Good bye to fear, anxiety

DUBAI — Tulu, an Ethiopian, is almost speechless as she sits in the air-conditioned hall allocated for amnesty seekers at the Follow-Up and Investigations Section in Jumeirah.

By Mary Nammour

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Published: Mon 3 Sep 2007, 9:10 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:00 AM

Waiting in a long queue to have her eyes scanned and get an out-pass, she gives the impression that she doesn’t want to talk about herself. But that’s not the case, as it turns out. She cannot speak English! So communication has been a major problem for her ever since she left her country to come here.

However, a friend of the Ethiopian illegal is willing to talk on her behalf. “Tulu came to the UAE via a housemaid recruitment agency on January 20, 2005,” the friend informs.

However, once she set her feet here, she decided to work on her own even if it entailed gaining the status of an illegal worker. “She kept moving from one house to another, living in perpetual fear and worry that she might one day be caught and sent to jail. And she did not want her family in Ethiopia to be upset or angry with her,” Tulu’s friend explains.

It was the fear factor that Tulu decided to avail herself of the amnesty as soon as the government announced the offer.

“She was given a chance to leave the UAE without any punishment or fine. Soon, she will be with her family and will not have to be alone or struggle for survival illegally,” her friend adds.

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