Monday, December 04, 2006

This is How you Kill a Dream...Easy!

After about ten days of hard work and correspondences between me and my company in Dubai I sent them by DHL all the documents needed including copies of entirely new passport for the old one was with an old photo of me and we wanted everything to be correct.

My future boss was on vacation at that time but he was so kind to follow up with me and his secretary in order to finalize everything so that by the end of August I would be their official employee.

Alongside my other preparations I put two suit cases on a small table in my bed room and put all the necessary things I would be taking,especially the winter wardrobe to make sure I would not forget anything and to save me some time and some panicking. I hate packing on the last minute!

The days I spent in Baghdad after coming from Dubai were quite hectic and I was 24/7 busy.
I worked overtime to compensate the times I am off office to finish my papers and also to finish the accumulated work of the month I spent in Dubai in addition to my leaving everything mental and physical preparations. I was keen to wake up on week end so early to spend as much as I can with my family and I was keen not to sleep after I get back from work at 6pm to again spend the time with them.

I started feeling quite awkward when September came and I was still sitting in my office in Baghdad! A couple of inquiries from my side and responds from my company stated that my papers were already submitted and there is no reply yet. It usually took 2 weeks so we were in the safe side, which is what I have been told.

My future boss assured me that it’s ok if it took some time for even though he has a foreign passport the immigration of Dubai gave him hard time when he was to renew his residency.

During that time a problem occurred in Baghdad International Airport regarding the Baghdad-Dubai flights which were achieved by three airlines, two foreign airlines and one by the Iraqi airlines making three flights per day. The problem reduced the flights and the nearest one I could find was quite far. Still not knowing what was my situation I emailed my future boss to inquire.

His response came on 11th of September,2005 and it stated:

It looks like the visa is in security now and we don’t know how long that will take..... I suggest you book for the 21st flight and then if anything changes between now and then we can review situation then.

A week later, a quite disturbing email came from him:

We had a setback with your visa last week, but we are trying to use a 'wasta' to
help. We hope to hear either today or tomorrow if we have been successful. I
know it is confusing, please bear with us for the next couple of days while we
try to sort out Thanks & regards


Another week, another email:

Good morning (.........)

I am sure you have been anxiously waiting to hear news from us - as we have also been trying very hard to get the visa sorted out. We have been asked to resubmit the paperwork, which we have done today. Inshallah I hope we hear something positive either later today or tomorrow. With best regards


Even though it is over a year since I received those emails, still I cannot help but feeling the heavy cloud of sadness, depression and lack of hope sitting on my chest jubt by reviewing the emails.


My bags were still on that table, my boss in Baghdad started to ask me frequently about my situation and he started to worry for me, my family started trying to locate some good contacts to help me sort out my problem. I phoned every single person living in Dubai I know, even the visa guy who issued our visas. All confirmed that their male friends did not have a problem getting jobs and residencies there with a push from a good contact, local UAE contact. As for the females, no one knew.

It is quite disturbing to go back there and remember everything. Amazingly everything is engraved in my brain, kept aside somewhere ready to be called again.

I remember I fought back all the negativity, mentally at least. Physically my body was showing the stress indications.I lost more weight, black bags started to show on my face and every one who envied me for leaving the country started to smile at me with mean eyes when they see me passing by.

My future boss urgently requested more photos and so I did. His email came as another slap:
Thanks for the photo.... we have resubmitted the papers this week, but can do nothing but wait for a reply. It seems that UAE immigration is getting tougher with Iraqi's. I hope that your current employer/boss is sympathetic to the situation and that this is not causing you too much stress.
Will hopefully hear one way or the other saturday or maybe sunday as the
immigration & labour offices are closed for the weekend.
With best regards

October came and the final strike came with it by this email:

The situation is not good I'm afraid... The security (emin) for the ministry of labor rejected your application, we have tried through a number of ways and wasta's that is why we again resubmitted your papers. We heard that they are not willing to reverse the decision. I am sorry to have to tell you the news so directly. We will try again with one other contact and will get him the papers today, otherwise we can only wait and try to resubmit again in the future.
Believe me when I say that we have tried very hard to get this resolved and are also very disappointed. I will let you know how we get on with the final contact
we are trying.. With kind regards



Now when I think of it, I feel I was still in denial at that point for I was still clinging to my future boss. Was digging for any hope but it was all dark. Maybe the unsaid good bye from my future boss was the reason.

