• Jeannette McGill

Nepal, Widows and an Everest Expedition worth following ..

Updated: Aug 29

In 2004 numerous Nepali men were recruited through KTM agencies for Daoud & Partners to work in a 5 Star hotel in Jordan, but upon arrival in a classic case of “bait-and-switch” all had their passports seized by the contractor and were sent (after being locked in a room for 55 days) to Iraq to work on the USA Al Asad Airbase on a KBR Laundry contract. Twelve of the employees were abducted when their unprotected convoy was attacked while en route to the base. Shortly thereafter, a video was released of one of the men being beheaded and the other 11 shot.


I was silly enough to find the footage online and it’s horrific. Just don’t go there. Coupled with the personal view from one of the victims widows in this quite incredible investigative journalist exploration of the various resultant “David vs Goliath” court cases I am left appalled. Wikipedia combines this legal “blip” together with various other allegations against KBR (at the time a Halliburton subsidiary). The power of unjust legal manipulation is unreal. These heavy weight corporations are bullies in a sordid human supply chain. Then the resultant cultural and social stigma that widows in Nepal endure is even more sobering. Unlike widowers, widows are relegated to the lowest societal order and are considered unclean, even if only 18 as in this case. They receive no support from anyone and are now outcasts, having to wear a white Sari for identification.



The Girl from Kathmandu” allowed me to truly understand the bravery and importance of this year’s “Two Widow Expedition” to Everest by two Sherpa widows whose husbands had died while climbing. May they summit and hold their heads high. And may no other Nepalese overseas workers be trafficked or exploited in the same manner ever again.


Postscript: The Two Widow Expedition was a success with Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa summitting on May 23 2019.


BTW: This blog post is an affiliate of Booktopia. When you click on the book title you will be directed to a website where you can purchase the pictured item. Should you choose to purchase the item I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All my opinions and suggestions are unbiased & based on my own extensive experience.

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