I don't have a country. I have been traveling for the past two years looking for a place to call home. AMA!
My short bio:
Hi, my name is Mojo and I do not have a country.
I hold an Eritrean passport like my father,
but I have never even been to Eritrea.
The country is unsafe.
I am Saudi born and raised, but I cannot live in Saudi.
The country does not grant citizenship or residency rights by birth.
I lost my temporary Saudi residency while in the US
studying at Texas A&M University.
I am in a limbo.
I cannot go to Eritrea.
I cannot remain in Saudi Arabia.
I cannot go to the United States.
I have been removed from everyone I have ever known or loved.
I have been a nomad for the past two years, traveling as a tourist to avoid persecution and deportation to one of the world’s worst dictatorships and police states.
Since I cannot go to Eritrea, I want to visit every other country in the world.
Ask Me Anything!
My Proof: http://bit.ly/14VomOn (please subscribe to my blog there)
Thank you for the offer. A lesbian friend of mine from Texas has offered to marry me. She's from an African family so she said it would please her parents too, to see their daughter with a man. My parents would be heartbroken if I took up either offer though. I can't do it but thank you.
Could you explain a bit why they would be heartbroken? Cause you're not marrying out of love?
My parents are religious muslims. I'm not gay and I don't need to marry a guy for a green card anyways.
Former immigration legal assistant here: this is extremely illegal. Do not do this.
Some more info. The U.S. penalty is $250,000 fine and up to 5 years in federal prison. They're very good at finding frauds like yourself.
especially since it's on reddit haha. No worries, I stick to what's legal.
Illegal doesn't mean wrong. If this is the kind of thing he has to do to MAYBE be able to live a normal life, then the problem lies with the countries. Helping people out always beats the law in my book (as long as they're not going to kill somebody or something)
You know I've always wondered about this. Is it fraudilent/illegal say for a woman to take a stance.. and decide to marry a man solely to save his life.. and she announces it to the world.. she doesn't lie and makes no apology about it. They live together and consummate their marriage but their relationship is built on a principle of freedom. I know it sounds revolutionary and hippie, but is this illegal and punishable by law? or actually would she not be able to bring her husband to her country? Would she be able to take it to court and fight for bringing him?
Why not Canada?
It's complicated. I have done thorough research on seeking asylum in the US, Canada and Australia for the longest time. I cannot find presedences or similar cases to mine. I am avoiding a country that I've never been to. I spoke with an immigration lawyer in Texas who didn't charge me. She adviced against seeking asylum though and recommended I get married to get a green card. I have not had access to enough resources to contact the big lawyers who might be able to "pull off" an asylum case.
Meanwhile, my father has exhuasted all efforts for two years trying to re-instate my Saudi permit, with no use. And still, my parents both continue to dream about me getting that Saudi permit. It's a sensitive situation between us. Eventhough they take care of me financially, I'm under a lot of pressure and restriction. They don't want me to go back to the US and they can't agree on Canada or Australia. Some of my father's family are Canadian and Mom hates them. Some of my mother's family are Australian and Dad hates them. I'm lost in the middle. Financial dependency is a bitch.
Unless you enjoy remote Pacific island camps, I suggest avoiding Australia :(
Well, I'd prefer to sit in a camp for a while to get into Australia than not have residence anywhere...
From now on you won't get into Australia, you will be settled in Papua New Guinea or Nauru. The Australian government is no longer granting asylum to those who arrive illegally. So you would be sitting in a camp for months to be settled in a third-world country and you would never get to see Australia
Hey, isn't PNG or Nauru better than no where or some african country that'll torture you?
better than no where: NO. Better than Eritrea: YES.
Let's not get it twisted, I am privileged to be here typing this. There are Eritreans being tortured right now inside Eritrea, and there are Eritreans starving to death in East Sudan in refugee camps that no one cares after. I am the one who could've been in these situations but, for some reason, was not put in them.
If I resolve my problem without bringing change to the life of others I think that would be great selfishness. This is why I'm here talking to you guys. I am taking risk by revealing my identity on the internet and discussing these issues. Many Eritreans don't have the ability/guts to do that and I want to give voice to those who can't speak.
This is no 'seek compromises like fake marriage and fake work'. This is a revolution in the making.
Some of my father's family are Canadian and Mom hates them.
SO WHAT? It's better than this...
I KNOW. My parents prefer my limbo to solutions where I get to make my own life choices without their control though. It's sad. You need to be a Middle Eastern to understand how they think.
Canadian here. OP: Sorry you haven't had the chance to come to our country yet, it's really nice.