My bags were still there gazing at me whenever I walk into my room or the minute I wake up, they were there. I was like a zombie walking in our company, lost the sense of being among my colleagues. I started isolating myself. Some of my colleagues thought I was coming out of a tragic love affair that left me as a wreck.

One day as I was sitting in the living room sipping my morning tea. My dad, sitting in the garden with his newspaper in his hand,called out for me. He handed me over the newspaper saying read this.

It was an interview with the Charge' d'affaires of UAE Embassy in Baghdad, Mr. Ali Alka’abi. My heart was beating so fast when I read one of the sub head lines stating: “No Restrictions on Issuing Visas to UAE and Some People are Manipulating Iraqis” …

Ok now I cannot help not feeling like a damn fool by just revealing what I had felt but let it be.

I did not read between the lines, did not realize the lies in there but my eyes went to where my heart wanted and saw the phrases that I needed the most.



This is the translation for the bits circled in red which is translated by one of my best friends :
Reporter: Iraqis face difficulties when it comes to UAE visas and rumors say that UAE do not issue visa to those who never entered UAE before 2003.


Mr.Ali Al-Ka’abi: There is absolutely no difficulty. What we did was assuring that the process of issuing the visas is done by official conveniences for there are certain people who are making business of out it. The visa fees do not exceed (300) AED which is less than (100) USD, however some of the unauthorized individuals are selling it with +1000 USD there for we wanted to protect the Iraqi citizens from these swindling and conning trade despite that we do not authorize issuing visas in Iraq.

As for the claim that visas are granted only to those who have been to the UAE before, it is groundless. On the contrary we have been making things easier particularly for Iraqis, there are no restrictions whatsoever against their stay in our state, even those who have violated the immigration laws have not been deported, they are well treated.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I decided that I should request a meeting with Charge' d'affaires of UAE Embassy in Baghdad, Mr. Ali Alka’abi. I prepared a letter of a meeting request, explained in it briefly the whole facts.
The newspaper, copies of my passports (old & new), the visa, my resume, my college certificate approved by the Embassy and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the employment contract with my company in Dubai, the correspondence emails with my company and even official papers of our house in Baghdad and my family. All were enclosed with that letter.

To be continued......

15 Comments:

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's sad. But you know Rubba Dharratin Nafi3a, you'll never know what the future installs for you dear.

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger neurotic_wife said...

Wowwww, rejected, Im hooked...I cant wait to read the rest. And by the way, ishmatkitbeen I will blv u. I have lived in Abudhabi since 79, grew up there, love the place cuz my family are still there. I never liked dubai thou. A few months ago, my aunt who lives here in Baghdad, called my dad and told him to help her get a visit visa to uae. My dad tried everything, he knows many ppl and so used wastas, but they declined. After a few weeks, we found out she had cancer, and on that basis, they managed to get her a visa.Ya3ny its until you are dying they will issue u one, either that or youre one of those "bortoqalas" who i have no clue how they get their way in!!!

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger TwinTopaz said...

I guess u were able to get visit visa for your first visit... then how come your employer in Dubai failed to issue another visit visa so that atleast you can come and start working(althought techically illegal but thousands of people do it in UAE) and then keep on re-issuing 3 month visa untill problem is solved??

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rej, thanks!

allow me to say that you are a very strong person. One of the strongest who is determined to reach her goeals in life. I salute you for the efforts you made and you still make (hopefully).
Your story is an inspiration to many, and I am serious about it.

People can learn very hard lessons from certain experience, but will this be the end? for you? I don't believe so.

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

Chikitita,

As I told you before, I have failed to find one good thing staying here and being rejected. There is none as long as I am staying here. I believe that is a myth in my case.

Iraqi Neurotic Wife,
So sorry for your aunt dear. It must have been so difficult. How come they call themselves Arabs?????

