New job hope for travel ban expat
Manama, January 2, 2014
A British man forced to sell all his belongings and live rough for a year under a travel ban says he is facing a much brighter New Year after landing a new job.
The former marketing manager, 50, is prohibited from leaving Bahrain due to debts of around BD6,000 ($15,827), said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
He told the GDN last month that he had been forced to steal food from supermarkets to survive after his employer allegedly stopped his salary.
However, he has started the New Year with renewed optimism after being offered a job and finding a new home.
"Everything happened at once and as soon as I got a new job I was able to find my feet again and things are finally getting back to normal for me," he said on condition of anonymity.
"I was able to borrow some money from friends for a new suit and find a place to live, so my employers don't know I have come from nothing.
"The past year has been incredibly hard for me, I used as many resources as I possibly could but many times I had no option but to sleep rough.
"Because of what I have been through I definitely have a different outlook on life, because I know what it means to have nothing.
"I could never pay to sleep in a five-star hotel again, the budget options will be more than enough - I just don't need all that, it's unnecessary."
He is also hopeful of a positive outcome in a legal dispute with his former employer Masy International, which he claims owes him BD44,000 in unpaid salary.
His case will be heard on January 30 alongside that of his Bahraini ex-colleague and friend, who claims he is owed around BD15,000 by the company.
The married 30-year-old, who also asked to remain anonymous, says he was forced to sell his car and bike and was also banned from travelling due to an unpaid phone bill.
"It was a terrible situation, we were left with nothing," said the Bahraini.
"It was a really rough time, but now I am just keeping my fingers crossed that we finally get the money and we can get on with the rest of our lives.
"But despite how bad it has been I have no intention of leaving once I pay off my debt, it is still a good country and I don't feel any bitterness."
Their lawyer, Noora Bushehri, told the GDN she was confident that the pair would win their case.
"The judge has already said the money should be paid back in a previous hearing, so now we are just waiting for the final judgement," she said.
"It is terrible what these men have been through and unfortunately these cases are not unusual for me.
"I have about five or six other clients, all of whom are facing travel bans due to debts incurred because they have been unfairly treated by their employer."
Masy International could not be reached for comment. - TradeArabia News Service