Having spent a good deal of time in the Middle East—especially in Qatar—I’ve come to learn a lot of the good elements and bad elements of the culture here. There are many fascinating things, of which I hope this space will shed light upon many, but there are also some incredibly disturbing elements to the way people live here. Human rights violations are rampant, because people are not equal. I don’t bring these up to portray any Middle Eastern countries or cultures in a negative light, because most of what I’ve seen and heard are reflections of individuals and not the country or culture. But by shedding more light on them, I hope they can eventually be discovered and eliminated.
In most cases, the problems that exist are based on class and racial differences. The skyscrapers that you see here were all built by day laborers from India, Nepal and surrounding areas. The service industries, like hotels and restaurants, are being run on the backs of young men and women from Thailand and the Philippines. And the majority of children here are not raised by their own parents, but by nannies that are brought in from Southeast Asia specifically for that purpose. While this diversity is in and of itself a good thing, unfortunately these people are not accepted as anything more than the servants they are to the rich locals, and are treated as such.
With this prelude, stay tuned to this space for a series of stories of things that will hopefully not occur here for too much longer.