Working with Migrants
in Doha

Holly Cowley and Tom Tailford
Holly Cowley and Tom Tailford

January 11th, 2022

Some of our favourite faces from Doha!

If you’ve spent any time on our socials then you will know that throughout December our team was based in Doha, Qatar, working on the FIFA Arab Cup. Since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010, the population of migrant workers in the country has swollen to 2.1 million which is an increase of as much as 40%. Our time in Doha proved that these migrant workers are essential to the successful execution of the 2022 World Cup and all the stages in the run-up. For the last month, we’ve had the pleasure of working and meeting people from all corners of the globe, in fact, we’ve probably had a lot more contact with people who aren’t from Qatar and have come here to work. With that in mind, we thought we would ask some of the ex-pats about their life in Qatar, and also a song that reminds them of “home”.

We met the wonderful Zakaa Ezat who greeted us nearly every morning for breakfast. Zakaa can be found on Instagram @zakkapo and his favourite song is Someone Like You by Adele because it reminds him of many an early morning on the beach with his friends back home.

We also met Sateesh, another staff member at Rabban suites where we stayed. He fixed countless eggs in a variety of different ways for the team during our time there. If you check out his Instagram, @sateeshmanthri, it’s pretty obvious he’s a massive foodie with a huge passion for his work. His favourite dish is risotto and barbecue salmon and the song that reminds him most of home is #BheemlaNayak-#LalaBheemla.

We met Antony at Flat White coffee shop in the Gate Mall. He served up the most wonderful V60 coffee! The track that reminds him of home is Daima by Eric Wainaina. He moved to Qatar in June 2021 and has been a Barista for the past 8 years. He’s proudly Kenyan and his favourite Kenyan Coffee is Kenya AA.

We also met the amazing Clarissa! Her favourite thing about working in Doha is the people she surrounds herself with that make her feel that she’s not alone... a family away from home. Her favourite restaurant in Doha is 'The Social' where she works and adores the 'Nasi Goreng'. A song that reminds her of home, particularly at the moment is Michael Jackson’s Heal The World. She hopes for a return to pre-pandemic life for everyone, so we can all enjoy things a little more. Clarissa can be found on Instagram at @clarissaclaro1996.

Not only did we meet loads of great people along the way, but we also worked very closely with them on the Arab Cup. For example, we met Gaspar who was QVision’s technical whizzkid! Originally from the Philipines, he was a pleasure to work with as part of the infotainment team. We also met Imad, from Germany, who makes up one half of the comms team who travelled over together. We also met the lovely David Raju who can be found on Instagram @davidraju692. While he hails from India, David is in Doha working for Bolero comms.

We musn’t forget our own team, who were, of course, all foreign workers in the country. First off we have Maisie, a Northern soul from Manchester, working out in Doha for the FIFA Arab Cup as part of the infotainment team as a vision mixer / technical director. Maisie’s role meant that she got to work with so many amazing creative people directing the in-house screens and her favourite part of the trip was meeting people from all around the world who all had different reasons for being in Doha. The song that reminds her of home has to be Half the World Away by Oasis.

Ashley was also working as part of the infotainment team, framing up some cool moves at the FIFA Arab Cup. While away he missed his family dog the most, as well as the cheap beer. Other than that he loved being in Qatar and didn’t really miss home too much, as everyone was always busy working, doing activities, eating or spending time together! Ashley’s song choice is Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson.

An integral part of the infotainment team, Davy, offered up crowd shots and ran around with the energetic press team. During his stay, his favourite of all of Doha’s bars was Monkey Tale, down to its chill beach bar vibe with great DJs. While away from home, he mainly kept in contact with his ma and pa via WhatsApp video, and the song that reminds him most of home is Go West by King Of Wishful Thinking.

Our time in Doha gave the opportunity to meet a whole range of incredible people, be that on the job or during day to day to life during our stay. We hope this blog highlights that it takes an army to get these events on their feet. Without the invaluable contribution of each and every person we met, those mentioned in this blog and those who arent, our time in Doha would not have been the same.