Traveling in a Trump(ed) America

Recently, I arrived at the Newark Liberty International airport from a fantastic trip to Europe. My friends and I slowly made our way out of the plane, laughing over our fun and eye-opening experiences that are typical to Wharton trips (sadly coming to an end as I approach graduation). The fun conversation started to dampen when we realized the long and unpleasant line at U.S. Customs, and it came to a full stop when our friend breezed through customs with that fancy Global Entry and laughed at us foreigners.

As I moved forward in the foreigner visitors’ line at a turtle’s pace, a vaguely familiar video caught my attention. In 2007, Walt Disney partnered with the Department of Home Security to produce a ‘Welcome’ video that is nothing short of a United Colors of Benetton ad in diversity of people. As I watched all the beautiful smiles across the vast land of opportunities in this video, I heard the Customs officer calling out “NEXT!” I crossed the red line, calmly walked over to his desk, smiled and asked how he was doing? At this point, the virtual welcoming smiles were fading behind me and I was confronted with a disgruntled officer asking for my papers. I was quick to hand in my Turkish passport along with my I-20 (a piece of paper that provides supporting information on foreign student status) and was ready to answer some of the typical questions at any U.S. Customs. Here is the conversation we had instead:

Officer: Where did you travel to during this trip?

Me: (trying to be comprehensive) Berlin, Riga, Kiev and Amsterdam

Officer: (looking at my passport again) Did you travel to Syria, Turkey or any of THOSE countries?

Me: (shocked but staying calm) No, sir!

Officer: Were there any Syrians traveling with you?

Me: (impatient to get this interview over with and catch my ride) No, sir!!

He continued to interrogate me, asking about how I pay my tuition and how well I am doing in school (obviously uninitiated to grade non-disclosure). And, I was so tempted to crack jokes about my student loans and our grade non-disclosure policy. However, realizing that any minute misunderstanding might lead to a secondary interview and inspection in a separate room, I kept my mouth shut and answered him directly. He finally stamped my passport and I reached my friends who were impatiently waiting for me at a café, finishing their meals. Even though I entered the U.S. more than 30 times and encountered various screenings and interviews at the borders, I felt more uncomfortable this time and started reflecting on this experience on my way back to Philly.

Having lived, worked and studied in the U.S. for more than 10 years, I have embraced this country as my 2nd home and I have the utmost respect for CBP employees who are safeguarding America’s borders where more than 1 million visitors are welcomed every day. However, I am increasingly coming across examples of disrespectful treatment and unfiltered racial profiling throughout the U.S. My friend, Omar Darwazah (WG ‘15), who holds three nationalities (USA, Jordan and Egypt), was subject to some such bizarre treatment recently…

I remember that day like it was yesterday. On one random afternoon of August 1997, my mother picked up the house landline in Cairo and on the other side was a representative from the US Embassy. “Congratulations!” the representative said, “…you and your family are now ready to immigrate to the United States!”

My father, a very wise man, applied to immigrate to the United States in 1984; the year I was born. At birth, I received Egyptian and Jordanian passports, nationalities of third world countries that would no doubt limit my ability and freedom to travel and narrow my employment opportunities. He recognized the importance of having another passport, especially a passport from the “civilized” Western world.

On April 24th 2007, I fulfilled that dream, I took the Oath of Allegiance and became a newly minted American citizen. My path to citizenship took exactly 23 years from the day my father applied for immigration. With an American passport in hand, I knew my life was about to change forever. I was right, eleven years later, I clocked over 3.5 million miles of travel in 71 countries around the world.

Before obtaining my American citizenship and throughout my life of travels, I had my fair share of border interrogation as an Egyptian/Jordanian. For example, I remember Venezuelan authorities in Caracas scratching their heads as to why an Arab would want to come and live in Venezuela for a month. They found it bizarre that I spoke Spanish, lived in Chicago and decided to come and spend a month with a family on Margarita Island. However, those sorts of incidents became non-existent when I became American until very recently.

A few months ago, on a routine business trip to Munich, I was interrogated by U.S. CBP Officers as I was LEAVING the country. I don’t ever recall a time when I was interrogated on the jetway after my boarding pass was scanned. Here is the conversation I had with the CBP Officer:

Officer: (flicks through my passport) You certainly travel quite a bit don’t you? What takes you to Munich?

Me: Yes, I do, for both business and pleasure but to Munich only business.

Officer: Are you carrying any cash with you? Dollars, Euros, Egyptian ‘money’?

Me: No, I don’t have any cash on me and no I don’t have Egyptian Pounds on me.

Officer: So how are you paying for your expenses?

