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domestic slaves, the other hell of Qatar

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The young woman who agreed to speak to us is shaking like a leaf. It’s the first time she’s spoken to a reporter and she’s terrified. It is dark and the darkness partially hides her face, framed by long brown hair. It’s Friday, a day off in Qatar, and Joanna*, 26, was able to escape for a few hours from the house where she works as a servant for a wealthy Qatari family. We meet her in a dark corridor, on the ground floor of a residence in Al Maamoura, the “school district” on the southern outskirts of Doha where she has arranged to meet us.

With a worried smile, she whispers to us that she has to take care of four small children from 7 a.m. until midnight every day, “without a break”and ” it’s hard “. Joanna repeats that she is well treated: “Problem is salary” (“The problem is the salary”): 1,300 riyals per month (342 euros), sometimes paid late. And not enough, according to her, to feed her two little boys whom she left with her own mother, in Bohol, in the Philippines. Suddenly, a door in the hallway opens, from which come music and bursts of men’s voices. A woman sticks her head out and waves to Joanna, who whispers: “I’m sorry, we have to leave now, it’s dangerous to stay here. »

almighty masters

In Qatar, telling the truth is expensive. An indiscretion, a wrong word can cost foreign workers “deportation”. The only one who dared to document his life

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