Sunday, March 18, 2007

See but can't Touch

I am wishing for the first time that I had a U.S. citizenship, or at least a Green Card!

Falling for Craig's List lately has opened up my eyes to many tempting work opportunities out there. Acting, modeling, commercials, blogging, etc. Being curious about all that is creative and unique, these temptations piled up in my "see but can't touch" list. Why? Because I am an international student, with an F1 visa. I cannot work until a year of full time enrollment in university is over. After that, my advisor must approve of the job being relative to my program of study, then the International Office has to filter it and process it. Processing time can take up to a week.

There's a limit to how much a curious person can keep away from!

In Saudi Arabia, gender was "the limitation," yet it was so wonderful being a female that I never wished to become anything else. The game of politics in Saudi Arabia is this:
"When God closes a door, someway He opens a window!"
And accordingly, I had always found compensation for what I could not get, which helped me continue to be tolerant. But now, as the the nationality became the limitation, the F1 visa that I once held to the sky as I exited the US embassy, the visa that was my gateway to studying in the States, is culminating around me in the form of prison bars.

And I cannot help but wonder, does the United States of America derive its fame from promoting THE DREAM to the people, or merely the INACESSIBILITY of it?


Khalid said...

I feel for you .. But the thing about america is that there is a place for everybody, including darn aliense like us !
Check this out ;)

Aysha said...

These are heart soaring stories/issues, Khalid! It is, however, wonderful that we are able to read about those people and that some of them are corrageous enough to speak up.
Stepping back, I wonder what type of issues and struggles live amongst us in SA. I also wonder, if the lenience of structuring the law and inforcing it, besides its many disadvantages, might be a positive thing..sometimes!

Joanna said...

I think working visas are hard to get for anybody going to any country... Most countries require a Bachelor’s Degree to get a working visa and only after a job sponsor you... So it's not just America... Getting a working Visa in Japan, France, or Britain… It's all a hassle.

Aysha said...

I cannot agree more. Saudi work visas are a sotry of its own ^_^

However, in Saudi, only recently have their been Tourist visas. In the past, you did not come in unless it was for religious purposes (like piligramage,) diplomatic, or if you were already issued a work Visa.

Yet, when you are studying in the States, surrounded by all the temptation of unique and interesting jobs. Plus, when you are striving on the tight budget/stipends of a student you become increasingly sensitive to the reason why you cannot work where you please.

On campus jobs do not pay well, and the ones that do, require strict and long hours. Off campus jobs require a process that complies with F1 visa regulations. But there are other jobs, creative ones, better tailored to suite the the individual cases (being a mom for example!) When those are inacessible, one cannot but think: I wish I had the green!