Doha fashion blog showcases migrant workers in Friday best

Doha fashion blog showcases migrant workers in Friday best
Doha's stylish yet 'unseen' migrant workers have been put under the spotlight by a new online fashion blogging account that aims to humanise the dehumanised labourers.
2 min read
01 Nov, 2016
The online account showcases stylish migrant labourers in their Friday best [Doha Fashion Fridays Instagram]

A new Qatari social media venture showcasing the blue-collar workers that build Qatar was launched last week, in an attempt to humanise the "dehumanised" labourers.

Fashion Fridays - which publishes images on Instagram and Tumblr - merges 'Humans of New York'-style photos and street fashion blogging, according to its creator, political cartoonist Khalid al-Baih.

"There are so many workers now in Qatar and they move between their buses to their work sites and back again in their jumpsuits.

"No one really sees them or knows about them as people. It’s very dehumanising," he explained to local Doha News.

"They are people the same as you and me. I wanted to tell their stories," Albaih said.

The artist said he spends the most part of Fridays, which is the official start of the weekend for much of the Middle East, scouting stylishly-dressed migrant workers who would be otherwise dressed in jumpsuits during the week.


The idea was sparked when he noticed the amount of "well-dressed" weekenders that mingle with friends along the capital's coastal corniche.

Sudanese Al-Baih posts the images of the fashion-conscious workers, along with a caption that states their names, ages, occupations and fashion inspirations.

“This is a social movement. It’s about art, it’s about fashion and it’s about bringing people together and getting to know each other better," he said, adding his passion to get a range of photographers and bloogers involved in the project.

"I want to make Doha as tight a community as it once was,” Albaih, who has lived here for 25 years, added.

More than 1.6 million migrant labourers - mostly from South East Asia - live in the small Gulf State which has been repeatedly accused of neglecting its migrant workforce.

But Doha has fought back against allegations of abuse and exploitation, saying it was beginning a raft of reforms aimed at improving working conditions.

While there is a long way to go for Qatar's migrant community, humanising the labourers is a good start.