On its tour through Arab cities, DW's "Shababtalk" visited Doha, Qatar. Host Jaafar Abdul Karim and his guests discussed allegations of bribery and inhumane treatment of workers in regard to the Football World Cup 2022.
Khalid Al Nemaa of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is responsible for the World Cup construction work, said there was no proof of corruption, just allegations. He also denied workers at the stadiums had died due to the difficult working conditions. Al Nemaa: "We've only had natural deaths."
The media relations expert responded to allegations of mistreatment of workers: "The committee welcomes all constructive criticism, whether it is from Amnesty International or any other organization. We have always believed that hosting the World Cup would serve as motivation and catalyst for the reformation and modernization of labor issues. We admit that there are some shortcomings in some processes."
On a report by Amnesty International demanding more rights for workers, Al Nemaa said: "Some of the demands had already been met before the report was ever published. For example, moving all workers to adequate housing spaces. These measures are in line with the Qatari constitution, with our culture and also our traditions."
On women's roles in the Qatari society, human development expert Rawda Al Qobaysi said: "Our state and government fully believe in gender equality. There is just the time factor; women have entered into politics later than men. Therefore they need time to catch up in the political sphere."
Members of the audience also took part in the discussion. Maryam Ali, a young woman, said: "Traditions still hold women back, for example in the media. In some families, women in the public eye are simply not allowed."
Qatari TV Presenter Khalifa Rehemy said many people, not only women, were unwilling to appear on his show: "I always face the challenge of finding Qataris to appear on screen as guests. One could spend the whole day trying to find one guest who would speak for a minute."
Hamad Al Amary, Qatar's Youtube celebrity, criticized foreigners' stereotypical images of Qatari youth. He said: "The image is that we are spoiled and irresponsible. We should do a better job at showing the world what we really are."
Shababtalk is one of DW's most popular programs. The show reaches millions of viewers in the Arab World. In 2016, the Shababtalk team will visit Egypt, Algeria, the Palestinian territories, the U.A.E. and Iraq.