Saturday, September 26, 2009

Human trafficking

I had all sorts of weird things happening to me in Yemen but this is probably the funniest, probably not the safest. I took a taxi and suddenly the driver starts telling me that he works in trafficking to Saudi Arabia, "Human trafficking" he explained and added "I never traffic Qat or drugs, God forbids, only humans!". Then he told me how he does it and then I realized after a while that he is actually promoting his work. He probably thought that I would like to be trafficked to Saudi Arabia as well. That would be interesting actually, among all things I never thought I will ever end up doing. And this is how it goes: I pay 90,000 Yemeni Riyal, which is 450 USD and the guy will take me from Sanna and drop me just few meters away from the legal border crossing with Saudi Arabia up north. Then we run on foot for half an hour once we get the signal by phone from the guy's collaborator on the other side of the border who would have paid 250 USD to silence a Saudi guard. Then trafficked men all dress up in women's Burqu' could peacefully go anywhere in Saudi Arabia. He even told me that this is the safest job ever and that he is doing it for a good cause; Trafficking Yemenis looking to work in Saudi Arabia. Some of them even come back this way for their vacation. He seriously offered to take me there.
On the other hand, I met a really nice Yemeni taxi driver who listens to fairouz all the time, doesn't chew Qat, very quiet and peaceful in his car, and drives slowly; and I only care because I know there are other Yemenis like him.

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