KATHMANDU, Nepal — As the World Cup It is over, but what happens next? the Workers who made Qatar possible

The The small nation of Nepal sent more workers to Qatar than any other country.

In the Fall of 2022 The Sunday Review spoke to nearly three dozen Nepalis — current and former construction workers in Qatar and members of their families — to learn what their lives are like now and what is next for them. The majority had been involved in construction projects. the World Cup, including stadiums and other infrastructure that supported Qatar’s development boom.

After enduring at times exploitative or dangerous conditionsMany workers stated that they were stuck in poverty and in debt with no other options. but To continue working abroad, no matter what the risks.

“Working in a foreign country is not a choice,” said one worker, Ganga Bahadur Sunuwar. “We are compelled to do it.” After many years in Qatar as a worker in a steel mill, Mr. Sunuwar (44) is now back at home in Kathmandu. He has suffered from severe occupational asthma.

Mr. Sunuwar knows that working abroad — which would mean taking on more debt to secure a job and then having limited say over his working conditions — could be a risk to his health. He is considering the possibility, even though he has concerns.

Times reporters witnessed a near daily scene at Nepal’s main international airport in Kathmandu: the Coffins arrive mainly from the Malaysia and Gulf, carrying the Migrant workers’ bodies Since 2010, the World Cup was awarded to Qatar, 2,100 Nepalis have died there of all causes, according to Nepal’s Labor Ministry.

About 2,000 migrant workers are still leaving. the Every day, the same airport Despite the Extreme heat and grueling work conditions can make it difficult to survive. the Many feel that they cannot find work in the Gulf and are forced to seek foreign employment. Young men feel excluded from many families and are often unable to find work. A quarter of all the country’s gross domestic product is earned abroad, one of the The highest percentages in any country.

Nicole Salazar Sarah Kerr Reports from Kathmandu, Doha, Qatar. Pramod Acharya Kathmandu