Posted by Abdel Kadz on Thursday, October 02, 2008 with 6 comments
As some of you may know, I have been preparing my documents for work in Dammam as a physical therapist since July after having passed an employer interview. At first, I would admit that I did have some qualms about taking this job, but after some mulling over and words of advice from my family, I finally decided to give it a try. My brother is in Riyadh, too, just a few hours from where my prospective workplace is, so I'd probably not be homesick that much. Most of my college friends are situated in various parts of Saudi Arabia as well. I was thinking a grand reunion, Brent-style.

When the Ramadan ended, I then did a follow up on the status of my application. It's been a month since I last heard from the agency. From what I know, a travel ban of sorts is imposed on the would-be OFWs going to the Middle East during the Holy Month, so I never got in touch with them, or them with me, while every Moslem was fasting. With the Islamic observance finally over, I called the agency. What I soon learned would change this whole I'm-about-to-leave-and-work-abroad scheme of things.

Apparently, I'm underage. From what I gathered with my contact from the agency over the phone, KSA has imposed an age limit for physical therapists wanting to work there. The limit? 30-35. As I'm in my mid-20s, I was told that my application, even though they've applied it a couple of times, was disapproved. I still cannot fathom as to why the sudden age limit. I have friends whom I share the same birth year with and yet they're already gainfully employed as members of the Saudi health workforce. This news would suddenly upset my family and friends from KSA who are all expecting me to leave this month. Does God have a better plan in store for me that He didn't want me to go work in the Middle East? I'd love to be positive with all these. I've learned recently that my US employer will be arriving this November, if that's any consolation.

The agency said that they'd do what they can with my current status and even look for another employer that would be willing to take me in. I have all of my documents ready that I only need a plane ticket to fly out of the country. It was supposed to be Saudi for me, with the grand mosques and the thoughts of finally experiencing the pilgrimage, probably drop by Egypt, too, and take a photo with a camel in a real oasis with the desert and the Pyramids in the foreground. I had everything pictured in my mind, see? But with the sudden development, maybe I'm supposed to be part of a different picture.
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