Me: (puzzled and scratching my head) Ehh with credit cards?!

Officer: It says here you’re born in Egypt. Do you go back often?

Me: I go back a few times a year to visit family and friends.

Officer: I understand but I don’t see any stamps from Egyptian customs in your passport.

Me: I’m a dual citizen officer (triple actually but that was superfluous information to share) and I became a naturalized citizen in 2007. I naturally use my Egyptian passport to enter Egypt.

Officer: That makes sense. So tell me do you speak Egyptian?

Me: (the moment when the conversation took a totally different turn!) I speak Arabic actually, I couldn’t speak ANCIENT Egyptian even if I tried!

Officer: (chuckles and hands me back my passport) Have a safe flight, sir.

I was lucky enough to have had what was a pleasant, innocuous (yet still ignorant) conversation with the CBP Officer. However, most stories that I stumble upon are of discrimination, contempt and disrespect. My friend and Wharton colleague Can Akannac’s (WG ’16) story resonated with me, as a non-American from Turkey, he came under unnecessary scrutiny because of the situation in the Middle East; more specifically in Turkey and Syria.

These stories have become all too familiar. For example, last month a Muslim family, including three young children, were ejected from a United Airlines flight bound to DC from Chicago because of “how they looked”. Even more concerning is the hatred and racism being spewed out of the GOP front-runner Donald Trump (WG ’68). In fact, there is a clear correlation between the number of incidents that racially profile Muslims and Arabs and the rise of Trump over the past 24 months.

Trump has ushered in a period of what I like to deem “ignorant conservative populism”. It is taking America by storm and it has placed the country at the danger of turning free speech into hate speech and democracy into oligarchy.

If Arabs and Muslims are to be racially profiled, singled out and treated with unwarranted indecency, then America is setting a very dangerous precedent for minorities. Even more dangerous is if Trump, a fellow Wharton graduate who clearly does not espouse the same values of tolerance, understanding and co-existence, ends up winning the Presidency of this great country. Then unfortunately, America will not be great again. Sadly, we will be far from it.

384 Comments

  1. Pingback: xmt85c4wx5ctwxw3tcerthve56

  2. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هشتم شهرزاد دوم

  3. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت هشتم فصل دوم

  4. Pingback: Ana Foxxx

  5. Pingback: Kiera Rose

  6. Pingback: Angela White

  7. Pingback: hampton bay ceiling fan blog

  8. Pingback: Free Stuff Worldwide

  9. Pingback: casino

  10. Pingback: دانلود سریال عاشقانه

  11. Pingback: دانلود قسمت پنجم شهرزاد دوم

  12. Pingback: basketball jerseys sydney

  13. Pingback: videos porno

  14. Pingback: porno

  15. Pingback: porno gratis

  16. Pingback: porno gratis

  17. Pingback: porno

  18. Pingback: porno gratis

  19. Pingback: آموزش ساخت پنجره دوجداره

  20. Pingback: پنجره ضد سرقت المانی

  21. Pingback: Facial Spa Services Wilton Manors

  22. Pingback: thigh wrap

  23. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  24. Pingback: دانلود موزیک

  25. Pingback: دانلود قسمت ششم شهرزاد

  26. Pingback: fuck

  27. Pingback: Roof Repair Long Island

  28. Pingback: buy zynga chips

  29. Pingback: clic here

  30. Pingback: cheap jordans

  31. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هفتم شهرزاد

  32. Pingback: Bandar Bola Online Terpercaya

  33. Pingback: پنجره

  34. Pingback: coin-banks exchange

  35. Pingback: coin-banks bitcoin

  36. Pingback: coin-banks review

  37. Pingback: DraftKings

  38. Pingback: Porn World

  39. Pingback: coin-banks exchange

  40. Pingback: دانلود قسمت هشتم شهرزاد

  41. Pingback: taylormade m1 driver for sale

  42. Pingback: vpm

  43. Pingback: anime series

  44. Pingback: www.waimao-abc.cn/member.asp?action=view&memName=MorrisHakala276,

  45. Pingback: Polecam

  46. Pingback: TRUSSARDI

  47. Pingback: free

  48. Pingback: Rebbecca

  49. Pingback: Read This

  50. Pingback: 食品

  51. Pingback: دانلود قسمت دوم سریال عالیجناب

  52. Pingback: دانلود فیلم

  53. Pingback: loose weight

  54. Pingback: saiba como consultar cpf

  55. Pingback: wheel services

  56. Pingback: پنجره ضد سرقت المانی

  57. Pingback: best price golf clubs for sale

  58. Pingback: latest mobile phones

  59. Pingback: Limousine Vancouver BC

  60. Pingback: rent home

  61. Pingback: دانلود فیلم سریال

  62. Pingback: تعویض پنجره دوجداره

  63. Pingback: دانلود فیلم

  64. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  65. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  66. Pingback: gernas kids

