My time in Egypt had a sad conclusion, with a lounge worker essentially begging me to take her with me. Incidents like this (and this was not the first time) make me stop and realize how blessed I am as a byproduct of my birth.
Lounge Worker In Egypt Begs Me To Take Her To USA
I will not mention the lounge or the date this occurred, but it did happen in Egypt. The lounge worker noticed I was taking pictures inside the lounge (for my lounge review) and struck up a conversation. It quickly turned to a plea.
“Take me with you. Please. I need to get out of this country. There is no money here. I am trapped.”
The first time something like this happened to me was in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I was preparing to fly Biman Airlines to London and a man outside the lounge came up to me, handed me his business card, and asked me to help him get out of Bangladesh. He begged me.
He was very persistent and I (foolishly) gave him my business card. For several weeks he contacted me every 2-3 days asking that I help with a visa to the USA. Finally, I blocked him.
What a privilege.
Hard work matters, as does maintaining the right network of contacts, but perhaps more than anything else what matters in terms of our socioeconomic status is the county we are born in and the parents we are born to. Humblingly, both are things we have no control over.
I felt sorry for the young woman in the lounge. Her lot in life has been cast and it is unlikely she will ever be able to leave Egypt. But while her actions were certainly unprofessional, I could not help but to feel sorry for her. I cannot imagine being trapped in a place I do not want to be.
For many of us, we understand the privilege we have when incidents like this confront us. I wish the young woman in the lounge all the best, but making appeals to lounge passengers is a far better way to lose your job than to get a visa out of Egypt.
Heartbreaking and also correct in the sense that, despite all of the many faults, we did win the lottery being born here.
Great article. After reading the morning newspaper, I was feeling a little bummed about all the problems in our country and in the world. We are a country with many faults. However, it is still probably one of the best places in the world to be born in. You won the lottery.
America will keep screaming we’re number one, we’re number one, as our country goes down before our very eyes and no one does a thing to stop it. But, remember we’re
Well your initial points are true but still, no one else has the Declaration of Independence, so there is still some light, despite it being quite dim.
Right, but we only have true freedom until we ban all the books that offend me, jail everyone that I think is woke, make sure women who have miscarriages die from sepsis, dispute every election that Republicans lose, and fire all government workers that disagree with future president DeSantis. Oh not to mention ban all non protestant religions like the founding fathers really wanted. Git er done!
DeSantis will not be president
You take that back! Nobody else is so laser focused on the greatest crisis ever to hit the planet..Wokeness! I’m starting to think you might be woke saying that about the man sent by God to destroy wokeness
I am currently a no on Desantis but if he can get Djokovic here by boat………I’ll have to reconsider.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis quipped Wednesday about smuggling Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic into Florida amid a COVID-19 rule blocking him from entry.
“You know, there’s something called natural immunity, which the CDC didn’t want to recognize, but we all know is a fact of life. And so he poses zero risk to the United States, zero risk to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference. “I would run a boat from the Bahamas here for him. I would do that 100%.”
Djokovic has been stymied from entering the United States due to his refusal to accept the COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, his ability to play in the Miami Open, which runs from March 19 to April 2, is in jeopardy. On Tuesday, DeSantis sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that he grant Djokovic permission to enter the U.S.
On Wednesday, the White House noted that the COVID-19 rules remain in place. DeSantis gave Biden a deadline of March 10 to confirm that Djokovic can’t enter the U.S. by boat.
Djokovic was famously blocked from the Australian Open last year for his refusal to take the vaccine, something that drew an international outcry.
“Number one tennis player, one of the best ever. He is being discriminated against because he didn’t take the m-RNA Covid jab, and he never wanted to do it from the beginning,” DeSantis added. “There are people in Florida who never wanted to do it. And we fought for your right to make that choice without losing your job.”
In his letter to Biden, DeSantis noted that Biden’s Oct. 25, 2021, proclamation on the pandemic travel “governs the entry into the United States of noncitizen nonimmigrants … by air. ”
“Your administration does not appear to have issued analogous restrictions for non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter our country by boat,” DeSantis stressed.
Perfect, that should own the libs nicely! Then if I know my Ron, since he’s an immigrant and hes being smuggled in, after the tournament he’ll stick him on a plane to Martha’s vinyard so the libs can deal with him!
lol, he’ll never live that stupid stunt down
Biden is to Carter as DeSantis is to Reagan.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
From your lips to God’s ears! We need a steady non partisan hand in the oval office.
