Migrant Laborer, Qatar

The Beginning of The End to a 17-year Yearning

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Freedom from the “open jail” of Qatar finally came to Roshan after 13 years, being reunited with his family after 17 years of yearning for home!

It all started with my coming across his story on Kantipur. Realizing that he had suffered grave injustice and that I may possibly also know him, I posted the article on my Facebook timeline with a translation request, intending to publish the English version on my blog and ultimately to draw the attention of migrant-rights workers and others in Qatar with hopes of righting the wrong!

In the mean time, to show how things and events of those nature take place in Qatar, I posted the following story on September 19 also on Facebook.

how an innocent person can end up in jail in Qatar

The translation was published and shared on Facebook–with a request to share–and other social media namely, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+.

Furthermore, I tweeted the story tagging some journalists and migrant rights workers — Human Rights Watch, Migrant-Rights.org and Amnesty International — hoping they would be able to do something.

I also had a Skype conversation with the Human Rights Watch representative to discuss his case.

Roshan's story 1st tweet request

The first tweet mentioning three people who are either journalists or do migrant rights work in the Middle East.

Roshan's story 2nd tweet request-combined

The second tweet mentioning three other people who work on migrant rights.

Sure enough, Migrants Rights were able to get in touch with Roshan. They did a write-up highlighting his plight.

The people I contacted managed to mobilize other organizations within Qatar to facilitate Roshan’s ultimate departure from the country.

What had not seemed possible for 13 years, was accomplished within about a month!

Roshan arrived in Kathmandu Saturday, October 18, 2014. I have spoken to him briefly. He had a lot of catching up to do so we’ll be seeing each other some time later.

Once again, thanks everyone!

Roshan's story final tweet

My final tweet thanking those, as far as I know, that were involved in Roshan’s freedom!

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December 29 Update

As strange as this sounds, even though he has been in Nepal for more than two months, I haven’t met Roshan.

In the Oct. 20 update to the post about the man’s ordeal, I mentioned how my waiting for confirmation from his wife about his arrival in the country was a long story.

Well the story was that I actually got confirmation about his arrival in the country from someone else…who is in Doha no less! I had a hard time getting the man’s contact details from the wife as well!

Anyway, when I did finally get his number and we talked, I told him that he needed to first catch up with his family etc. The agreement was that he would call when he was ready to come see me after he had taken care of all his social obligations…of 17 years!!

When he did get in touch he made an appointment. Except, he never showed up! The last time I called him, he was in his village. He promised to get in touch once he got back in town. That was about a month and a half ago! I suspect I won’t hear from him. By the looks of it, he appears to have reservations about meeting me. So be it!

The reason I wanted to see him was to firstly, put a face to the name and secondly, to see, if indeed, I knew him personally or if we just had mutual friends. I did what I could for him because he had been made to suffer unjustly by a country and system in the same way that I had been just about a year and half ago.

 

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2 comments to The Beginning of The End to a 17-year Yearning

  • James Foster

    During the recent World Cup ESPN ran a disturbing documentary on the plight of the South Asian workers in Qatar building the stadiums and facilities for the Qatar World Cup. As a human being and a fan of the beautiful game I found it very troubling. So troubling, in fact, that I have mad the decision not to have anything to do with, at least, that iteration of the tournament. But more than a boycott needs to happen. Those people are in really deplorable conditions, many of them cannot leave, and what they are enduring looks an awful lot like slavery.

    • James, what’s more, what the media puts out are the stories of only about the people they get to talk to and even that condensed into the time and/or space the outlet has! The plight of Asian and African migrant workers, not only in Qatar, but in most of the Gulf, is pretty sad and deplorable.

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