Twelve years of hardship

Shahin helped build Lusail Stadium, the venue for the 2022 World Cup final, but didn’t receive his full salary and benefits. Shortly before the World Cup, he was sent home, but he returned to Qatar to claim what he was owed – to no avail. 

By Sam Kunti 

Shahin* never knew that there was a wall with photos of migrant workers who built Lusail Stadium at gate 34 of the venue, let alone that his photo might have been on it and that the wall, a tribute, was taken down ahead of the big World Cup kickoff. As part of the celebration marking the completion of the stadium, he got a T-shirt and an internet card. Shahin carries no grudge. He remembers the time that Lusail was ‘sand’ and says that his hard work and hands “made that land beautiful”.

Small in frame and unassuming, Shahin worked as a glass fixer on multiple World Cup stadiums, including the flagship venue that staged the 2022 World Cup final. He hails from a rural region in Bangladesh and arrived in Qatar in 2012 after paying a recruitment agent 300,000 Bangladeshi Takas (2544 euro). To raise funds, he got some money from his father and scrambled together the rest through loans from relatives.  

He had been promised a job as a cleaner at luxury malls, but instead he was made to work at Density Engineering, a leading construction company in Qatar, which, he says, confiscated his passport. Working 12 hours a day, he earned a salary of 600 Qatari riyals (153 euro), complemented with a food allowance of 200 Qatari riyals (51 euro). It took him almost five years to pay off his loans back home. 

He fitted stones and benches at the Corniche, Doha’s crescent-shaped waterfront pr...

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