7:36 AM

Remember Remember November

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

How could I get this month out of my head?

It seems like October doesn't even exist. It is some transport time of waiting from the interesting month of September to the bliss of November.

I had plans for November
I had dreams.

And they've all been shattered, quite efficiently and brutally.

It was actually the Front Receptionist Security/Military Man at the Jaflia Immigration, Building 15, who was the sign that things were about to turn. The way he double blinked at my daughter's papers. The way he frowned. The furtive whispers between other deck-out-in-military-regalia-men about the problem.

And finally the verdict:

"Sheikh Muhammad has stopped all reductions on Visit Visa Violation Payments."

Those words just ripped through me. WHAT the WHATY WHAT WHAT W H A T ?!?!?!?!?

The tears started flowing and as we stepped outside to face our disappointment I couldn't accept the cold words so carelessly tossed. Blubbering tears and sniffling desperately I turned back in and begged them that there must be some way. ANY way to reduce the amount. There-in lies the beauty of Emirates and being a woman here, especially a Muslim Woman. In a flash I had three high officials swarming us wondering why I was upset and crying. They had a debate about my daughter's papers and decided I might have a chance by talking to upper management or something. We made the rounds at least four times between different sections, no one wanting to take responsibility for helping us. *Such a lovely feeling really* finally we ended back up at Building 15 and pleading again that we've been everywhere and they just send us back here.

Finally this man who so coldly shattered my dreams took the papers to some high officials a few tables down and disappeared into a back office.

Our problem without too much detail: My daughter is 1 year and 7 months over her visit visa stay. AKA Illegal Immigrant. How this happened? When my husband and I didn't have jobs we couldn't afford to pop over the border and get new visit visas monthly, much less paying for a new residency visa. We were too busy just keeping food in the kid's mouths. SO here we are: I wanted to travel to USA to see my family in November. I had this beautiful vacation planned out.......

Arrive in California, parents pick me up in a happy reunion, (as I haven't seen them for 5 years and my father hasn't met my son) we stay in an inexpensive hotel and spend a few days at Disneyland giving the kids the vacation of THEIR dreams. Then return to Tucson, where I see my friends of old, my grandfather and family. I go bowling, I drink American American-Coffee, and I walk the old malls from my youth (turning heads in my “foreign garb”. Most important I have Thanksgiving with my extended family and my kids get to meet their cousins from my side of the family. Also I wanted to get back in touch with my siblings.

And eggnog, glorious glorious eggnog in the chill of November....*sigh*

It all hung on getting my daughter's visa sorted and paid off because she can't leave the country until it's paid. And I can't leave her here and go on my own.

So here we are waiting for the final answer from the Immigration.

The door opens and the man returns:
"We've reduced the fine from 60,000 dhs to 27,500 dhs. You pay it or you take your daughter to be banned for one year." He said giving back our papers with a small ripped scrap of paper written 27,500 on it. I begged him again, there must be something!!!! I was thinking it was at 13,000dhs and needed it reduced to like 4,000. Here it was a staggering 60K!!!!!

There is nothing he can do. So we left.

I had to go directly from that emotional disappointment to teaching happily with fun energy and it was all I could do to not break down and cry in front of my students.

Now we are working on different options to get it reduced. Talking to Locals that might know a way through Immigration better than us. Other than that finding someone to loan us 17,500dhs and I pay it back monthly through my Salary.

*sigh* what a mess. Otherwise we are just to go on how we have been with her illegal until we can get that amount saved up.


Also in late October and November I wanted to move out of my apartment. It’s the only way we WILL ever be able to save. So I've been looking but everywhere wants the payment in 4-6 checks and high upfront costs. I found a lovely little place that is stuck in my heart and I'm dying to move there but it'll cost a nice 11,000dhs to move in (plus 2,000 to MOVE). So how the heck can I manage that or the first Immigration problem? Seems like I'm destined to be stuck where I am for November.

I love this place I found, included swimming pools, with a children's pool, children's play area, grass lawns, gym, security, and best the apartment Ii want has bathTUBS!!! and it faces the playground. I can sit in my house and see them play. Who wouldn't love that? *SIGH* eleven-friggin-thousand dirhams between me and bliss...........


I have a goal, a large goal, and enormous monstrous goal ahead of me in November though now. I made it a few days ago on my 9th Wedding Anniversary (October 13th). I will go from my current "official*" weight to 66.5kilos by December 1st, 2011. I've been stuck in the low 70's for sooo long now I need to kick start it down. I've been changing my clothes and my hair and a lot of things about myself and my husband and kids are loving the new me, but I'm not loving all myself as my weight still isn't the healthier me I want.

So that is my huge goal I set for myself. Insha'Allah make strong dua for me to make it.


Can you believe in the craziness above I also remembered it is National Novel Writing Month in November. I have already signed up and will be battling time and wordcounts again to reach 50,000words at the end of November. So gain words, lose weight.


SOOOOOOOOO that is my update as many friends have pondered if I've fallen off the face of the earth.

Love ya, update you again later :D

5 intelligent thoughts:

Anonymous said...

If its any consulation to ya, we sisters out here in Al Ain will start bowling and I've named you as our official leader...


Safiyyah said...

Salaams Dear - miss our talks :(

Janan said...

Oh sis sorry to hear that you were not able to make it home! I have been reading your blog for a few years and feel like I know you. I grew up in Ca too and live in Michigan. I have only been able to go home 1 time and visit in the last 5 years. I miss everyone. I try to go to the mall here when I can and it reminds me of home. I grew up a big time mall rat. Immigration is just such a problem for people. Why won't they consider peoples situations? It makes zero sense to me why the system seems to work against people. I feel for you. But I guess we cant let it take our happiness and we just have to keep moving on. Allah hafiz.

Ms.Unique said...

Assalamualikum, Sis,

Hope you are doing fine by the grace of Allah (SWT).

I really understand your situation and disappointment, Brandy. It's really hard sometimes. And money seems to b a big prob these days with rent and grocery hikes. It's d same in Saudi.

May Allah make your task easy for you, Ameen.

Good luck with your weight loss and Story competition. As a matter of fact saw your pic on FB and was like OMG Masha Allah u've lost quiet a lot of weight. Hope you cud gimme some tips too on weight loss, I've been trying without much success. I think I lose the motivation very soon.

Missed U sooooooo much when I was away :)

Anyways I'm bck to blogging Alhamdulillah.

TC. Hugs.

Ms. Unique

Anonymous said...

OMG, do you see whats taking place in Syria? In spite of a brutal government crackdown, the demonstrations continue

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