Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Interview

I went to the embassy and dropped my request letter at the reception and explained the purpose behind my visit. I thought I would be put on the waiting list but amazingly they told me to wait.
After about half an hour, a UAE diplomat was holding my file and apparently he recognized me from my photos attached to my documents I gave with the letter. He headed towards me and asked me to join him in his office.
Since I am quite stupid when it comes to linking photos to their originals I failed to know at first that that diplomat was not Mr. Ali AlKa’abi. However he introduced himself to me later.

He read my letter and started to go through my passport not hiding his amazement at how many countries I traveled to, even though they were like 5 countries and all were in the Middle East. Feeling being judged by him for some reason, I explained to him how my business nature requires traveling.
He started asking me about my visit to UAE and how I found it and for some reason I thought the interview was not quite professional as I hoped it would be.

I did not want to talk about how modern and westernized I found Dubai was, I did not want to compliment the hotel services there or even compare them to the bad conditions that some poor people were living in the back streets of some areas in Dubai. I did not want to let how know how much I was quite amazed at how they could show the good and hide the bad in UAE, I did not want to tell him the number of how many females hit on me right in the most popular places in Dubai. I just wanted to explain to him, as a hard working lady that UAE attracted me from that specific angle of having a huge number of opportunities for me and that I was in need to save my family from my own country.

I soon found a chance to talk about the company that hired me in Dubai and the circumstances of the whole situation. I was a bit not comfortable but I thought, those men are from a different culture and I was just not familiar with that.
At the end of the interview and confirming to him upon his inquiry that my contact information at the bottom of my letter were valid and were my personal numbers I headed to my office with a promise of an appointment with the Charge' d'affaires soon.

After half an hour I was still on my way to my office, I was stuck in a traffic jam at the end of AlJadriya Bridge due to a check point where I received a phone call. It was that Diplomat figure informing me that he made me an appointment with Mr. Ali right on the next day morning. I was amazed at how good that man was with me and how fast he sprang an action for my own interest.
When I was in Dubai I hardly met any locals but I was blown away at that moment of how helpful they were.

Hmmm.. Dear readers please remind me to mock myself later on.


My future boss was excited when I emailed him and told him about my plan as his email showed:

Hi (…..)
I am so pleased you are still trying, it would be great if
the UAE ambassador can assist. I am going to ask (…….) to email you a scanned
copy of the rejected application; maybe he can overturn the decision. The
ministry did not provide us with any explanation or reasons and when we tried to
use people of influence it did not help either. The feeling was that is must be
something personal and whoever was responsible for the rejection did not want to
be reasonable nor helpful in changing his decision. I wish you the best of luck
with the meeting ... Please let us know the outcome.
Best wishes & regards


Next day came and again I took another bunch of the whole copies and went to the embassy.

Sat down in the reception and I waited for my turn. Many people were there as well. A couple was sitting next to me who really disgusted me when they were complimenting UAE and Sheikh Zayed so loud I could not hear my own thoughts. Not that I am against complimenting such a great man who built a country out of nothing and a man that every single local respects and loves to this day but it was so obvious what trick they were pulling and it was so pathetic.

The Diplomat guy I met popped his head and greeted me wishing me luck.

After a while Mr. Ali asked me to join him in the same office and unlike his colleague who was the one asking so many questions this time I was asked to deliver my story.

I started telling him everything showing him my contract with my company, my current company ID which is well known, our two visas.
He was quite calm, sitting there on the sofa with his back comfortably touching the back of the sofa while I was sitting on the edge of my chair. He asked me a couple of times to recite a prayer on our Prophet while speaking!!!!

After finishing he was still calm and silent with a smile. I did not understand so I asked him openly, do you have any laws against permitting Iraqi nationals residencies or visas to your country? “No we do not” That was his quick reply.

I was a bit confused sitting there doing the big part of talking and not receiving any useful word in return. I told him straight “ If you have any kind of laws or even instructions against Iraqis I promise I would back off and leave the matter for I would definitely have to respect your rules and laws had they been official” again the answer “No, No we do not have anything like that” came out with even more determination.
I asked him then why have I been treated like that? He was smiling when asked me again to recite a prayer on our Prophet!!!!!

I got more serious and told him that I was ready to provide him with every single official paper they would ask for in order to prove that I was a good Iraqi citizen since the day I was born.

I had not one single problem during my school, not one single issue during my four years at engineering college, my family is quite reputed and I offered him to bring him even our house registration papers and my parent’s pension papers. He smiled and said there was no need.

I asked him my final question.. What to do?
He asked me to request my company in Dubai to re-submit my residency application in order to join them and start working in Dubai and in case it was rejected again he would interfere but he confirmed they would not reject it and there must have been a mistake at first place!!!!

