Foreign workers struggle to return to UAE amid virus limbo

Foreign workers struggle to return to UAE amid virus limbo

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In this family photograph, Eudinson Uy, right, poses for a photograph with his wife, Allaina Pelayo, and their infant son Benjamin Timoteo, in Yerevan, Armenia, July 9, 2020. They are among the hundreds of thousands of foreign residents of the … more >

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By MALAK HARB

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Eudinson Uy and his pregnant wife planned to return to their home in the United Arab Emirates after a vacation in Armenia, but due to a subsequent lockdown of the Gulf country over the coronavirus pandemic, she ended up giving birth there.

Four months later, the Filipino couple and their baby boy are still stuck in Armenia, like thousands of others now trying to return to the UAE, which relies on a vast foreign workforce.

“I have called the UAE Embassy here in Armenia, immigration in Dubai, and all the hotlines and emergency hotlines given by the UAE, but all of them said they cannot help us even if my wife is pregnant,” Uy said.

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Before the lockdown, foreign workers who had planned work trips or holidays, or to give birth near family back home, flew out of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They left behind jobs, families, homes and other responsibilities, to which they had always planned to return.

On July 7, Dubai reopened to tourists. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has meanwhile launched efforts to return an estimated 200,000 people to the UAE, but the rules remain unclear and many have had their applications rejected.

Some members of a Facebook group for foreign workers stranded outside said they applied and got rejected over 10 times. One woman said she applied 21 times.

The rules remain particularly unclear when it comes to newborns. Many new mothers who traveled outside the Emirates to give birth found themselves unable to bring back their children. All UAE residents – including children – require a national ID number to return.

The Emirati government does not issue newborns a national ID until they have a residency visa. But many parents could not get their children visas because Emirati embassies abroad were closed due to the pandemic.

“It’s like a Catch-22,” said Minna Joseph, who has been in Canada since February. “A lot of mothers just have no idea how to bring back their babies.”

Joseph was planning on returning in March but is currently in Vancouver, waiting to bring her newborn son back.

Dubai opening to tourists helped some return, as Westerners and those from the Gulf Cooperation Council states get visas on arrival in the UAE. But others, including those from the Asian nations that supply the Emirates its army of laborers, cleaners, taxi drivers and office workers, need a visa issued beforehand.

Dubai also instituted a new system that links newborn babies to their mothers’ IDs. But the UAE’s six other emirates all have their own immigration rules. Abu Dhabi, for instance, still has its border closed off to the other emirates, requiring a recent negative COVID-19 test before allowing people in.

When the UAE shut down air travel in March, Emirati citizens abroad were able to come back home, but the foreign workers found it much harder. The government made only occasional exceptions for emergencies and humanitarian cases.

“We felt discouraged about what they told us; that they cannot help us even if my wife is pregnant,” Uy said. “We really felt sad seeing that they have repatriated to UAE some people who are not even in an emergency case, like my wife.”

Foreign medical workers have been on the front lines of treating COVID-19 patients in the Emirates, which has reported nearly 55,000 cases and at least 333 deaths since the outbreak began.

At one point, the government released a video of Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, saying he “teared up” while watching residents singing the UAE national anthem and commended their loyalty.

Many of those stuck outside the country feel their loyalty has not been rewarded.

They include Iqra Kamran, a 25-year-old who recently gave birth to her daughter in Karachi, Pakistan. She and her husband were separated for months after he was allowed to return to their home in the UAE. She was not able to join him with their child until Dubai introduced its new system at the end of June.

“My husband is living in UAE and serving UAE for I think eight years or nine years,” she said. “So they should favor us.”

Officials in Dubai and at the federal level in Abu Dhabi did not respond to requests for comment.

While countries around the world took unprecedented measures in the wake of the pandemic, shutting their borders to travelers, many have since allowed their residents back.

Joseph is still waiting for that chance in Canada with her newborn and her four-year-old daughter Kataleia. Her husband, Stefan, in Dubai, tries to be part of their lives, despite the 11-hour time difference.

“You know it’s really sad. It’s really difficult,” she said. “Thank God for video calls, it’s really great. Stef gets to read Kiki a story every night.”

___

Follow Malak Harb on Twitter at www.twitter.com/malakharb.

