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The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on the 21th of November, held in a country of rapid change, fascinating contrasts and political controversy. These documentaries show two quite different aspects of the host nation:


Qatar – Pearls in the Sand not only portrays the country’s fascinating wildlife, adapted to increasingly hot, hostile environment but also takes into account scientific aspects as the country has become a climate change hotspot and is already among the hottest, driest regions in the world.


Qatar – Blood and Games produced by ORF’s current affairs team, deals with the socio-political aspects of a country that is caught between tradition and modernity and faces accusations of inhumane working conditions and environmental recklessness.

Qatar - Pearls in the Sand

45 min. / 52 min. | Documentary


Qatar used to be a dry world of sand and stone. Then, pearls and gas brought great wealth and gave rise to skyscrapers, irrigation systems and traffic networks that are rapidly changing habitats and animal behavior. Newly-established artificial islands of „nature“ may prove only temporary - the parched peninsula on one of the world‘s warmest seas is battling climate change, and international scientists come here to study how eco-systems adapt in real time. Qatar has become a laboratory for the Earth's future – and an increasingly challenging home for its many inhabitants...

Qatar - Blood and Games

34 min. | Documentary


The World Cup 2022 in Qatar: Even in November, the newly built stadiums in the country with the highest CO2 emissions in the world have to be specially cooled due to extreme heat. Thousands of Asian migrant workers have died in the construction of the stadiums, a new airport, roads and hotels for the mega sporting event. Qatar points out that reforms in recent years have significantly improved the workers' situation. Even human rights activists acknowledge progress, but caution that the reforms are insufficiently implemented. A local inspection in a country caught between tradition and modernity, between authoritarianism and the desire to play an important role on the world stage.

With best regards,

Oliver Böhm

Managing Director ORF-Enterprise

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