He led the team to promotion and was called up to the Qatari team for the 2011 Military World Cup in Brazil. He was given a passport, albeit temporally so that he could compete. The team finished fourth, only losing to Brazil in the third place play off thanks to a goal late in extra time.
When he returned home his Qatari passport was taken back, Belounis was told he was surplus to requirements at El Jaish and informed he had to play on loan for a different team. He didn't want to leave but agreed, he claims, after being promised he would still receive his wages as per his contract.
Belounis says that, for a while at least, his new club paid him a small fraction of what he was owed.
"But I have not seen a single Euro from El Jaish," he complained.
Now he has no money and is surviving on handouts sent from his family in Paris --an irony given how much the Qatar royal family has pumped into PSG -- as well as being supported by the French community in Doha.
He plays for no club and has no prospect of playing for anyone else in Qatar.
"I wake up, I take care of my daughter, I try and stay like a man in front of my family," he said.
"My wife gets depressed. I've tried to be strong but it is very difficult. I go to gym and train on my own."
The issue is now in the Qatari courts meaning Belounis and his family cannot leave.
"They [the club] said: 'We will pay you, but you have to sign this paper that says we don't owe you anything.' I said: 'Give me first the cheque.' They said: 'Contract first.' They said they would not give me an exit visa unless I go to the court and stop the claim."
Qatar "has many interests in FIFA"
One player who did manage to leave the country was the French born Moroccan international Abdeslam Ouaddou.
The 34-year-old defender had played at the highest level in France for Nancy and in England for Fulham.
But when Ouaddou, who represented Morocco over 50 times, was released by Nancy in 2010, he was approached by newly promoted Qatari club Lekhwiya, the team owned by Qatar's crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani.
"I didn't have a lot of opportunities," admits Ouaddou of his time after being released.
"They were looking for an experienced player. I'd played in England, France, Greece, in the [UEFA] Champions League. They were ambitious and wanted to win the Asian Champions League. The idea was to finish in the top four in the Qatar Stars League [Qatar's top division]."
He signed a lucrative contract and experienced immediate success.
"We did a good job in my first year, finishing first," he said. "I was captain. The first year was great. The people and the board was happy. We were winning every game. And when you are winning you have no problems. It is beautiful," he added.
When Lekhwiya won the title, it was Ouaddou who was handed the shield first.
Having taken Lekhwiya further than even the club's ambitious management had planned, Ouaddou assumed he would be preparing for an assault on the Asian Champions League in his next season.
Instead he was told he would be moving to Qatar Sports Club instead. When a club official first told him he thought it was a joke.
"And then I saw his face," said Ouaddou.
"He said: 'It comes from the Prince and all that comes from the Prince is not subject to discussion'."
When Ouaddou's two-year contract was announced he presented a different face to the world.
"I'm more than pleased to have extended my stay in the Qatar Stars League and move to another big club," he told the Qatar Football Association's official website in August 2011. But Ouaddou claims that nothing could have been further from the truth.