  67. Pingback: https://www.symantec.com/connect/user/jorgedavidson

  68. Pingback: اموزش ساخت پنجره دوجداره

  69. Pingback: فروش توری پنجره دوجداره

  70. Pingback: instagram turbanli porn

  71. Pingback: Buy weed online

  72. Pingback: SEO Manchester

  73. Pingback: garden bridges california

  74. Pingback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bld2NoB1hBI

  75. Pingback: ed sheeran one

  76. Pingback: download best

  77. Pingback: karaj

  78. Pingback: Learn Colors

  79. Pingback: More hints

  80. Pingback: google hd porn

  81. Pingback: garden

  82. Pingback: robotwiper.pl/

  83. Pingback: Finger Family Song

  84. Pingback: art

  85. Pingback: Seo

  86. Pingback: online casino game

  87. Pingback: kitchen bowl

  88. Pingback: download

  89. Pingback: پنجره

  90. Pingback: garden bridges Dallas

  91. Pingback: پنجره

  92. Pingback: top real estate wordpress themes 2017

  93. Pingback: More here

  94. Pingback: personnel consultancy

  95. Pingback: Deep homemade Blowjob and fuck in the ass

  96. Pingback: breast augmentation in Houston

  97. Pingback: blackhead removal

  98. Pingback: mechanical vape mods

  99. Pingback: cheap foamposites

  100. Pingback: textbook test bank

  101. Pingback: Kasino Online

  102. Pingback: payday loans

  103. Pingback: Wine

  104. Pingback: click terminal

  105. Pingback: pink all sport socks

  106. Pingback: freight forwarder

  107. Pingback: پنجره

  108. Pingback: پنجره دوجداره

  109. Pingback: love compatibility by name numerology

  110. Pingback: پنجره

  111. Pingback: دانلود آینه بغل

  112. Pingback: High chair cover

  113. Pingback: Baby breastfeeding cover

  114. Pingback: music

  115. Pingback: Surrey Limo

  116. Pingback: gosexy

  117. Pingback: Bermain Olahraga

  118. Pingback: Schl�sseldienst

  119. Pingback: click over here now

  120. Pingback: game hack

  121. Pingback: checking this site

  122. Pingback: game free

  123. Pingback: my site check here

  124. Pingback: watch illegal porn

  125. Pingback: ΚΟΥΠΟΝΙ ΣΤΟΙΧΗΜΑΤΟΣ

  126. Pingback: ΦΙΛΟΞΕΝΙΑ ΙΣΤΟΣΕΛΙΔΑΣ

  127. Pingback: Oddsmonkey

  128. Pingback: Oddsmonkey

  129. Pingback: www.consumerhealthdigest

  130. Pingback: Black Friday Coupons

  131. Pingback: cryptocurrency prices

  132. Pingback: avakin life hack lucky patcher

  133. Pingback: فیلم رگ خواب

  134. Pingback: http://bit.ly/maui-marketing

  135. Pingback: darlene

  136. Pingback: payday loans

  137. Pingback: old computer equipment recycling

  138. Pingback: free it recycling essex

  139. Pingback: buy essay online

  140. Pingback: Yahoo Finance

  141. Pingback: 4cam

  142. Pingback: boob enhancement cream

  143. Pingback: bed frame singapore

  144. Pingback: credit ranges

  145. Pingback: WoW Vanilla discord

  146. Pingback: momschips review

  147. Pingback: anniversary gifts

  148. Pingback: deals

  149. Pingback: eico car insurance quote

  150. Pingback: Theocracy

  151. Pingback: barkbox dogs

  152. Pingback: get a medical marijuana card online in Vacaville

  153. Pingback: tea leaves

  154. Pingback: anthony morrison

  155. Pingback: recommended you read

  156. Pingback: satin al

  157. Pingback: Pinganillo

  158. Pingback: casino online

  159. Pingback: s hooks for closet

  160. Pingback: 陰道保養

  161. Pingback: best free porn sites

  162. Pingback: best free porn sites

  163. Pingback: diep.io

  164. Pingback: facebook html code download