Tell me this is the land of the free when I can deny you abortion rights because all life is precious, but black lives matter is a hate group? WTH?
What do you mean? Plenty of other countries have declared independence from their mother countries/colonial masters. The DoI is not the constitution. It doesn’t bestow rights to anyone. The framers could have easily messed up the government or lost the war with the British. Celebrate the constitution, but don’t act like our independence was brought down by some deity. Just a stroke of luck.
They have but our DOI is the most meaningful, imo, to me, but yes, fair enough.. I should have referred to all of the founding docs
We have to stop profiting from countries where unemployment is widespread because of lack of economic opportunities. Get our governments to stop rewarding the dictators. Sadly most of the Middle East, Africa and Latin America aren’t getting further ahead. And then you wonder why you have millions of migrants knocking at Europe and the US’s doors.
But don’t you understand? This country was built on land stolen from the natives? Built on the backs of men stolen from another continent? All just to make the rich man richer still?
It’s great you finally realized the unfairness of the world, welcome to reality. It’s comical it took an experience at an airport lounge, and not an interaction with a human outside of the airport. Your life seems pretty small.
What a foolish comment laced with false assumptions and unmerited vitriol.
Funny, I had an American guy who works at the lumber yard ask me how to move to Australia and get his family out of America.
Tell them to enjoy those “brutal” lockdowns next time.
Funny, I had an Australian guy at the gas station ask me how to stay in America.
I see you are too dumb to understand the difference between Egypt and America, Davey.
One of the bigger issues in Australia these days is the previous administration’s destruction of the environment, so watch out for that.
Yes, we already know that Bill Gates and Soros and the rest said that Australia was the world model for lockdowns.
I am not sure how the facts equal Qanon in this discussion. From the article you commented on:
At time of writing, the state of Victoria is facing perhaps the developed world’s most oppressive and mean-spirited overreaction from the government in response the COVID virus. Police in riot gear are forcefully clearing out farmers markets, harassing elderly women for sitting on a park bench, snatching infants in strollers from fathers, and fining people for catching a bus without a ‘work permit.’ In the modern town of Ballarat, a pregnant woman in her pajamas is handcuffed and arrested in her own home over a Facebook post promoting a peaceful protest, in a town not even under the severest level of lockdown. She was charged with ‘incitement’ similar to a terrorism charge, and could face 15 years in jail. People are being threatened with fines for merely ‘liking’ a Facebook post.
Meanwhile parliament has voted to suspend itself, giving dictatorial powers to the Premier under a so called “state of emergency”. The people are under an 9:00 p.m. curfew, and are only allowed out of their homes to exercise for two hours a day in their local neighborhood. Comparisons to dystopian novels can sound trite, but are fitting in this case.
Readers might be thinking that ‘the virus’ must be pretty bad in Victoria to elicit such an authoritarian response. Guess again. At time of writing there are 12 people in ICU in the entire state—check the latest figures here if you like. What makes Victoria different is the impossible threshold set by the Premier—as though viruses can be made to obey human laws.
The Premier has iterated that the lockdowns will remain in place until there are no new cases for 14 consecutive days. The number of new COVID cases is reported every day almost like a taunt to the public, while every other statistic—like suicides, business closures, bankruptcies, cancelled weddings, undiagnosed cancers, lonely deaths from other causes, etc, etc, is ignored. It is zero tolerance for a virus, or innocent people will be punished in countless other ways in perpetuity.
This excessive level of restriction goes against the advice of doctors, epidemiologists, lawyers, legal experts, the World Health Organization, and even Federal government medical officers. The modelling that provoked it has been shown to be wrong. Public policy experts have made the seemingly obvious point that a pandemic requires different responses from different sections of the public using dispersed knowledge, so any ‘one rule for all’ response is doomed to fail.
And since any reported case means prolonged lockdown and suffering for everybody, people are increasingly reluctant to report infections or admit to having left their homes. As a result, contact tracing is failing in Victoria, while working well in other states.
Of course, the Premier has his paid staff of experts who naturally say that the emperor has clothes on this. But even his own chief medical officer backed away from the Premier’s most excessive dictates, leaving him grasping for scapegoats. Apparently people will only sell so much of their soul.
C.S. Lewis famously wrote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” Perhaps the Premier really believes he is doing good by doing evil. Or perhaps he is just doubling down on past mistakes to save face. But with so little intellectual support, it is hard to see this as anything other than a ruthless social experiment to see just how compliant Australian people can be.
