The Forcible Deportation Of An Afghan Asylum Seeker

The Forcible Deportation Of An Afghan Asylum Seeker

With Trump's constant rhetoric among his supporters of the antagonism and fear of refugees, it's important to remember not to group people with the very groups by which they have been victimized, violated, and threatened.
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Samim Bigzad, an Afghan man who fled from Afghanistan to the United Kingdom after being threatened with beheading by the Taliban, was denied his application of asylum in the country and was put on a plane to be sent back to Afghanistan. Activists quietly informed passengers of the flight at the airport that the flight would be forcibly deporting the man to Afghanistan in hopes that someone would prevent it. As three guards attempted to force him onto the plane through his refusals and shouts, including the statement "I’m going to get killed in Afghanistan," he was forced onto the flight.

But right before takeoff, the pilot of the flight, who has not yet been identified, refused to fly him much to Bigzad's shock and happiness. He was then sent back to detention in the UK.

According to an interview for The Independent with Bigzad’s cousin, "Samim said they were in the tunnel by the door when the pilot came out and said: 'You’re not going to take him, I’m not flying. Someone’s life is at risk.'"

Under the regulations of the Europe Aviation Safety Agency, a pilot is responsible for the “safety of the aircraft and of all crew members, passengers, and cargo on board.” This gives the pilot the authority to decide who gets on the plane, who doesn’t, when the plane takes off, or if it does at all.

The interview claims that Kavel Rafferty said she had given up all hope for the asylum seeker, who had been staying with her for four months, when she received a phone call from the Brook House immigration removal center near Gatwick.

“The last message I’d had from him was so sad – it just said ‘they’ve come to take me’ and then the phone was switched off,” she added.

With the pilot’s refusal to fly him, Bigzad and his family filed for asylum once again with new evidence of the threat to his life, but another deportation attempt is very much expected by the government.

The Independent also reports:

"Bigzad was repeatedly threatened by the Taliban because of his work for a construction company that had contracts with the Afghan government and American firms – both regarded as enemies by the Islamist insurgents. After receiving phone calls telling him he would be beheaded by militants who knew where he lived and worked, he risked his life to reach the UK via Turkey, Greece and France, almost suffocating in a lorry from Calais. He arrived in Britain in November 2015, moving to Kent to join relatives and care for his father, a British citizen and former Afghan national who suffers from mental illness after being imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban in the 1990s."

The activist groups are planning on employing the same strategies to prevent his deportation in the future as well as the deportation of other asylum seekers whose lives would be in great danger if they are sent back to the countries from which they fled.

To the people that claim that refugee screening is not strong enough, this is clear evidence to the contrary. Asylum seekers are forced to present evidence that many have no way of obtaining. The Home Office issues impossible requests for original documents from Kabul and other bureaucratic obstacles and set the bar far too high to prove the risk to life beyond a reasonable doubt. Many like Bigzad simply cannot meet the standards and are sent back even though their fears are very real.

With Trump's new travel ban coming into force and the constant rhetoric among his supporters of the antagonism and fear of refugees, it's important to remember not to group people with the very groups by which they have been victimized, violated, and threatened. For this reason, as time passes it is important to remember cases like Bigzad's, who provide a perfect example of this.

Cover Image Credit: Jordan Sanchez / Unsplash

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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Chip And Joanna Gaines Are Real-Life Goals In Every Way Possible

I mean, who doesn't love them?

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Alright, y'all, I have a relationship crush on Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Their marriage is perfect. Their kids are beautiful. There careers and success are unmatched. And to top it all off, they're just good people. Watching reruns of their hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper, has truly been one of the highlights of my summer.

I had always heard of this dynamic duo but didn't start watching their show until recently. First of all, I love their modern-meets-rustic style, along with their ability to make any run-down house into a family's dream home.

I love how humble and comical their show is, along with how they live their lives. Drinking a cup of coffee and watching them create homes has been a much needed and relaxing start to my mornings.

They recently had their fifth child, and it's so much fun to watch them show him off to the world. They are such amazing and proud parents.

Long story short, the Gaines' are such humble and positive role models for all young couples, and old, and should be proud of what they're doing for families across Texas.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to head to Target and browse their home collection.

Cover Image Credit:

Joanna Gaines

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