Arab threatens to commit suicide after failing to secure family visa

January 12, 2011

A live radio threat by a young Arab expatriate in Qatar to commit suicide after he failed to secure visas for his family has prompted calls or compassion and assistance.

The man, who gave his name as Abu Adil, told a popular phone-in programme on Qatar Radio in an unusually distraught call that he felt like committing suicide after his efforts for the past three years to get his family in Qatar had failed.

Abu Adil said he was 33 years old, was born in Doha and wanted to be reunited with his family.

“I have regularly submitted all required documents to obtain a family visa since 2008, but in vain,” he told ‘Good Morning, Qatar!’. “I have regularly produced six-month bank statements showing salary transfers and presented evidence that I fully fulfill all eligibility conditions for a family visa, but in vain,” Abu Adil said, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Tuesday.

“My family visa application has been rejected each time and the recruitment committee at the Ministry of Labour has refused to give me any reasons for the rejection,” he said.

The anchor of the programme, possibly hearing for the first time such a threat being made publicly by a young man, was apparently shocked and asked the caller to exercise restraint and urged the authorities concerned to look again into his file and consider his plea for a family visa.

The call led to a series of calls to look seriously into the case and find solutions, with most people taking Abu Adil’s side.

Some commentators said that if the man had had ‘blue-eyes’, a reference to Westerners, he would have been immediately allowed to sponsor his family.

Others said that the Qatari authorities were, under clear policy, encouraging foreign workers eligible for family visa to sponsor their wives and children, and should have given him the privilege.

“There is a yawning imbalance in the male-female ratio here, so it’s better if an expatriate who is actually entitled to family visa is allowed the privilege,” some people said, the paper reported.

“If he brought his family here it would benefit the local economy since he would be spending much of his income locally,” they said.

For some commentators, the issue was very simple and based on the eligibility conditions for expatriates to sponsor their families, Abu Adil should not have been denied the right to bring his family.

“There are so many committees for every thing at various ministries that people get confused and things get stalled,” some people said, referring to the recruitment panel at the Labor Ministry which actually clears family visas.

“This case shows how people have turned desperate here,” a caller said.

However, Yusuf Al Zaman, a lawyer, warned that making threats publicly, even if it is suicide, was a crime under Qatar’s law.

“The man can be detained by the law-enforcement agencies for interrogation and the matter can be referred to court for trial,” Al Zaman told the daily.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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