Tell him to use an airplane.
Willing to trade her for any of the celebrities who vow to leave the US when their candidate of choice loses the election!
For sure. Perhaps let’s start with Jane Fonda.. https://www.newsweek.com/jane-fonda-floats-murder-response-abortion-laws-1787055
If you actually felt sorry for her why did you do absolutely nothing to help her? Why did you use her as content for your blog? Why are you labeling her actions “unprofessional”?
If a desperate person in a poor country approached me and asked for help, the last thing I’d be thinking is “this will make a great blog post” or “wow this is super unprofessional.”
I sponsored a guy from Bamako for a US visa after he struck up a convo and exchanged info with me. I didn’t block him when he repeatedly texted me. I got to know him and built a friendship with him. Did the same for an older Filipina woman.
You’re a useless, privileged twat honestly is all I’ve gotten from this. You’d rather use people for content and feign caring about them than take time to actually converse with someone and be a decent human being.
You make a lot of assumptions.
Matthew why is everybody jumping on you? Anyway your article was very interesting. All I can say is every country on the face of this Earth has good points and bad points. Period
Sorry, what was he supposed to do?? He couldn’t take her with him! Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the needed stuff to bring someone in? It’s not just money, it’s getting a passport and a visa and a million little things. He can’t just smuggle her in!
And maybe he wrote about it to remind people that while America is getting worse by the day, we still have it better than a lot of people, and we should count our blessings while we can.
Think about things logically before spouting things that don’t make sense, please. That’s what’s gotten our nation where it is currently: too many emotional reactions, not enough sense and logic (and a huge healthy dose of manipulation by big wigs).
It’s because the writer is self important and entitled.
It felt very out of touch and oblivious to both state their ‘sympathy’ than a line or so down state how unprofessional the worker was.
However, this is the same mentality most in the world have; sympathy until something uncomforts you. Yes for living wages, but please please keep my new iPhone 666 affordable as I have to upgrade every year- maybe don’t pay the factory workers that 2$ an hour so they can send their children to college.
The largest insult, it may be, is to state that we care, because through our actions it shows that we do very little.
We are selfish and like shiny things. That is humanity.
This comment is a lie, at least functionally. There is nothing that an individual citizen can legally do to “sponsor” some random person (i.e. someone who is not already a family member) for a United States visa short of marrying them. If you are a company then there are some sponsorship options, but it’s extremely unreasonable to expect that every flyer owns a company.
Egyptians do not need a visa in Hong Kong and can get an evisa for Australia. A young woman can earn significant income in sex work. She can settle for less money as a nanny, housecleaning or caring for elderly. Given that she’s a lounge worker, she may be able to get a tourist visa for the US then overstay.
Egypt is a hopeless dystopia so I don’t blame her.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m sure she’s well aware her actions could result in losing her job. To me, it just highlights her desperation. If I could help I would have.
I used the Cairo airport lounge back in January and sensed none of this desperation.The attendants,male and female,spoke English,polite,clearly educated and not on any bread lines.Ive read other reviews commenting on how spartan the lounge is,I must have hit at a good time,not crowded and two areas for drinks and continental breakfast type buffet.Something I appreciated later given the weird meal (didn’t eat it)and odd service provided by LOT out of Cairo.
I live in Venezuela. this happens to me quite frequently. when I explain that I LIVE HERE (for 15 years now) they are incredulous. yes, it’s sad. many foreigners take advantage of this type of “plea” and use it to their sexual advantage. doubly sad.
Well before the Arab spring I was in a travel agent tour group in Tunisia. Our bright, capable young guide asked if any of us had connections that might help him relocate to the USA. He said that his country was just lacking in opportunities. Sadly, no one in our group had the juice to help.
I had this happen 5 times in 90 minutes in the Sanaa, Yemen airport in 2014. It is always awkward and sad.
”Will not mention the lounge”. I think that you sort of did, in your most recent lounge review.
Lukas above makes a good point.
In general, however, I am baffled as to why someone who is fluent in English and Arabic and has experience in the hospitality sector wouldn’t be able to get a job in the UAE, Qatar or Bahrain.
Unfortunately fewer and fewer people appreciate the liberties and freedoms we have in the US. As they say, it can all be lost in a generation or two. The slide is well under way.
As sad as it is that she has such a lack of opportunity or positive outlook on her life, I’m sure that she has a social and family network in Egypt that rivals almost any American.
Matthew you didn’t mention how she stacked up 1-10?