OK……

I thanked him for his kindness by receiving me and giving me the chance to have my story being heard by such a reputed representative.

As I was walking away from his office he received another female with the same smile I got used to during the 20 minutes interview I had with him.

After that meeting I phoned my family to assure them that the meeting went well and another door of hope just opened up to me. I emailed my boss after failing to call him for he was so busy and informed him by email of Mr. Ali’s request in order to solve my pending problem.

At 8pm sharp, I was in my bedroom working on my computer when something weird happened.

My mobile rang and the number of the first diplomat guy I met was there!! The call was not during the working hours!! I remember it rang for a while until I decided to pick it up. He could be having some good news for me!

Well he did not!! He was just flirting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since I was so into my problem I could not get it at first and guess what I thought? I thought he must be checking my background if they decided to let me in Dubai!

I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After seeing all the low stuff in Dubai I should not have worried about that but my brain was so occupied with my life that I could not get it.

I deliberately called him Brother (Akh) to show him I was not interested. Guys tend to be nice at first to check girls’ reaction before they attack so I must have delayed that move for a while.

After making sure he was not calling for my issue or to deliver me any news I apologized and hung up the phone for having some work to do, After hearing his life story and after having the privilege of being called Princess of Iraq.. Not flattered…

I struggle to comprehend how some men push their luck too much when they cheaply shoot way beyond their capabilities. First, not only the guy had a clear lack of education that he could hardly put together a useful sentence that you can make something out of it but had the most hideous looks ever. Did he really think that his disrespectful attitude+ his looks were a good package to offer? I was literally looking down at him, mentally and physically. Some men!

I swallowed that insult and had to vent my huge shock and anger with my closest friend, my mother. She tried her best to comfort me but I was angry at myself so much that no one could do anything at that time. I should have just hung up on him without saying a word even though the guy was decent but the intention what counts for me. But……. I simply could not. That kills me up till this day.

I was waiting for the next day impatiently to talk to my boss in Dubai to discuss with him what to do.

I was waiting for a suitable time to call him but I received another disturbing call instead from who other than Mr. Thinks-too- much- of- himself.

I picked up this time quickly with determination to be practical and polite at the same time. My situation was still critical. I let him talk for 5 minute and hanged up after I did most of the talking about my case. I was smart this time.

After a while my boss from Dubai phoned me, I could sense there was something wrong from his voice but I did not give it too much of a deal and asked him if he received my email to receive his answer revealing the anxiety I felt from his voice” We have already managed to submit your residency twice and that happened after submitting your case to the board as a rare case since you were Iraqi and there were no legal or valid reasons behind the rejection. I doubt if we can make another exception and submit for the third time. This is quite known in Dubai!! Any company and according to the laws cannot submit residency or visa application more than once. “

He also told me that they had to pay about a 7000 Dirham as insurance to be refunded whether the residency was rejected or accepted but the authorities never gave it back to them.

I hung up with who was about to be my boss and I let my body slump into the chair in my office and gazed into the huge dark hole that was surrounding me.

Suddenly I could understand what that smile was for.
To be continued......

25 Comments:

At 3:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That must have hurt :(

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Lirun said...

ok im confused..

you are iraqi? and you live and work there?

i would love to learn more about your experiences..

ill have to return tothis blog sometime soon

:)

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger localexpat said...

wow!

I very touching and moving blog!

I truly wish you best of luck and hope you can make it out of the war zone!

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad to say it, but Iraqis have been humilated in their own country by their leaders during the 80s and until now. Adding to that, scumbags from east to west are not let such a chance goes away without having their share of strengthening the degredation of human value for a nationality named Iraqi.

Rej, you are just another victim of circumstances created by someone else

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Lirun, you are most welcome here. I was reading your blog yesterday and was thinking only if the rest of the world would think like you we'd be living in peace.
And yes I am Iraqi but still living in Baghdad at the moment.

The problem is that I made my posts as story that each post finishes the other so I think you'll have to read the first ones to get the picture :)

Thanks localexpat and you are most welcome here.

So true MixMax, I have been judged by other's mistakes.

 
At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are sure not being judged by other people’s mistakes – they are those of others and not yours!!

The Spaniards were not personally judged when Franco ruled them and the Chileans were far from being look down at when the CIA fascist Pinochet ruled them for many years. You are begin judged by dark-aged clans and tribes (backed by the mighty USA) that look at the women as a second rate gender.

You should have laughed at that ‘flirty’ Emirati instead of feeling bad.