My dad came to Canada on refugee status. Perhaps you should seek something similar here :) good luck!
read above. I'm happy for you :)
I'm from the US and I say GO TO CANADA. The people there will treat you well and you will get along with them. I've heard that its hard to get a visa for the US otherwise we're fairly decent too.
I look forward to returning to the states, and visiting Canada too.
Have you tried Krakozhia?
I love that movie!!
Is it okay if I pray for you?
sure. thank you.
My family supports me at the moment while extensively seeking solutions. They are sacrificing their resources to save me from the ill fate of many Eritreans. They find it better to willingly spend money on plane tickets than to be forced to give money to cruel human traffickers to rescue me.
Can you elaborate on how Eritrea is not safe for you?
I have good reason to believe that if I went to Eritrea, especially if deported there, I would be suspected of evading military service. I would be charged with treason and I would spend the rest of my life being tortured in military prison.
Did you actually evade military service? Is it like required military service in Israel or S.Korea?
it is mandatory yes and it's worse than those examples.
I object to joining National Service for several reasons:
- I am against the war with Ethiopia.
- I am against taking part in killing of innocent people whether Eritrean or Ethiopian.
- I am against rape. Generals have been reported to force sex on female soldiers.
- I am against forced slave labor for the personal interest of high ranked generals.
Voicing my opinion on any of the above, while in the military, would send me to military prison. I would be considered an enemy of state.
what country are you in right now?
I am in Saudi Arabia right now. My family managed to get me a visitor visa to join them for Ramadan. Visa expires soon. Hopefully, I can manage to renew it because I would have to leave otherwise and there's no one here to take care of my parrots at the moment.
if you have enough money you can buy a Dominican passport for 100000$ . If you don't, you could start a donation center by telling people your story and raising awareness to this situation and by that solving your issue. Am not so sure but I have read you can buy a passport in several countries.
That's a lot of money that I don't have. I don't think it's right collect donations to buy a passport like that. That money could go to much better use like helping people in dire need or raising awareness to global issues, making real impact!
This American Life did a show called This Call May Be Recorded... To Save Your Life about Eritreans held captive in the Sinai for ransom. Horrendous.
Where would you like to live? What do you think non-refugees can do to help refugee/stateless people?
I listened to that show a few days ago. It's really sad.
I think we can all come together and raise awareness. We need to lobby and spread tolerance. If governments realized that people care about one another, they will have to improve the laws and how stateless people are dealt with. In many parts of the world stateless people are treated as criminals and that is so wrong. We need to find ways to secure food, water, medcine and safety for people in refugee camps around the world. I don't know how yet.
How many countries have you passed through in your travels and which one had the nicest people?
In total 12 countries. Egypt has the nicest people. I went there before this whole situation and before even going to college. It was 2004. I only stayed there for a month and a half vacation and for once in my life I felt like I belonged. People treated me like one of them. You might not understand how much I appreciated that if you never were an African child growing up in Saudi Arabia. I saw hell growing up here.
Come to Denmark! We'll accept basically everyone, and it's easy to get on your feet here :)
I look forward to visiting Denmark!
Have you tried getting a job or earning a visa through enrollment at a University?
I have extensively tried to join universities between 2011 and 2013.
I took the IELTS, ACT, and SAT (as a 26 year old) and I did well.
I was accepted by several universities but they were in countries that I couldn't apply for visa to. A lot of countries require that you apply for visa from your country of residence. I don't have a country of residence.
I have also tried applying to a few countries where visa is not required to go. I was accepted by some universities in said countries but not granted the student permit after several attempts and without explanation.
I have given the 'go back to school to get a visa' it's fair share of trials. Two whole years.
As far as getting a job to get a visa: a few opportunities have presented themselves but I had moral objections. I would've had to fabricate a university degree to get the jobs. I am not willing to compromise my values in order to solve my problem.
1.) Learn German 2.) Go to Switzerland My thought is, you should go to the EU. With one passport, it's like having 10 at the same time.
I'll keep that in mind. I cannot apply for Schengen, however, as I don't live anywhere.
Have you considered joining the French foreign legion?
Crossed my mind as well, if everything else fails he could do that and obtain the French citizenship. If he is though enough that is, and you need to be though as hell, a lot drop out after short time.
I am just finding out about this from you guys. Two of my best friends are French and they never suggested it. That's because they have seen what I look like in person X'D
It's definitely possible even with a shape like yours, you need to push your limits, extend them and never ever surrender. But yeah, you should know that you could potentially die in combat.
For more infos about joining; http://www.legion-recrute.com/en/
Life is too precious to lose in pursuit of a nice passport I think. It's better to risk it seeking freedom for my people.