I’m from Bangladesh also although I never felt so desperate that I must leave this country like my life depends on it. However, there are greedy people all around us. They want everything best for them without putting any effort. Alas!
It’s country not county. Just a grammar error notification. Unless you are making a distinction between individual counties. If so, I’d like to read that entry.
You could marry her and spend a lot of time and effort to finally bring her to the USA. That is what I did for my wife. Later, an Egypt born Egyptian-American friend from work married in Egypt and brought his wife to the USA. His wife was a educated and trained medical doctor. Their marriage lasted a few years and then she divorced him (after becoming a USA resident). He ended up going back and getting another wife. That one stuck. If you do decide on the marriage, make sure that she is not just using you. You are not responsible for the economic conditions in Egypt.
One possible problem with this advice is that if you’re already married then you can’t just marry someone on a whim, you have to divorce your existing spouse first, which is something that your existing spouse may or may not be okay with.
Another problem is that marrying someone solely for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit is immigration fraud.
As someone who moved to the USA as a 17 year old with no parents, family and just a student visa I agree that this is the best country out there and why other people will do anything to come here.
Very few places in the world allow you to start with 1k in your pocket, no papers, no house, no hs diploma and no support at 17yo but get to 35 with a wonderful family a dozen properties, an advanced college degree and a 6 figure job.
All of this with no connections but just with hard work, smart planing and determination.
“…but making appeals to lounge passengers is a far better way to lose your job than to get a visa out of Egypt.”
OMG, could you possibly be more hypocritical Mathew? Reminding folks of how “blessed” you are to have been born in a hospital in your native land (as opposed to say… a thatched hut in Mozambique, or a hovel in Egypt) is one thing, but…
Blaming the victim is um, quite another.
This entire post verily REEKS of (not the least bit humble, nor even halfway self-aware) white privilege. Ugh.
Indeed – “…you make a lot of assumptions.” my A.
Seriously. how self-centered and obtuse can you be – to conclude your post with such a blatently ignorant statement?
Ah but thanks for revealing your true self, and reminding me to never again click on your sad little column.
Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you!
Ok, but seriously, what would you do? You can’t just buy someone a plane ticket to the US (or whatever other country you call home). Traveling with a white person doesn’t exempt a passenger from entry requirements. In most countries there is no way to “sponsor” someone for a visa short of marrying them, and marrying them is probably immigration fraud in this context and also not always possible (if you’re already married you can’t marry without divorcing first). Attempting to smuggle someone illegally is a great way to get busted for human trafficking and will also likely cause the airport worker to lose their job. If you really wanted to help, about the only thing you could do is give them a large sum of cash, and make it not look suspicious on airport surveillance cameras, and hope that they can make use of that money before they’re robbed (poor people in poor countries almost certainly don’t have bank accounts).
Last week in Egypt I saw the depressing economic struggles. But I also encountered people who were doing their best to achieve a better situation. We hired a local guide who had crafted a good life for himself and his family. We tipped him very well, we did what we could to help him since he was the only one we had direct contact with. He wasn’t begging from us but rather found a way to improve his situation, he was more in control than the others begging around us. Must notable he discouraged us from giving to the beggar because “we want them to stay in school rather than finding what seems to be immediate success from begging.”
We need to be careful to avoid assumptions that we, from more privileged circumstances, know what is best for others. We really have no idea what is the right course to take
One thing is that the worker probably wasn’t from Egypt. Every executive/club lounge I’ve been in… The workers have always been from the next poor country over or that country’s version of a colony. In Germany of course it was Turkey, sometimes South American. In Spain they were Central, South American, or from Morocco. France: Algeria or Asia. Slovenia: Russia, etc.
Egypt had a democratically elected government in place which was overthrown by a CIA backed plot in 2013. It’s been downhill for that country ever since. Perhaps the US should stop meddling in other countries business and stick with fixing their own problems? Oh wait, there’s no money to be made in that. And now it’s involved in a proxy war against Russia.
Life in US is also not that awesome. Reason I could say this is I came to US 10 years ago through a employment visa.
Still living pay check to pay check with 100k salary
Have a son 1 year old and my wife had to quit since we cannot afford day care in our city.
End of every month I have to pay bills out of pocket and accumulate credit card debt.
Now comparing this to my home country even though salary is a fraction of 6 figures end of the month I would have been not in debt.
Why would anybody want to be “woke” when they could simply remain “asleep.”
“Woke” was a term hijacked by blue-haired white undergrads from black culture. Cultural appropriation, bro!