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JustHere | December 5, 2016

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Let’s Meet: The oldest porter at the Wholesale Market

If you are a frequent visitor to the Wholesale Market in Qatar on Salwa Road, you would probably have seen them. Men in green uniforms, pushing wheelbarrows filled with crates of fruits and vegetables towards the vehicles of customers. These men are porters or hamali, and are constantly on their feet, in search of customers.

JustHere came across Abdullah A., who at 70 years, is one of the oldest porters at the Wholesale market. Hailing from Iran, he has been in Qatar for the past 45 years.

Abdullah tells his story.

  • “When I first came to Qatar, I used to work as a nanny, look after kids at a Qatari home. At that time there were no female nannies. I joined as a porter 30 years ago. My work timings are from 5am to 10pm. We don’t get a holiday. After every 12 months, I fly to Iran for four months."
  • "I like Qatar because I have work here. In Iran there’s nothing to do. I have eight children, two boys and six girls. The eldest, is my 40-year old son and the youngest is a 20-year old daughter. All of them have studied up to the twelfth grade, and are now married."
  • “I make QR400 every month, that equals to three lakh Iranian rials. Some customers give me tips – anything from QR2 to QR10. Sometimes even QR15. These customers are mainly the richer Qataris. The job of a porter is tiring, but I need to work to support my wife back home. Now that my kids are married, it’s difficult for them to help us financially, so the responsibility is entirely mine."

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