What are your thoughts on Johnny Manziell?
I've never met Johnny. Aggies love him though. I'm glad someone's making the students excited about the school again. That's for sure.
And Bro, i would'nt say Eritrea is "unsafe", it gives off the wrong idea, in an already hostile situation. The US Govt is on a verbal killing spree of our country. Instead, you should try and explain what you think is wrong. Eritrea doesn't have people shooting other people (Believe me, i've lived there for a number of years, and have been going back every year for 3+ months). One of the ISSUES (which i feel you should have said in place of Unsafe) is the govt. They're not tyrannical, instead i'd say that they're a little slow. It's taking time to get water/electricity to be stable all around. For the most part it's fine. I was born in the USA, so i believe i have a good idea of what stable is. Anyways, i'm here to help however i can.
you are right. I oversimplified the matter. It's too complicated to explain people who have no idea what is going on. The truth is however: it's unsafe for me to go there. I have met with people who currently live in Eritrea and yes it is OK. You have to keep in mind that you were born in the US. You are an American citizen. When you go to Eritrea you're not obligated like the citizens are. Things seem normal in every day life but people spy left and right. You can't even talk politics in your own house without worrying. The government would randomly take peoples' houses and give them to other people (injustice). And there are search units running around Asmara regularly looking for people to send to Sawa. This is the reason I cannot go to Eritrea. I don't want to go to Sawa. It would be like a death sentence.
what event sticks out most in your mind about your travels?
almost got robbed in Thailand. It's not a good memory haha.
Almost? What happened?
I was walking on the TBS way next to MBK mall and I was singing Lady Gaga's bad romance.. because the song came on while I was exiting the mall.. and out of no where this guy passing by is giving me a mean look.. I felt something was up, he stops walking, goes down like he's going to fix his shoes.. and then grabs my pocket. I had cargo pants.. he was grabbing my pocket so hard and I started yelling at him like WTF dude! people were all around us and all I hear is "stay away, stay away".. like wow no one even wanted to help lol. I ended up realizing what was going on a few seconds later, he probably was trying to yank my wallet out.. I just ran off and told the security guard about it. My arm was bruised from how tough he pulled it. It's funny how it happened right before my last day in Thailand. It left a bad taste in my mouth but oh well. I've read about worse things happening, I'm safe and my walet is safe so it's all good.
How old are you? Do you travel with anyone else?
I'm 26 and I've been traveling alone.
What countries have you been in? You mentioned 12.. name them please :) and what do you think of each country you've been in? ( PS another Canadian here.. keep trying to get into Canada..)
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, USA, UK, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Brunei. I hope to travel the world in the next 10 years.
Did you ever try moving to another country when you're done studying? You can get very good jobs in many countries if you wave your U.S obtained degree.
I don't have a US degree. I returned to Saudi Arabia to deal with my expired residency.
Im frustrated with your post for the reason that you continue to speak on your nomad status and how you cant go to Eritrea but you make sure its known that you want to travel the world....There are large amounts of Eritreans who work hard to bring their family members to other parts of the world for their safety .... Why doesn't your family from other parts of the world sponsor you ( and yes I know its possible because my parents who are Eritrean sponsored my Aunt who left Eritrea and is currently in Sudan) I really don't want to use this statement but this sounds like a pity post.
Yes, I want to travel the world. You should feel proud that an Eritrean will accomplish that, not frustrated. So many Eritreans cannot go to their country because of how bad things are. So many on the inside wish they could escape. I want to do something that gives voice to those people. I want to make a difference beyond myself and not just fix my immigration status.
How many languages do you speak?
I only speak two languages: Arabic and English. I wish I had learned Spanish while in Tejas.
Sup man, just wanted to say I live in college station too. Hope it all works out.
message me please. I need support in Aggieland.
I hope this link helps you with your situation. List of countries to buy a citizenship
See above about Canada.
can't come up with a question, just wanna say good luck man
thank you my friend.
What has been your favorite country overall? One you would like to stay in.
Of recent? Thailand. It's a wonderful place.
Gig em. Hope it works out for u
What exactly happened to your residency between Saudi and the US? Does every Saudi who leaves to study abroad have it revoked?
If you wanted to go back, could you do so legally?
He isnt Saudi. its not like America where you can be born American. if your parents arent Saudi you will never be. Its like Japan, 5th gen koreans, dont know anything about korea. still foreigner. one difference is that Saudi kicks you out from what I hear, I guess japan at least lets them stay.
as for America he is on a student visa. after he graduates 1 year to stay and get a h1? visa or go gtfo. he probably has a f1, student visa
I am Saudi born and raised, but I cannot live in Saudi.