  165. Pingback: Luft til vann vamrepumpe

  166. Pingback: best porn

  167. Pingback: instagram porn

  168. Pingback: walmartone

  169. Pingback: pirater un compte facebook

  170. Pingback: btc

  171. Pingback: video-format-converter.com

  172. Pingback: best porn

  173. Pingback: the last of us pc zonaleros

  174. Pingback: shemale porn

  175. Pingback: porn sites

  176. Pingback: پنجره یو پی وی سی

  177. Pingback: Games Kizi

  178. Pingback: iphone case

  179. Pingback: ichaelkors.com australia

  180. Pingback: thanks for buying porn online

  181. Pingback: Cialis deals

  182. Pingback: HD PORN MOVIES DOWNLOAD

  183. Pingback: auction site

  184. Pingback: wedding gowns toronto

  185. Pingback: walmartone

  186. Pingback: see here

  187. Pingback: resource

  188. Pingback: our website

  189. Pingback: walmart1

  190. Pingback: right here

  191. Pingback: additional info

  192. Pingback: tranny porn

  193. Pingback: excel

  194. Pingback: fake gucci belt

  195. Pingback: Darwin Horan

  196. Pingback: skin lightening

  197. Pingback: excel tutorial

  198. Pingback: managed dedicated servers

  199. Pingback: bridesmaid dresses

  200. Pingback: دانلود اینه بغل

  201. Pingback: http://sexmake.com/

  202. Pingback: pirater un compte facebook

  203. Pingback: vermiculite

  204. Pingback: wordpress help

  205. Pingback: sell for free uk

  206. Pingback: matthew pillmore

  207. Pingback: Cheap Ray Bans

  208. Pingback: jake burgess

  209. Pingback: big farm mobile harvest hack

  210. Pingback: bankruptcy attorney

  211. Pingback: בתי מזוזה מעוצבים בלוד

  212. Pingback: get free psn code

  213. Pingback: bigbreast

  214. Pingback: low cost insurance

  215. Pingback: what to eat when pregnant

  216. Pingback: AUTO insurance zip code calculator

  217. Pingback: go here

  218. Pingback: coupon code

  219. Pingback: The hartford insurance

  220. Pingback: usaa term insurance

  221. Pingback: Going Here

  222. Pingback: geico car insurance quote

  223. Pingback: http://optimizationmichigan1.strikingly.com/

  224. Pingback: Sell Any Mobile

  225. Pingback: Token

  226. Pingback: boiler repair

  227. Pingback: vortex bong

  228. Pingback: read more

  229. Pingback: Related Site

  230. Pingback: emp jammer

  231. Pingback: Love

  232. Pingback: produit pour exciter une femme

  233. Pingback: www.yourhealthbible.com

  234. Pingback: commercial

  235. Pingback: Office website

  236. Pingback: בשר בד"ץ

  237. Pingback: visita nuestra web

  238. Pingback: payday loan

  239. Pingback: Red Tea Detox Reviews

  240. Pingback: Mainostoimisto

  241. Pingback: cheapest homeowners insurance

  242. Pingback: دانلود سریال شهرزاد سوم

  243. Pingback: clothing optional cruise

  244. Pingback: this page

  245. Pingback: instagram hack

  246. Pingback: UPW London 2018

  247. Pingback: susan

  248. Pingback: http://opthamologists-online.com

  249. Pingback: What is Motor Club Of America

  250. Pingback: https://loginsecure.org/

  251. Pingback: associateresources limitedbrands aces etm

  252. Pingback: www.restaurantsnearmenow.org/places-to-eat-near-me

  253. Pingback: top article

  254. Pingback: emergency plumber ealing broardway

  255. Pingback: instagram hack 2

  256. Pingback: view it

  257. Pingback: http://helios7blog.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/dangerous-side-effects-of-energy-drinks/

