Living In and Out of the Host Society. Aspects of Nepalese Migrants' Experience of Division in Qatar


  • Tristan Bruslé Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique



Qatar, segregation, division, labor migration, migrant, everyday life, appropriation


This article examines the place that Nepalese immigrant workers occupy in Qatar, a country where migrants' social and spatial positions are determined by their nationality and qualifications. The article uses visual images, mainly photographs, to illustrate the divided nature of society in Qatar. While trying to adopt the migrants' point of view, the author spent time both in the place where they live, that is the labor camps, and in central Doha where migrants spend their free time. Thus, except for the work place, pictures were taken both in private and public spaces to outline migrants' living spaces. They illustrate the strong constraints migrants have to face in everyday life. For the author himself, pictures are a means of taking a closer look at these places, once back from a field trip. By playing with different scales, zooming from the labor camp setting to the details of how rooms are arranged, pictures enable us to grasp the multiple facets of segregation and the way Nepalese migrant workers draw on their own resources to make foreign places their own. However, the adjustments made to these living spaces continue to reflect their lowly position in a highly segmented society. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1002319


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Author Biography

Tristan Bruslé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Tristan BRUSLÉ, geographer, is a researcher at the Center for National Scientific Research, France. His interests include international migration and the Diaspora, especially with regard to relationships to places. His main areas of focus are Nepal, India and Qatar.




How to Cite

Bruslé, T. (2010). Living In and Out of the Host Society. Aspects of Nepalese Migrants’ Experience of Division in Qatar. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).