Monday, September 28, 2009

Because Nabil is not Saudi Enough

So my Dad was finally allowed to check in to his flight. We were all at the counter for a good two hours while the woman behind the desk called Amsterdam and tried to call Saudi Arabia (but she couldn't get the phone to work.)

My Dad.

My Saudi Dad. With his expired Saudi passport, his expired Saudi driver's license, his Saudi identity card (with no expiration date), his expired U.S. green card, a letter of extension for his expired green card, his current U.S. driver's license. All this. Even his grandson (Thumper) was vouching for him.

Two hours.

The woman had told them he couldn't travel on his expired passport because his destination would not let him enter. "But I'm Saudi." he said. She blinked. "They cannot refuse me. I am a Saudi national." My Mom tried to clear the confusion up. "He is Saudi. He is from Saudi Arabia." Hmmm. . . Repetition did not seem to be helping.

"I can only renew my passport while I am in the country. I have to be there to renew it. It is not renewed because I am not there. I am here."

And so he was. For two hours. Here, in the DSM airport.

"They have to take me. They cannot refuse me--where would they send me? They have to let me in." It seems there is not a hot market on rejected Saudi nationals.

After two hours one of the airport managers let him check in. Hamdillah.

That was yesterday. He just called my Mom to say he made it safe and sound and is with our Uncle and his son Faisal. But, wait. . .I don't have a cousin Faisal.

Apparently my cousin Nabil changed his name to Faisal. "Nabil" was a foreign name.

Big, big sigh.

Sigh that cannot capture all of the fractured parts between us Sigh.

No comments: