following the long occupation of Syrian Army in Lebanon ? Is it just pure and simple racism ? Superiority complex ? Xenophobia ? Disrespect for human rights ? Is it because some Syrians belong to terrorist groups ? (Some Lebanese belong to the same group)

Why is there no government decision or declaration on this matter ? Human Rights Watch came up with a list of recent attacks against Syrians ( Refugees or not ), the harassment has become recurrent.

On Monday November 10th, three Syrians were attacked, a man threw a bucket of paint on them, shaming them in public.. they were barefoot.

Three Syrian men get attacked in Lebanon.

Is it the image we want to give to foreigners ? Arabs and Non-Arabs ?

The government must act and arrest these wrongdoers.

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Read the Article of Human Rights Watch : http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/09/30/lebanon-rising-violence-targets-syrian-refugees

The West hypocritical relations with Saudi Arabia.

Obama-Saudi

I have always found the relations between the United States, its allies with Saudi Arabia  highly hypocritical.

United States is the master when it speaks for freedom, equality, rights. It is the first country to condemn violations of human rights etc. It’s beautiful words, addressed only to those who are not benefiting the United States.

Let’s take a look at Saudi Arabia regime and give a few examples.

  • The World knows that Saudi Arabia bans driving for Woman, one was sentenced to 10 lashes because she did not respect the ban.

Every Woman has a male guardian, she cannot, without the permission of this male guardian, travel, work, go to school or get medical treatment, it also bans them from sport. It even installed a system that alerted the male guardian with an sms when the woman “under his control” left the country.

Did the United said something about it ? Did it condemn it ? No.

  • To give you another crazy story.

In 2013 a “cleric” has raped and tortured his 5 year-old daughter because he has doubted her virginity… he was imprisoned..and released few days ago.

Al-Ghamdi, however, has now been released as “blood money and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment” a judge ruled, according to Albawaba News.

  • Another one, this one is recent and funny.

The very serious Saudi Interior Ministry have released a statement to back the chaos and the terrorist threat, it banned very dangerous names !

Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.

The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or “inappropriate”.

This is the friend of the United States in the Middle East.

  • Let’s get back to more serious cases.

Bahrain has known popular uprising since 2011, back when “the Arab Spring” began. The protests were severely reprimanded, and human crimes happened. The Bahrain government used systematic torture (page 219) and other forms of physical and psychological abuse on detainees. Remind you of another regime highly condemned by the West ? No ? Syria!The Bahrain government called the “help” of 1000 Saudi troops. Faint condemnations from the West.

  • Finally, controversies happen within the kingdom itself.

The “king” himself is imprisoning his daughters in a house, really shocking story. And it’s not rumors, his ex-wife said that she did not see her children for over 10 years.

The list is exhaustive, endless, the previous examples are a fragment of the atrocities, the repressions that happen in Saudi Arabia. I have not talked about SA involvement in terrorism with Syria.

No real condemnation from the United States, from the EU, how can you criticize your oil provider ? (watch Palmes d’or Fahrenheit 9/11)

Well known non-government organizations like Amnesty International and Humans Right Watch condemns the kingdom.

To end the story,  Prince Charles visited Saudi Arabia few weeks ago, he participated in the traditional Saudi Arabian Sword dance. How does SA apply the capital punishment ? Beheading by sword, in public.

Discrimination Against Palestinians in Lebanon – Opinion

I have always felt that it is weird that one of our main political force in Lebanon is Pro-Palestine, and with the right of their Return, which is guaranteed by the fourth Geneva convention.  Yet Palestinians in Lebanon live in Ghettos, have zero access to good work, because they are…Palestinians. Why this restriction on Palestinians ? Why this constant conscious impoverishment by the Lebanese Authorities ? Why can’t they access to more than 70 professions ? Because they are…Palestinians.

Palestinian Labor force in Lebanon. Restricted Professions. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine

Here’s a sentence from an excellent Electronic Intifada article written by Moe Ali Nayel and with infographics by Visualizing Palestine .

Palestinians, alienated by the Lebanese political and official discourse, are treated either as a burden, a threat, or potential agents provocateurs plotting to ruin Lebanon from inside their sunless refugee camps.

This is sadly true. I have often heard that Palestinians are the cause of the civil war, that “they’re bad people” and provocateurs.

But are we keeping them in ghettos because they acted in the very complicated civil war ? Who did not fight in the Lebanese Civil War ? No one! But we are not confining this sect or this sect in a ghetto.

I have often heard that we are keeping them without jobs so that “they can’t get too much happy here so that they can return to Palestine”. I am deeply sure that Palestinians, if they had the possibility to return tomorrow, they would ! A good job here, or a decent life won’t make them stay,  it is very hypocrite to claim that. But maybe Lebanese people are comparing themselves to Palestinians. We have 12 Millions Lebanese living abroad, installed in many countries like in Brazil, and they won’t come back. But who wants to come back in a country like Lebanon ??

Armenians here in Lebanon, have their rights, nationalities, jobs.  Yet they are still engaged to Armenia, claiming their rights, like the recognition of the genocide. They speak their language, their culture is still attached to them. They live here, not because they don’t want to return to Armenia, because a lot of them can’t return because of poverty.  Yet there are Armenians, fully installed here, with jobs, good income, that go back to Armenia.

I can understand people that say, “if we give them nationalities, Israel will win, because they will claim that they have not the right to come back because Palestinians are attached to the Lebanese authorities, and they are now under the responsibility of Lebanon and only Lebanon and no more considered as real refugees”

Alright, let’s say no nationality, but no rights at all ?

Imagine yourself dear Lebanese people, Israel expels you out of the country, or force you to leave because of massacres and fear. You installed yourself in Syria ( which is not very good with the Palestinians refugees either ), after generations, you still cannot return to Lebanon, so what will you do instinctively ? Expand, have a good job and a good home, you will want to live with decency, with dignity. Not in a ghetto.

And please, tell me not that us Lebanese have enough problems to deal with others. I am not very proud that my state act shamefully with Arabs, people that asked for nothing expect dignity.

Me, young Lebanese adult, advice the Lebanon authorities to reform the laws against the freedom of profession for Palestinians in Lebanon. More jobs, more competition will do good for our bad economy.

And for our morality.

Palestinian Labor Force in Lebanon. Courtesy of Visualize Palestine