Considering the bortoqalas, I tell you how they get there so easily.
The Sheikhs themselves sponsor them 3eni. And I dare anyone , Emarati or non-Emarati to prove the opposite.

Have you seen them in the streets? I asked many how come we don't see those kawaliya who appears in the video clips recorded in UAE but they are all well protected in their mansions. Gurrat 3enhum.


TwinTopaz,
The company I was hired in was international and there was no way they would accept that method. I have never thought of it as well for judging from my life pattern I would have got busted for sure, I was always straight forward and never done anything no matter how small it was illegally. I feel I should have done so you know. I think I was wrong.
Be always clean and you’ll end up rejected in a war zone.

MixMax,
Walla I don’t know whether it is a lesson that we learn or it is a necessity that people often feel to do when they feel their life is on stake.
All I know is that I shouldn’t give up. I have never get anything I wanted on the right time and I always gaze at whatever I manage to get after it’s too late, asking myself what am I going to do with it.
They killed my spirit MixMax and there is nothing in the world that could get me back my spirit.

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe that all people would do the same when they are faced with the same situation. That's what makes the result of any action a person take different from one to the other. So it is not the necessity, and yes, you should NOT give up, and there is no need to be sad about not getting what you want on time, that's life, 3azizty, really, you should not be sad.

Believe me when I tell you that your spirit did not die, and no one can kill that spirit of yours, especially as strong as yours. You just said it: you shouldn't give up!

 
At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

Your dilemma is not really new. In fact, this goes way back in the GCC countries. And I have heard and seen worse examples.

I would not like to elaborate on the Bortoqaleh issue, however, your case in this part of the world is, unfortunately, a daily struggle for many other nationalities too, and the laws here could change by the minutes and for any reason.

The idea now is that you have learned from this experience and trust me experience is what it gets you through in life and not the opposite.

Courage, time and change of realities (not change of principles) could heal all wounds. But I guess you have been hurt badly because you believe in yourself; but honestly what really hindered you from achievement is mere mediocre bureaucracy and vicious global politics rather than your failure in delivering your best.

You have to turn a page on it and try ways of getting it done even if you are thinking of coming back to the UAE for any reason; as long as you have your good-self intact to cherish.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Rejected said...

MixMax, your support always make me feel stronger.

AA,
Knowing that my dilemma is not new does not change the situation here nor make me feel better.

And yes aa, I have learned a lot throughout my experience. I have learned more about the Arab hypocrisy. I have learned that no matter how some Arab countries pretended that they are civilized and modern they are actually only covering up a routine system beneath that fake look,filled with lies.

I will do my best to share this part of my life to expose the lies. You probably do not know who are entering UAE but we sure know who have the wastas to do so.

If they have anything against us, let them say it in the open better than stealing our money then kick us out of their country like a pelage and then they go on tv calling us "our brother"..Boo Hooo

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

Ok, I rest my case.

But please note that I do have knowledge of what kind of ‘Hawasim’ came into the UAE over the past 3 years!

I wish you were writing about some other country where your words will count, but unfortunately in the GCC’s you are flogging a dead camel!

 
At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello
I know how you feel, i was desperate to start a new life, i was counting the days to leave Baghdad, i had all theses nice dreams,and i've got most of them . However you're not rejected, who rejects you is less than important, yo have your qualifications and your skills.
Never ever give up.
i like your story, it reminds me with all my friend and relaives, it's a story about our life.
Good luck

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger moryarti said...

So, what happened? did u meet the guy?

 
At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wowww! Am really sorry for all the troubles you are going. I just hope that everything works out well for you. You are in my prayers. Take heart, be brave and don't give up, okay.

P.S: Thanx for stopping by my page, please update ur blog asap cos am already hooked!

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger rebelBodhi said...

Nice blog, interesting read.
Check out mine:

http://usterrorism.blogspot.com/

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger neurotic_wife said...

U ok??? Its been more than a week u havent written...

 
At 2:19 AM, Blogger Rejected said...

Unfortunately I am still alive :D. I promise I will write the next post in a few days.

 

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