  258. Pingback: دانلود سریال شهرزاد فصل دوم قسمت دوم

  259. Pingback: white porn

  260. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت سوم فصل سوم

  261. Pingback: Corporate Office

  262. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد چهارم

  263. Pingback: دانلود شهرزاد قسمت چهارم

  264. Pingback: https://genius.com/jamessteen3290

  265. Pingback: transfer services

  266. Pingback: stick games

  267. Pingback: 0176 58456173

  268. Pingback: melasma meaning in hindi

  269. Pingback: best free porn site

  270. Pingback: christian louboutin shoes

  271. Pingback: How to increase sex stamina

  272. Pingback: Read This

  273. Pingback: Withdraw Bitcoin to Bank Account

  274. Pingback: MULTI-FUNCTION BAG

  275. Pingback: Free MILF Porn

  276. Pingback: live sex cams

  277. Pingback: family photography

  278. Pingback: Send SMS from Excel Sheet

  279. Pingback: http://pornofollies.com/

  280. Pingback: take surveys for cash demo

  281. Pingback: http://www.pizzacouponcodes.net/

  282. Pingback: Clear Asbestos Removal Perth

  283. Pingback: Clear Asbestos Removal Brisbane Service Asbestos Testing

  284. Pingback: porn videos

  285. Pingback: YOURURL.com

  286. Pingback: white noise mp3

  287. Pingback: http://www.271pets.com

  288. Pingback: over here

  289. Pingback: Online Casinos

  290. Pingback: classe c beleza

  291. Pingback: PDF Files

  292. Pingback: House Design Ideas

  293. Pingback: Read This

  294. Pingback: how to get credit inquiries removed

  295. Pingback: wedding photographer CT

  296. Pingback: Pot O'Dongs Eva Notty Carolina Sweets

  297. Pingback: Erection Mastery

  298. Pingback: pc kopen aanbieding

  299. Pingback: iamtheceo

  300. Pingback: great post to read

  301. Pingback: great post to read

  302. Pingback: matthew pillmore

  303. Pingback: butt

  304. Pingback: projektowanie wnetrz

  305. Pingback: Wot if

  306. Pingback: knob

  307. Pingback: http://www.eyekonik.com

  308. Pingback: escort in lahore

  309. Pingback: zac drone works

  310. Pingback: you can try this out

  311. Pingback: siófok taxi

  312. Pingback: small personal loan

  313. Pingback: statue in the round

  314. Pingback: Read This

  315. Pingback: drugs

  316. Pingback: Lorraine

  317. Pingback: Marcie

  318. Pingback: http://pornobis.net/

  319. Pingback: wedding dresses

  320. Pingback: https://www.pinterest.com/johnmekio/

  321. Pingback: porn

  322. Pingback: Kvols

  323. Pingback: fat loss

  324. Pingback: Hardy Sethi

  325. Pingback: Viagra Sans Ordonnance

  326. Pingback: why not try this out

  327. Pingback: Exchange Cryptocurrency to US Dollars

  328. Pingback: michael kors outlet vacaville

  329. Pingback: it recycling companies

  330. Pingback: exposed acne treatment reviews

  331. Pingback: christian louboutin boots 2016 replica

  332. Pingback: roofing contractors

  333. Pingback: saham perumahan

  334. Pingback: click this

  335. Pingback: Rich Fucks Part 2 Bridgette B Kristen Scott Honey Gold Xander Corvus

  336. Pingback: Moriah Mills Bouncing Booty Digital Playground

  337. Pingback: jake burgess springfield mo

  338. Pingback: weblink

  339. Pingback: scam befollowers

  340. Pingback: Buy IPhone wholesale

  341. Pingback: http://www.idefaexpo.com/be-taught-how-to-entice-girls-of-your-alternative-in-much-less-time/

  342. Pingback: porn

  343. Pingback: facebook exposed

  344. Pingback: cellulose blinds

  345. Pingback: blinds,com

  346. Pingback: matthew pillmore net worth

  347. Pingback: arw investments llc

  348. Pingback: Nâng Mũi Hàn Quốc

  349. Pingback: AC Maintenance Dubai

  350. Pingback: aaron woodman consulting

  351. Pingback: How to Get Rid of Acid Reflux in Throat

  352. Pingback: TenerifeForum

  353. Pingback: Fat Decimator

  354. Pingback: frase

  355. Pingback: Oak lawn Chiropractor

  356. Pingback: Full Article

  357. Pingback: بهترین وکیل تهران

  358. Pingback: dating site review

  359. Pingback: Mexico writer

  360. Pingback: James Vertzayias

  361. Pingback: orgas

  362. Pingback: Private Investigator in Cambodia

  363. Pingback: Ofertas de Amazon

  364. Pingback: مهرسازى

  365. Pingback: wedding photographer brampton

  366. Pingback: PORN VIDEOS

  367. Pingback: Clyde Hollick

  368. Pingback: see

  369. Pingback: Saiba Mais

  370. Pingback: Web Site

  371. Pingback: All Blacks Store

  372. Pingback: Businesses Directory

  373. Pingback: mortgage broker in Scottsdale

  374. Pingback: estate agent tenerife

  375. Pingback: jackoff

  376. Pingback: UEFA Champions League Store

  377. Pingback: Judi Online

  378. Pingback: Bakery classes at Vocotionz

  379. Pingback: aaron woodman chicago

  380. Pingback: shit

  381. Pingback: aaron woodman consulting

  382. Pingback: bathmate

  383. Pingback: stock quotes nyse

  384. Pingback: https://www.stopgrow.com/ct/183292

Top