Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Qatar abusing foreign workers

(November 20, 2013)

Here is Mohamed Abdul-Nasser of the BBC Arabic interviewing officials from the Saudi and Qatari governments. I said before that though Mr. Mohamed looks nice, he's kind of snobby. Except he doesn't really look nice in this picture at all. Today, he partly redeemed himself.

He was interviewing the Saudi and Qatari governments because Amnesty International has yet again gathered enough information to produce an unsavory report on the Gulf Arab countries (this is not a hard thing to do, apparently). This time, it is the bad conditions for the foreign laborers building all the venues for the World Cup Soccer due to be held in Qatar.

I'm not sure, but I think this might be undercover footage of some foreign workers showing their living conditions:

Here is the grave Amnesty International representative giving his grave indictment:

I was only listening with half of one year, but to me, the Qatari and Saudi officials being interviewed had neat excuses for everything: "It's not our fault that we're abusive!!!! Obviously, it's the fault of the countries from which these people come from. Why aren't their government doing enough to protect their citizens when they come to work in our country?"

This was setting up for when the anchor Mohamed could redeem himself. Mohamed asked: we all know how rich the Gulf Arab countries are. We know that resources are not a problem for you. Why don't you put in place some better support systems for all your foreign laborers?

I think it was the guy from Qatar who answered: well!! and do you, sir, an Arab living in Great Britain, get special services and treatment from the British government? I think not!

I think the Qatari man is to the right of the split screen.

He was all in full rush to go plow on ahead and say a lot more about what the British government does not do, when the anchor Mohamed interrupted: actually, yes, the British government does do this, they provide translation services, they provide all sorts of things, and not just for Arab speakers who are pretty common, but even more rare languages, like Hausa (that's the language they speak in Nigeria) and Somali.

So, citizens of Great Britain, you may know that you were handily represented today on the BBC Arabic.

The Qatari guy blinked, and said, "yes, yes, we do all that, too." How quickly his story changes.

I realized just now that I should have gone to the AlJazeera Arabic page to see whether they've dared to even mention the Amnesty International report (AlJazeera is run by the Qatari government and in my opinion, they are super biased.) I think if they put a story up about it, it probably survived online for five minutes before they decided that was enough exposure. Note: this is all just unfair speculation on my part, because I have no idea! I have a super-important test coming up, and I have no spare time these days.

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