Tshering Dema

“I currently work as a cashier in Qatar. It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve been here. I got a lot of experience as a barista, a waitress, a promoter, and now as a cashier. I never thought I’d come and work here, but I didn’t do well in class 12 and couldn’t qualify for college. I was making a decision on whether I should continue to study or work, and one of my aunties encouraged me to work here. My parents didn’t support my decision at first because it would be very difficult, but I eventually persuaded them.

Arriving in Qatar was very difficult at first because it is so advanced here. I wasn’t able to use some of the electronics and didn’t know how to communicate because most of the people here speak very little English. It is not easy to get into a good company, as some companies don’t treat their employees well. They can treat their workers harshly, and they don’t pay them on time. I saw some of my friends suffer a lot, protest, and even get sent back to their own countries. I feel fortunate that I am able to work for a good company. They respect us and are protective of our safety. I feel safe walking alone at night in this neighbourhood without fear of being harassed or assaulted.

Women hold more power here compared to men. We get driving licenses faster. In fact, everywhere we go, most priorities are given to women.

There is a significant difference between life as a student and life when we earn our own money. We have to face the harsh reality of society, stressing about money, food, sending money to our family, and the need to save. Though being here can be challenging, it has helped me gain a lot of confidence. I don’t feel shy or hesitant about doing or saying things, unlike before.
I became a workaholic. I rarely get time for myself, and sometimes I don’t even get time to eat. I have to manage my own time for everything, and I hardly ever have the time to call my family. I plan on going back to Bhutan to start my own venture with my earnings. I have learnt that believing in yourself is the most important thing to overcome any obstacles you face.”

We shouldn’t give up on our dreams and keep moving on. I believe in myself to become a better person than I was yesterday.”

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