Friday, March 6, 2015

A New Sudanese Passport

During the last few days, I had went through the experience to obtain a new "electronic" Sudanese passport.. It is electronic, thanks to UAE for donating the system, in order to comply with the global database systems.. It is Sudanese, as my only valid ID.. and it is a passport, as being "Homeless" for many decades now..!!

It was a painful, time-wasting, and ridiculous process, at the Sudanese Consulate in Dubai.. On daily basis, tens of Sudanese citizens are making the pilgrimage to the "bizarre" building, which was meant to resemble "Suakin"; to obtain their new documents, as the existing "Green & Hand-Written" one will be obsolete by end of 2015.. They are coming from all over UAE.. Some rumors said from Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait as well..

I had to be there at 7:00 am, where a good citizen had brought a plain paper, for people to list their names.. Then people stand chatting, or seat on the curb.. I had preferred to seat in my car to review some academic papers.. Some where attending since 6:00 am..!!

At 8:00 am, the doors were opened, for the waiting crowd to get in, and rest on the chairs.. The staff starts to report in by 8:30am, bring excitement to the waiting gathering.. A gentleman, starts to call the listed names in the paper, checking availability of supporting documents, then handing over a coded blank forms for the applicant to fill.. It was unnecessary crowded and noisy..!
I proceeded filling the forms, which had included naming the "Tribe".. Then, I asked a gentleman next to me to witness his papers; while he witnesses mine.. Witness-Signature is a British legal code, which Sudan adheres to.. It all took about 5 minutes to complete..
Then, I join a small queue at the migration officer, who reviewed the paper, put his processing instructions, and signature and stamp..  It was another 5 minutes..
The cashier took my 400 Dirhams, fill a receipt, stipulated it to my papers, and gently asked me to seat to be called.. I understood that an officer would electronically filed my data, and coded my paper file..
It took more than 3 hours for my name to be called.. I went upstairs as instructed, to another hall.. Women, kids, and men where crowded there, yet matching the number of chairs (about 20) whereas a long bench divided between 2 officers processing the "National ID" and another 2 processing the "Electronic Passport".. It took about 15 minutes to be called..
The officer inserted my data, scanned my finger prints, asked to stand for a photograph.. Then gently said it is done, and I'm free to go.. Replying my query that it will take about a month to be issued..
When I lift the building, it was 12:30pm..
I had spent more than 5 hours for less than 30 minutes processing..!
Sudan Consulate Dubai
During the time, I was scanning the people around, the officers, and the Indian office-boy.. It was strange mix of voices, chats and kids cries.. Waves of calm and tensions were frequent as some felt sickness waiting.. During my drive away, I recalled the similar processing for UAE ID, Visa or permits.. Apparently, the marvel of UAE is engineering the processing..
Despite the electronic system, Sudanese officers had replaced the pens by keyboards and screen..
Despite being in Dubai, no one has the idea of queuing the officers, so applicants can walk trough to get the job done in less time and more efficient manner..
The current system is burden on officers and people as well..

This is not AlBasheer thing, nor his corrupt court.. It is the intellectual system that fatally rules Sudan.. It is the people who decorate their names with academic and professional degrees, while they almost know nothing.. It is the cycle of greed, selfishness and favoritism, which consumes all good and meaningfulness in our slow-motion life style..
The gaps are getting wider.. The future is getting purple..!!!!

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