The diary of the desert World Cup: lonely taxi driver can't see the newborn

"Metro? This way!" The sympathetic face of the World Cup, the numerous helpers, use away at some stadiums.

The diary of the desert World Cup: lonely taxi driver can't see the newborn

"Metro? This way!" The sympathetic face of the World Cup, the numerous helpers, use away at some stadiums. Because the metro is overcrowded. The way out is people like Saggad. They offer their taxi skills for sale, open their hearts and sometimes tell an entire life in 20 minutes.

Midnight. The crowds are pushing out of the stadium. FIFA helpers and Qatar's police officers direct them to buses and taxis. It goes through middle-class residential areas of the World Cup country. The Emir looks on from above, his pictures are emblazoned on the walls of the house. Since there are no drug dealers here, other figures sneak up from the darkness of the house entrances. Taxi driver.

A taxi ride is always good for a story. So with the 28th request, then become weak and answer "yes". One driver becomes seven in a millisecond. Seahorses (2,000 babies in one swoop) might not be impressed, but they might be proud. The chosen one, Saggad from Bangladesh - late 20s, stocky, lively eyes, blue polo shirt - leads the way to his car. One side street follows the next.

Finally in the comfortable vehicle, Saggad tells that he has been working in Qatar for eleven years. At the time, his mother wanted him to leave his homeland and follow his father to Doha, who was running an internet café here at the time. It was too dangerous in Bangladesh, a lot of "dirty politics and crime". Better Qatar than prison then.

Within three weeks, Saggad got his taxi driver's license here. Since then he has been heating up the rapidly changing city. He doesn't need Google Maps, he is Google Maps. Always takes the right turn, skilfully bypasses every stadium traffic jam. He doesn't turn on a taximeter, as we can talk about the price later.

Saggad cannot bring his family to Doha. Life in the glittering world is too expensive. He is doing well but can't do anything. Back home, he has a wife with a 15-month-old baby that he has never been able to hold. In December he flies over for three months. Life without a family is hard, says Saggad and seems lonely.

Of course he also wants to talk about football while speeding down the freeway, his favorite sport on TV. He prefers to play cricket himself, but the games would not be suitable for television because they would be so long. Saggad raves about the German team's 7-2 win at the 2014 World Cup and doesn't like the Brazilian national team. But then Neymar did. So are Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. People should recognize that these are just the superstars, he says.

The taxi driver calls reports of human rights violations in Qatar "fake news". He means that his friends on the World Cup construction sites were always paid. He also doesn't like the fact that they had to work so long and in the heat. Then the Qatar sweep is over in an impressive 20 minutes. Upon arrival, Saggad skillfully negotiates the price and writes a bill on charred paper from the taxi company.

Qatar is full of saggads, full of people who have made a living in Qatar. They look at the development of the country, at the new cities that were dug out of the sea and stamped out of the desert for the World Cup, which glitter so colorfully and from which it is doubtful how they will be used at all after the World Cup be able. The big gold boxes of Lusail, the towers of The Pearl - who should live there and who should be able to afford it?

Saggad not. Neither did the rest of the workers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal. As meager as their livelihoods are, as modest as their working conditions are, not everyone paints the horrific picture painted in Europe. The World Cup is also popular. In a way, it's also their World Cup. They paid for it with their sweat, sometimes with their lives. In an interview, the head of the national organizing committee raised the number of deaths from three to 400 to 500 this week, only to later put it into perspective again.

But those who are still there will be happy if they can fulfill their dream and see one of the stars in the stadium. Like Saggad, who witnessed Lionel Messi's defeat by Saudi Arabia and is deeply saddened by it. His star should have won for him. But there's still CR7, there's still Neymar. The big names of the tournament.

They will soon be a memory, their careers shrunk on YouTube videos, like Germany's win against Brazil in 2014. Then comes Erling Haaland. He says he will be the next star of world football. "He's a machine, an alien," exclaims Saggad. He doesn't know that Haaland played in the Bundesliga until the summer.