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IMAGINE IF ACCEPTING A JOB OFFER MEANT YOU WOULD BE HELD HOSTAGE BY A MINISTER AND HIS FAMILY, EMPLOYING LABOR LAWS THAT ARE AKIN TO MODERN DAY SLAVERY

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It happened to Nasser Beydoun, a well-known Detroit-based business and civic leader, who was trapped in Qatar for twenty-two months. And, he's not alone.  Nasser Beydoun has won his court case, obtained a judgment, was victorious on two appeals, has a court order to remove his travel ban, collected his judgment and yet he was an economic hostage in Qatar.  Finally, the Prosecutors office cleared him of all the false allegations his previous employer had leveled, in their attempt to deny him his salary and end of service benifets and extort $12 million dollars from him.  On October 9, 2011 he was finally allowed to level Qatar.  Having been held in the country against his will for 22 months and having done nothing wrong. 

Beydoun in 2007 accepted a leadership position with a Qatari group of investors with the aim to introduce restaurant chains such as Sbarro, Rainforest Cafe and others across the Middle East. But things weren't what they seemed. Beydoun soon found himself trapped inside Qatar indefinitely, a victim of a broken Qatari sponsorship system built on centuries-old practices and relationships.

Qatar has worked to become a modern, progressive and business friendly country, attracting billions in investor dollars and a large expatriate work force -- many unaware of how vulnerable they may be. Sign an employment contract with a Qatari employer, and your employer's approval is required for the most basic acts: opening a bank account, obtaining a driver's license, and leaving the country for any reason.

Employers can deny a transfer of sponsorship, even at the end of your contract, and can cancel your work visa barring you from working in Qatar for two years.

The regulations are backed by Qatari law, which are weighted in favor of Qatari employers. A Qatari to liberally impose a travel ban on a non-Qatari for civil cases -- even those deemed frivolous by the courts.

Doha is home to a growing number of people who arrived with hope of dream jobs, but ended up separated from their home and family, living on dwindling savings or on the streets, with little hope to spare.

We've created this website to share Nasser Beydoun's story, and others. We ask you to read, share and add your story.  If you are a hostage just send us an email at friendstofreenasser@gmail.com with the details of your situation or your comments and we will post it for the world to see.  

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