by Monika Anselment and Ali Habib
My friend Ibrahim moved from Baghdad to Dubai three years ago. He couldn't bear to stay in Iraq with the country in such economic shambles. He soon found work and gradually established a new life in Dubai. However, he occasionally felt a pain in the left side of his chest. He went to a doctor, who urgently advised him to travel to London for an operation. That would cost money. Ibrahim thought the matter over and finally, with a heavy heart, decided to sell his house in Baghdad. He made 30,000 dollars on the sale, which he had transferred to his bank account in Dubai in order to pay for the operation and the hospital costs. He applied for a visa at the British Embassy, made appointments with the hospital in London, and then waited. The money arrived in Dubai, but Ibrahim didn't hear anything from the British Embassy. When he inquired about his visa application, he received only evasive answers. After four weeks, he finally sent his English friend John to find out why his visa had been delayed. At the Embassy, John was told that they knew Ibrahim had just received a large sum of money from Iraq and he was therefore suspected of being a terrorist. Only after protracted discussions and written confirmation from the hospital were Ibrahim and John able to convince embassy officials. And finally, Ibrahim is able board the airplane to London.
Translated by Tom Lampert