top of page

Zaher Karkouti

Operations Manager, Camps & Government Projects

Good Things come to those who Wait


“It pays to wait. When things don’t seem to go our way, have the patience to wait because some things could take time. While waiting, we can speed up the process by finding ways instead of whining.”


In 2007, Zaher began working for QSS as a waiter at Le Gourmet.  In just three years, the business recognized his capacity for leadership and appointed him as Supervisor for the catering and life support project at the Ministry of Interior. This was followed by another assignment in the project at Amiri Guard.


In 2012, Zaher advanced once more and was given the position of Operations Manager for all operations involving catering and life support services in government initiatives.  Zaher had the valuable quality of being ready to help when needed.  He was given the temporary responsibility of overseeing the laundry operations and did an excellent job. This demonstrated his adaptability and unwavering dedication to always be ready to step in and help with any operations. 


This year, Zaher was hailed as the Operations Manager of the Year 2022 in recognition of his consistent dependability in managing his assigned projects and adaptability to changes, as needed.



How did you land a job at Qatar Star?

In 2007, I was really seeking employment abroad so I approached a recruitment agency to assist me.


Before QSS, what career did you have in your country?

The most vivid memory of myself is from my twenties when I used to balance working as a restaurant supervisor and going to school. 


How was your living condition back home?

I belonged to a family of seven, including myself.  My mother, Mrs. Entesar, worked for the government, while my father, Mr. Antonios, owned a business.  My four siblings and I were comfortably living in a village which was situated in a stunning region in Ain Aljern.


As a household from the middle class, I must admit that we were blessed.  Respect was expected of everyone where I was raised.  Hearing others out was crucial because harsh critique and poor judgment were not tolerated.



Why did you decide to go to another country and work? 

Like everyone else, I aspired to earn a higher salary, but that was only one of the many goals I had for myself that would help me grow as a person.


My goals were to become more proficient in communication, learn new things, advance professionally, travel more and experience different cultures, and be fully prepared to take advantage of better opportunities.


How did QSS change your life in terms of personal development, finances, and life in general?

Thanks to QSS!  I was able to accomplish my objectives and even raise my expectations for myself.


I started working as a waiter at Le Gourmet in 2007. As soon as I thought providing customer service would be simple given my background, I was exposed to activities that not only taught me about service standards but also, and perhaps more significantly, about creativity and resourcefulness.


I matured so much during my three years at Le Gourmet that I learned to accept responsibility for my actions in my assigned area. This, I think, was the primary factor in QSS choosing me to be transferred as a Location Supervisor to our project at the Ministry of Interior (MOI). I improved my ability to supervise, and I must admit that I enjoyed working with a team. I gained knowledge about preparing a duty roster, controlling waste, and looking for methods to cut costs.


In 2012, I received a promotion to Operations Manager for all government initiatives undertaken by the business. I then understood that this time, the advantage needed to be reciprocal. While it was crucial for me to pick up skills on the job for my own personal development, it was equally important for me to apply my management skills to the operations in order to assist and aid the business in achieving its goals. I began going to management meetings and was formally accepted into the management team. I attended ISO and professional management trainings. I struggled getting through discussions at first, but with the support of my senior colleagues and Mr. Samir himself, I eventually developed the confidence that I required.

I was given the responsibility of overseeing the Education City and Al Thumama venues during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021. I must admit that I underestimated how challenging it would be to oversee cash operations for a sizable event.  Managing temporary employees whose commitment and drive could change at any time was difficult. Instead of depending on the temporary employees, my strategy was to organize the daily work with the assistance of my own QSS team.  And it succeeded.  Likewise, I engaged in the Lusail Supercup in 2022, a test event held prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

I must admit that the personal growth, self-improvement, and career development that QSS helped me with have had an impact on my family life today.  I continue to be inspired to come to work as I am also enjoying life with my wife and two children in Qatar.  Additionally, I am still able to provide for my family back home.


What are the important lessons that you can share in order for one person to continue believing they would succeed?

It pays to wait. The value of patience is among the most crucial life lessons that you must embrace. You will have to wait for a number of things in life, but you should not feel bad about it. Waiting for something that you want is a normal process, but you can expedite the process by being inventive and creative instead of whining.


The ability to contribute back to the organization you work for is the other lesson.  QSS provided me with the chance as a novice and assisted me in taking advantage of that chance. I keep improving my management tools as a gesture of gratitude so that the business can be confident that the projects I oversee will continue to operate smoothly without the need for chasing or follow-up.


What continues to inspire you to keep aiming for a better life? 

Prior to getting married, I was driven to work hard by my own ambition. Today, my wife and children serve as my motivation to advance professionally and assume more responsibility in order to provide them with a much better quality of life.  However, this does not imply that I have given up on my own personal goals. My family serves as my source of inspiration as I strive to even be better day by day.

Zaher Karkouti
bottom of page