Officials: Illinoisans can preregister for license, ID needs

Officials: Illinoisans can preregister for license, ID needs

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By

Associated Press

Sunday, June 14, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois residents can preregister online when applying for a driver’s license or identification card, Secretary of State Jesse White announced Friday.

White said he hopes preregistering will save time at driver’s services facilities, where residents have encountered long lines after weeks of the offices being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents can visit cyberdriveillinois.com to provide information ahead of their visit to an office. White’s office says people will still need to bring all required paperwork along to be verified by a clerk in person.

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To qualify for the preregistration program, a resident must have an Illinois driver’s license or ID that has not been suspended, canceled or revoked. The license or ID also cannot be expired for more than a year.

Re-opened driver facilities are only open so far to people with expired licenses or IDs or those needing vehicle-related transactions along with new drivers.

White has said employees are required to wear masks and customers are encouraged to wear face coverings.

Playboi Carti – New Choppa (feat. A$AP Rocky)

[Verse 1: Playboi Carti]
New choppa, new choppa it came with the beam
Actavis pouring up lean
Got Flacko, yeah Rocky, he pass me the beam
I shoot like a king
All of these knots on my jeans, Alexander of McQueen
Diamonds they lookin’ like ice, out with the hoe like I’m Ike
Stack up my cash like a hike, take advantage of the Sprite
Take the bando bring the height
We just go hard in the kitchen
Had a catch up with my bitches, they know that young nigga be living

[Hook: Playboi Carti + A$AP Rocky]
Run it up, run it up, run it up
New choppa, new choppa, new choppa, new choppa
Run it up, run it up, run it up
I ain’t hearing what you say, I ain’t listening what you say
Get the fuck up out the way, go on let a playa play
New choppa, new choppa, new choppa, new choppa

[Verse 2: A$AP Rocky]
I roll up an L in the lobby, my partner’s got wops and it’s probably a Glock or a Tommy
From H to the E double hockey sticks, keep a chopper chop you if you try me bitch
Let’s see who next on my homi’ list, Carti like Rocky you bodied this
That’s my prerogative, shit on them that’s on my potty list
Accused of being boujee by a snobby bitch
Cops want to ID us, hope they as fast as my Adidas
She say I’m special that’s obvious
Rich ’cause my ideas
Run up the racks for most part I rap when they ask what my hobby is
Run it up, not one of them
Rich as fuck, I’m a hundred up
Swipe, swipe like I’m on a bus, it’s A$AP and I ain’t wanna rush

[Hook: Playboi Carti + A$AP Rocky]
Run it up, run it up, run it up
New choppa, new choppa, new choppa, new choppa
Run it up, run it up, run it up
I ain’t hearing what you say, I ain’t listening what you say
Get the fuck up out the way, go on let a playa play
New choppa, new choppa, new choppa, new choppa

Natasha Bedingfield – Let Go

I have to keep reminding myself
I’m not like anyone else
That’s my face on my ID
That makes me VIP
No one exactly like this
No one with my finger prints
No one can touch you like me
No I can’t fake what you see

They told me ‘Girl to get your way, you’ve got to be a bitch’
They say a guy won’t get the girl if he’s not filthy rich
You start with little changes till you don’t know who you are
Surround yourself with friends who only call you Superstar
Oh yeah (oh yeah)
Oh yeah (oh yeah)
Oh yeah (oh yeah)
Ready steady, ready let’s go!
But you don’t know who you are

The sky is the limit and I just want to float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless
Millions of balloons tethered to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless

I’m weightless
I’m weightless
I’m weightless

All the things I held in my fist
If I don’t let go I don’t exist
They become the things that define me
How I look and the things to buy me
That’s not important anymore
I feel me rising off the floor
Light as a feather
I’m carefree
I’m weightless

The sky is the limit and I just want to float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless
Millions of balloons tethered to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless

I’m weightless
(Oh Yeah)
I’m weightless
(Oh Yeah)
I’m weightless

They told me ‘Girl to get your way, you’ve got to be a bitch’
They say a guy won’t get the girl if he’s not filthy rich
It seems to me that’s so heavy and weighs you down like lead
Don’t wanna be someone I hate cause that don’t make no sense, no

