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Saturday, December 17, 2005In My Country I Was A Prince...
A friend recently emigrated here from Egypt. It’s been a radical change for him. In his country he had the life of a successful guy; he had a BMW, his own kick ass apartment in a nice part of town, his business something to do with computers and his own office. He made his own work schedule, he had a fiancée and several mistresses yes indeed the man was a player. He went out every night with friends to dinner, clubs etc. he was a man about town known and loved everywhere. When I was out there I thought he was crazy for wanting to come out here and leaving that all behind but somehow his brother convinced him to head out here.
Now he works 10 hr days in a family owned business for half of what he would be earning elsewhere. His uncle decided his salary based on the fact that he is single and living in his brother’s house instead of his worth. He gets one day off a week …a week day at that. His life is now getting up going to work and coming straight home. Occasionally he will be taken to visit an uncle or go for coffee with his brother. It breaks my heart; I feel so sorry for him somehow I don’t think this was the picture that was painted for him of America.
Unfortunately because of our conflicting schedules I don’t see very much of him and have only been able to take him out once. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some adjustments next term and show him my NYC, the all inclusive one. Right now he is living a self imposed segregated existence, living and working in a largely Arab community. The other day he was talking to my mom on the phone and he said, “In my country I was a prince but here…” my mom finished the sentence for him, “and here you are a pauper.” My dream is for my friend to once again feel like a prince.
1 comment from: Aisha,