Nasser Beydoun

Take the case of American Nasser Beydoun who has been held in Qatar for over one year and a half in a labor and management dispute.

Nasser Beydoun thought he had found an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a hospitality powerhouse at Wataniya Restaurants Q.S.C. His dream job has become a 13 month nightmare. Since his resignation from Wataniya in November 2009, Beydoun has been trapped in Doha against his will. Separated from his  three young children and his wife Maysa since they moved back to Michigan in October 2011. Beydoun was unable to work or earn an income in Qatar for over nine months after he left Wataniya because the board refused to transfer his sponsorship. He is forced to live off his saving, and is under considerable psychological pressure. Beydoun is under no personal restriction or formal house arrest by any Qatari authority. Beydoun is able to go wherever he likes within Qatar. He just doesn't have permission to leave Qatar, return to his family and resume normal life, even though in June he was awarded a 628,000 QR ($172,000)
labor judgment in his labor case for back pay. The judgment was subsequently upheld on appeals and he collected his judgement from Wataniya on April 7, 2011. (Appeals Court Verdict)

In exploring
Nasser Beydoun’s biography, (Arabic) it is impressive to say the least. In April 2007 he was hired as Chief Executive Officer and brought a wealth of business experience to Wataniya. And what company, particularly an ambitious start-up like Wataniya with regional ambitions, wouldn’t be impressed with a CV like Beydoun’s? He’s US-educated, 15 years of management experience and a long stint at American Arab Chamber of Commerce, rising to be the Chairman of the premier Arab American business organization after serving as its executive director for almost 5 years.

In April of 2007, he made a move to what would seem natural to Qatar. His first experience to Qatar was as the guest of then Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister H.E. Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani to attend the Democracy forum in 2001. He continued to visit the country as the head of various delegations of US business leaders, government officials and educators.