Speaking of stories, I promised you that I will tell you one about a young man I met in my travels. Here it is:
We were traveling in a van that we rented with a driver. We were in Bangladesh!! In the northeast of that country it was afternoon, and we were hoping that we would make it safely to a hospital that we were visiting. Suddenly an old man came out in the middle of road!! He stopped, and the driver did all he could to stop or avoid him, but he hit him or so it appeared to us. All of a sudden the whole village was upon us, and the driver said that we shouldn’t move!!
The men were holding axes!! They said it was a well planned trap to get money from travelers, and that the old man was a good actor. I couldn’t tell if that was true but we heard a lot of that. Anyway, we had to pay (: . In the crowd we saw a young man who came to us, and when he heard us talking in Arabic, he started speaking in a very clear Makkan accent (: .
The young man started to tell us his story while trying to stop the people from hurting us. He was not happy being there; he was born and raised in Makkah. Then, Iraq invaded Kuwait!! One can’t see why that would effect this poor man in Makkah, but it did because of a very bad law in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries. He was just like other people of his community doing whatever he could to make a living in the Holy Land of Makkah when the people started to panic and think that Iraq was going to invade Saudi too!!
So his guarantor fled to Egypt!! Because he had to get his residency papers renewed and under the law he could only do so when his guarantor was in the country, he was arrested and deported to Bangladesh. He tried to make it in the capital but couldn’t find any kind of job in the city, which has more homeless people than many capitals have people.
He was told that in that village that we were ambushed in (: , that he could find a job and live with a relative. It turned out to be a job in match factory that paid just like my job here in the prison (: , which means he couldn’t eat but once a day, five times a week. It was very hard for him to learn how to fight for anything and live on the side of the road while struggling to learn the language in a land far away from where he grew up.
When we were leaving, I saw in his eyes the sadness, and I hoped to be able to help him. I was like him, made stateless and pushed away from my people. But I was given more than him by being connected to many people who made it easy for me to go around by the grace of Allah. I looked back as he was waving his hand, and I still think of him and make dua’ for him and many others who suffer injustices in the Muslim world.