The sky is the limit and I just want to float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless

The sky is the limit and I just want to float
Free as a spirit on a journey of hope
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless
Millions of balloons tethered to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless
I’m weightless
(Ready set, ready let’s go)

Oh yeah (oh yeah)
Oh yeah (oh yeah)
I’m free as a spirit

Yung Simmie – Mr Green Thumb (Simmie Season 2 Mixtape)

[Intro]
Alright alright
You know I’m always lighting up some shit
Breaking down some sticky
Bad bitchies fuck with me man
Mr. Green Thumb
Yuhhh

[Hook]
Bitch I’m from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed, Mr. Green Thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo’ fucking head bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green Thumb

[Verse]
I’m Mr. Green thumb
And you ain’t high you need some weed son
Man I be balling don’t need no team son
Yo bitch keep calling she want this d son
And it ain’t no talking we got them beams son
Ain’t no snitches on my block so I ain’t see none
I be whipping up the work I give a fiend some
You be Smoking on the dirt I smoke og son
Money I need some
Got rid of my bitch don’t need one
I pull off in the whip ducking cops this need for speed son
My face good on yo block off top don’t need ID son
Yo face ain’t clean son

[Hook]
Bitch I’m from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed, Mr. Green Thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo’ fucking head bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green Thumb

Schoolboy Q – Dope Dealer (feat. E-40)

I got a sack of blue faces but my AR black
I got two bitches in my whip and they got hold my strap
I put the knife to the coca leaf and turn that crack
I put the nine to your coconut and pull that back
I see that motherfucker shinin’ snatch your whole damn throat
I got a strike in every pocket of my old ass coat
I use to fly around your city nigga no ID
I get a half and I’mma flip it gotta go OT

I think somebody getting bodied on the weekday, get out the way
I’m in my new clothes, now drop it for me for a bankroll
I’m lookin’ like a motherfuckin’ dope dealer nigga
Where the hoes where the blow I’m just a dope dealer nigga
Paper in the paper bag I’m a dope dealer nigga
Bitch to beat his ass I’m a dope dealer nigga
Fuck your homies and the police I’mma dope dealer nigga
Couple diamonds in my rollie I’m a dope dealer nigga
Got the plug on the dodie I’m a dope dealer nigga
Better buck, your auntie know me I’m a dope dealer nigga

Cali niggas is managin’ we havin, Greedy
We got F 57s and we savages, beasty
My little niggas be ampin’, they some P’s, hustlers
Some of them sell candy some sell trees, customers
But personally I’m a rapper, and I’m spectacular, remarkable
Got a way with my words my lingo and vernacular, marketable
I beat a bitch down I promise you I ain’t playin’ (beat his ass)
Stomp his ass out throw him in the garbage can, the trash
The harder the trap you might find me snapping’ bones
The sink on the soil eatin’ dominos
Where the gumbo pots boil the taskforce radar homes, Vamonos
Heavy surveillance, hella copters and drones

I think somebody getting bodied on the weekday
Get out the way
I’m in my new clothes, now drop it for me for a bankroll
I’m lookin’ like a motherfuckin’ dope dealer nigga
Where the hoes where the blow I’m just a dope dealer nigga
Paper in the paper bag I’m a dope dealer nigga
Bitch to beat his ass I’m a dope dealer nigga
Fuck your homies and the police I’mma dope dealer nigga
Couple diamonds in my rollie I’m a dope dealer nigga
Got the plug on the dodie I’m a dope dealer nigga
Better buck, your auntie know me I’m a dope dealer nigga

I got them egg whites and them oxtails for the low
Got them hot wheels gotta push start and it go
Got them 16’s of the Act right and its sealt’
We on the frontline when its crunch time to get chilled
You us lil’ niggas love gold chains and them whips
Make me rearrange your whole thang for my hip
I get this motherfucker jumpin’ bitch you know why I came
They told me Thou Shalt not kill when I jumped in the flame
I’m cocoo for the cocoa leaves and I turned it to dope
The money never grew on trees but I’m watching it grow
We talkin’ cold watchin’ hoes tellin’ em that I keep
I get to swinging’ on this chopper nigga, R.I.P

