An Open Letter from A Stateless Man to Her Excellency Ambassador Martina Strong
Her Excellency Ambassador Martina Strong
Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Arab Emirates
I am submitting this letter to you in order to help you and end my suffering. I am Ali Abdullah Abbas Ibrahim, a stateless person residing in the United Arab Emirates. I got a US immigrant visa by lottery in December 2022, and I was exempted from the passport requirement to obtain the visa for not having the passport. It is impossible for me to obtain a passport because I am stateless.
After obtaining the visa, I went to the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security in Abu Dhabi to obtain an exit permit. I spoke with those responsible for the files of stateless people, Major Issa Al-Shaibani and Ahmed Al-Shamsi, but without any success, and no one cared. I was moving from one employee to another for two months, and after that, one of the officials, Brigadier Bader Al-Mannai, sent me to UNHCR in Abu Dhabi to send a letter to them. Their response was that their powers are limited and they will not be able to help me and they will not send any letter.
In April, with the assistance of United Stateless and the IOM Regional Office in Bahrain, I received a travel document from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). IOM sent a copy of the travel document to the US embassy and the embassy sent a letter to the UAE Foreign Ministry addressed to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. The letter was in the office of Brigadier Bader Al-Mannai. After that, the letter was addressed to the office of Major General Suhail Juma Al-Khayeli, Director General of Identity and Passports. After that I have not received any response from them to this day
On September 30, 2023, my deadline expired and my visa was canceled. I tried for nearly ten months to leave the UAE and accept my status as a lawful permanent resident in the United States, but due to my statelessness, I could not.
The US Embassy told me they did all they could do, that they could not help me to leave the UAE. I am grateful that the State Department coordinated with the other organizations to allow me to get the passport waiver and to recognize my ICRC emergency travel document. But in the end, it was not enough.
In addition to the suffering and difficult circumstances I am experiencing due to statelessness, I feel extremely frustrated because I cannot go to the United States and settle there, start a new life, and have a better future. So I ask you to help me and end my suffering urgently.
Ali Abdullah Abbas Ibrahim