Any way, sorry for jumping right back on again after I have previously rested my case :)

 
At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Accepted
How are you?? forgive me but, I'm not going to call you rejected, you're really accepted.
Look, many people don't consider me mature enough as I'm only 24, however I've learnd something very important in this life 'what horrible today, will be a story tomorrow". Think about it , instade of sitting in a dark room blaming your bad luck , you're writing your story and giving us your experience, isn't it wonderful.
I've met an Iraqi lady in London who I call Firishteh, which means angle, I'm really proud of her, she has done everything in her life by her own,she used to suffer to collect money,I know you'll say she is lucky as she ives in London, you'll get you're opportunity, ' God has deprived you to give you something better, He will give you until you become satisfied".
All what i want to say is I'm proud to see Iraqi ladies like you and Fireshtah, you make me feel that I'm so little in comparisom to you, You're a big girl.
Go on

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

aa, you don't have to be sorry. you are welcome here as everybody else. I appreciate your support.


Thanks dear A&Eiraqi for bringing up your friend’s story. I have never believed in my life that doors could be slammed in your face like this and I have always believed that there is hope some where. Now I don’t believe in that at all. It’s not this story only but this Dubai thing was only the beginning of many falls afterwards that I believe now that the only reason why I am rejected the whole time is because God wants me to die here in this craziness.

By the way dear, maturity has got nothing to do with age. Sometimes you meet people over 40 and still have children’s brains.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger localexpat said...

I do have one question for your rejected..

do you think( not hope/wish ) peace and prosperity will return to iraq soon?

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Not in my life time localexpat.
I don't see it!! Things are rapidly getting worse every day. Every single day its becoming worse. I don't even believe I can survive if I stay here.

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet you'd like to know that; today in the UAE only 6648 eligable voters voted for a national assembly to a country of 4 million people !! :).. ;)

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

They want it like that, don't they?

I wonder if the locals are happy or proud of that. I would really care to listen to locals' comments please.

 
At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rejected,
This is so terrible, Officals like these should be hung by their Genetals by the Government, I'm sure they did this because they think Iraqi women are easy.
If you where an "Western" European he would have thought trice before he would do such a degraded stunt.
Hoping you well and luck in your seek.

Zappy!

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Dear Zappy,
If those retarded men think of us as easy prey then they should think again. I think that kind of men are just dirty and they would try with any woman just to pass some time.
After knowing more about Dubai I believe such dirty men can have what they want without paying much effort.

I learned after coming back to Baghdad that there are legal official companies in Dubai call themselves Escorting Agencies....

 
At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,
we, Ali & Musaed, just started a podcast about our daily lives in Kuwait and we would like you to come and listen to it at
deera-chat.blogspot.com
and then let us know what you think at
deera.chat@gmail.com

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger archer14 said...

First and foremost, I wish you luck in your endeavours. I too had to struggle quite a bit before I got a bit of space to squeeze through.

If I'm not mistaken, there are tons and tons of engineering related jobs back home. The war in Iraq has given a new lease of life to many companies in the UAE. I know that even though cirucmstances back home could be difficult, it wouldn't go to waste if you tried someplace back home.

I haven't been through your blog completely, maybe you're not in a position to head back...but from what little I've read, Im amazed at your resilience to keep trying.

And hey, don;t pull yourself down with that awful name 'rejected'. You're anything but :-)

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger Rejected said...

Hi archer, actually it's not abt getting a job only but about getting a job in peaceful country and living a normal life. I have two jobs and I am very much capable, financially, but where is my life? I lost it because I am living in Iraq.


And million thanks for your support :)

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger DG said...

Eid Mubarak & a Happy New year inshallah :-)

 
At 1:46 AM, Blogger Rejected said...

Eid Mubarak to all the Muslims out there. Inshalla 2007 will be merciful to all the Iraqis living inside Iraq.

And a very late Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to our Christians and Jewish brothers and sisters.

DG with his nice wishes reminded me of the Eid. Our days here similar and I often lose track so excuse me all.

 
At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eid Mubarek & Happy New Year
I wish you all the best in this world in 2007
I wish peace & happiness to Iraq and all Iraqis
God bless Iraq

 
At 2:31 AM, Blogger Rejected said...

Inshalla ya a&eiraqi.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger neurotic_wife said...

rejected, hope this yr will be a better one for you...Happy new years, adree ishwaya mit2akhir, bes better late than never...

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Accepted
Won't you write more . it has been nearly one month sice you've written the last article, I'm waiting to read the rest of your story, I'm waiting to learn from you .
Good luck

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not the only one, A&Eiraqi, I am also looking forward to hear the rest of the story! I know it is a painful story and shouldn't deal with it as just a story, but reading is learning, and as you said, we all learn from each other.

 
At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments! Waiting to read more on your blog too!

 

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