I have been watching the news nonstop since I arrived in Cairo. I hear about a woman being raped at a train station. I take a long bath and sleep with the lights on. I wake up to the sound of laughter and cigarette smoke followed by loud door knocks. I rush and peak through the door to find three men standing. I don’t say a word. The knocking continues and I stand quietly thinking of the worst possible scenario. The men leave and I gather my travel documents and rush to the airport to explain my situation. I’ve been in Cairo for over two days. They tell me I cannot leave Cairo until next week. I am nervous and agitated. One man asks for a “favor” in exchange for a solution. I tell him to go to hell and f* himself. I tell them that I work for an important American organization. That my father knows people who know people…*sigh* I literally use every game in the book to get an immediate flight to Khartoum. My flight was cancelled as a result of a fire breakout at Nairobi Airport. All Kenyan flights, in which I was flying through, are cancelled and no one wants to do their job to transfer my booking. Being a female traveler is often difficult because everyone wants to harass you. I’ve done so much running around since I arrived. Finally, a last minute flight to Khartoum is booked. My luggage is lost somewhere in the chaos but I am relieved and grateful to have arrived safely.
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With nearly eight years of experience, Abir Ibrahim is a recognized practitioner, organizer and thought leader on social and economic development, African Affairs, women & youth leadership and global health.
As a UNICEF USA's Community Engagement Fellow, Mrs. Ibrahim partners with leading influencers, organizations and communities to support the world's most vulnerable children. Prior to UNICEF, she worked for a variety of public and private institutions, including UNICEF Sudan, IHF Kenya, Peace Corps Tanzania, and led major USG funded projects.
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