He isnt Saudi
So is he Saudi or not? He says he is, even if he doesn't have citizenship.
he isnt Saudi blood.
being born in Saudi doesnt make you Saudi to clarify there are a lot of workers from other countries and even if you were born and living there for 40 years, once your dad, or your job is over you need to gtfo
What does it mean to have Saudi blood if being born there doesn't count?
your family has been in saudi for centuries.
To clarify: if Saudi feels your life is in danger, they wont kick you out. example: Burmese in Saudi get a stay from the king.
It's not accurate to put it that way. It's a political matter after all. Massacares were committed against the Rohingya. It was before everyone's eyes. The religious sector spoke about it day and night. It became "Islam vs. Buddhism". It was only logical for Rohingya to be granted that "generousity". That does not necessarily mean that there are active channels for one to pursue his human rights in Saudi Arabia. My family lives here so I don't want to say more.
I understand your confusion. Imagine how difficult it was for me to answer "so, where you from?" when I was in the states. sparrowA is right in what he said about Saudi Arabia. You can read here: http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20120412121640
I'll find better sources for you in a while.
Is there anything you enjoy about being in limbo, or is it all bad?
I enjoy the adventure. I sometimes enjoy the drama and not knowing what happens next but it's a rollercoaster of emotions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Will you still be traveling or do you hope to settle down?
Which country do you most identify with?
In five years I hope to be a successful songwriter and a published author and still be traveling. I also hope to be able to improve the circumstances of stateless people around the world.
I'm from Texas. I'd like to live there when I'm older.
Texan here. We'd love to have you back here! What part of Texas did you live in? And what part of Texas would you like to live in when you're older? I'm from the DFW area.
Thank you. I stayed mostly in College Station TX (for 5 years) where I went to school. Visited Austin and Houston frequently. I've been to SA a few times and once to Dallas. And that's a tough question.. I like different things about different cities. I would imagine that when I'm older I'd like somewhere quite.
You're from Texas, Saudi Arabia, and Eritrea?
India and Egypt too.
On some level do you feel comfortable with the fact that you are a nomad? Kind of like a primal urge to wonder?
I would agree. I was suffering for the first year because I felt detached from everything. I missed my friends in the states so much. But now, I just wanna wander.
Some countries offer asylum if you can show that you would not be safe in your own country. This army/treason thing in Eritrea seems pretty serious.
I am sure you have looked into that, but could you tell us a bit more ? Have you tried applying for asylum ? If yes why didn't it work for you ?
I touched some on this above. Look for "Why not Canada?".
Why don't you just apply for political asylum?
I answered that one man.
How will you travel? As far as I'm aware, Eritrean citizens are not granted visa-free entry or small-fee-visa-on-arrival entry to many countries.
You are right. I'll find a way.
I'm Eritrean, In the USA. If you're born in Saudi, apply for a student visa, and come to the USA?
You need to be a long term resident in the place from which you apply for a non immigrant US visa. I am no longer a resident of Saudi Arabia.
Dude they should make a movie about you, anyways good luck man. Have you thought about Venezuela? Im originally from there and they give visas to anybody, especially if you claim you are a hard core communist and love Chavez and Maduro. Venezuela is in a really bad state right now but if you get citizenship you can travel easily to Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay which are in way better conditions!
Source: Born in Venezuela
I'll have to make a visit on my South America tour. Thanks for the tip!
The Netherlands has a policy of not sending back refugees from Eritrea that are in danger of persecution or worse.
True in a lot of places in Europe. The tricky part is how to get there?
Most Eritrean citizens born in Saudi Arabia, like me, utilize their Saudi permits to obtain a visa to Europe and just seek asylum. I missed that window. I can't get tourist visa to developed countries as of now because I don't live anywhere.
And I thought Kurt Vonnegut didn't have a country
"A Man Without Country".
Is there anywhere you have not been that you would like to visit?
Taiwan! A lot of places too actually.
THANKS AND GIG EM'!
Howdy! what class are you?
you choose not to go to Eritrea. You can.
You an Eritrean citizen.
if you were in my shoes, would you go to a place worse than North Korea?
This is what's waiting for me in Eritrea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--dMpYJ-Elw
I will Marry you. You can have a US passport. I am a man though and we will have to live together. This is a legitimate offer. PM me and we can arrange it. Again this is not a joke.
Edit: I can fake love. I have no desire to be intimate at all. Just want to help someone out no stipulations no expectations. Prenup means I can't touch your money. I live right by San Fransisco so gay marriage wouldn't look strange at all. Let me know.
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