You heard what I mean, its your boy yeah its Smacc mane
Its better livin’ with mines man you heard what I mean
We got break your bitch man we got send her back to you broke man
You funky cock biatch

White stones, panties gone, boom
2 phones, man he on, boom
Bank roll, hella hoes, boom
Big dope, blow your nose, boom
White stones, panties gone, boom
2 phones, man he on, boom
Bank roll, hella hoes, boom
Big dope, blow your nose, boom

Yung Simmie – Mr. Green thumb

Alright alright
You know I’m always lighting up some shit
Breaking down some sticky
Bad bitchies fuck with me man
Mr. Green thumb
Yuhhh

Bitch Im from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed Mr. Green thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo fucking head Bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green thumb

I’m Mr. Green thumb
And you ain’t high you need some weed son
Man I be balling don’t need no team son
Yo bitch keep calling she want this d son
And it ain’t no talking we got them beams son
Ain’t no snitches on my block so I ain’t see none
I be whipping up the work I give a fiend some
You be Smoking on the dirt I smoke og son
Money I need some
Got rid of my bitch don’t need one
I pull off in the whip ducking cops this need for speed son
My face good on yo block off top don’t need ID son
Yo face ain’t clean son

Bitch Im from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed Mr. Green thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo fucking head Bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green thumb

Yung Simmie – Mr. Green thumb Lyrics

{intro}
Alright alright
You know I’m always lighting up some shit
Breaking down some sticky
Bad bitchies fuck with me man
Mr. Green thumb
Yuhhh

{hook}
Bitch Im from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed Mr. Green thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo fucking head Bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green thumb
{verse}
I’m Mr. Green thumb
And you ain’t high you need some weed son
Man I be balling don’t need no team son
Yo bitch keep calling she want this d son
And it ain’t no talking we got them beams son
Ain’t no snitches on my block so I ain’t see none
I be whipping up the work I give a fiend some
You be Smoking on the dirt I smoke og son
Money I need some
Got rid of my bitch don’t need one
I pull off in the whip ducking cops this need for speed son
My face good on yo block off top don’t need ID son
Yo face ain’t clean son

{hook}
Bitch Im from the slums
Choppas with the drums
Rolling up the weed Mr. Green thumb
I got what you need if you need some
I pull up on the scene just to get me some
My niggas short bus they go super dumb
Nigga you don’t know us, where the fuck you from?
You get yo fucking head Bust just for coming wrong
I be Smoking strong
Mr. Green thumb

DJ Mustard – Dope Boy (feat. Ot Genesis & Jeezy) (Cold Summer Album) letras

[Verse 1: O.T. Genasis]
Straight dope with homie, bought to do dirt
Got a plug with no money, can’t buy work
Just hit me a lick I need mine first
All this dope make my mother fucking eyes hurt
Got weed then I got to the fucking pills
Start messing with coke ’cause want a mil’
I remember when I won a million record deal
Now I’m in this bitch screaming fuck a record deal
Selling all these Os with my eyes closed
Ship it out with a mother fucking blindfold
Got a bitch to get the bread ’cause the bank playin’
Got a bitch to get the bread ’cause the bank playin’
Wish the police would come try me
Trapped out so I never got an ID
36 for 28, 16 for 30
Everything gotta go, bitch I’m in a hurry

[Hook: O.T. Genasis]
Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, run it up
Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, run it up
Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Dope boy, count, count, dope boy, count, count

[Verse 2: Jeezy]
Got a flex in that yellow like a 64
My nigga say he want a dub that’s a 6 hoe
That’s when I have some cool water then I whip slow
That’s when I have some cool water then I whip slow
Fuck a bitch ya I’m in love with my scales
Fuck a Nemo tryna find these fish scales
Trying to wear the work out, we gon’ stress that
‘Til my daughter get the bread, he gon’ fetch that
Tell the water whipping nigga what I’m best at
If I’m in the court room I won’t confess that
Got a Benz outside but that’s a hot box
But we working, work it down, that’s a chop shop
Be riding from the city we finesse that
You better keep that Calico, might respect that
They gon’ be kicking down the door where you rest at
They be coming, get your birds, where your nest at?

[Hook: O.T. Genasis]
Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Yeah, dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, run it up
Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, run it up
Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, nigga
Dope boy, count, count, dope boy, count, count