My Uber Hijacker

 

Yesterday we took an Uber, here in London. I asked the driver where he was from – he said he was Iraqi. We got to chatting, because I am always interested in people. I asked how long he had been in the UK… and he had a story to tell!

A Shia Muslim, he used to live on Karbalah road in their city in Iraq, meaning “Jewish bath road”, or Mikvah road. His mother used to tell of living together with the Jews in their city, and how the Jewish neighbors helped his mother when she was pregnant with his sister.

He left Iraq for Jordan, and then when the King of Jordan expelled Iraqis, he ended up in the Sudan. He did not like the Sudan much, so in 1996 he and six friends decided to leave.

As he put it, “I got to London with a Hijack.” I wondered if I had misheard, so I asked him to repeat himself, and then tell the story!

He said, “We needed to leave Sudan, so why not?” He and his friends hijacked a plane (they waited until it cleared Sudanese airspace, since they had been told the pilot would have not been allowed to leave Sudan), so they waited until over Egyptian airspace, then started the operation. They refueled in Cyprus, and flew to Stansted in London.

He was incarcerated for 2.5 years and then a Jewish judge freed him, ruling that since they would have been killed by Saddam, their actions were not criminal. So he was freed.

Now he is married (to an Iraqi woman) and he has two children.  I asked if he still travels by air, and he said, “sure.” He is visiting Iraq this autumn, where he still has a brother. There seems to be no problem allowing him on aircraft.

Here is the story in the news.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/633654.stm

This wins the prize for the most interesting Uber driver I have ever had… such fun!

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  1. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Wow!

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Well, it’s one way to get out of Sudan.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Well, it’s one way to get out of Sudan.

    Maybe not the only way, but I don’t know enough about what the state of the borders were then to know if a better way existed.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Not to hijack the thread, @iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    Your daughter is here?  PM me – maybe we’ll take her to lunch?!

    • #5
  6. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    iWe (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    Your daughter is here? PM me – maybe we’ll take her to lunch?!

    Sorry about him. I’m not his daughter, unless you consider the PiT family. (I live in London, have for the last 3 years. I study at the LSE).

    • #6
  7. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    And you! I made it to Soho and got seitan all by myself, I’m fine.

    • #7
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    iWe (View Comment):
    Your daughter is here?  PM me – maybe we’ll take her to lunch?!

    It would be good to know that @kirkianwanderer had a good, supervised lunch, and she can practice her Hebrew.

     

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    iWe (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    Your daughter is here? PM me – maybe we’ll take her to lunch?!

    Not his daughter. The PiT’s daughter.

    • #9
  10. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I am just impressed that Arahant managed to hijack a thread about a hijacker.

    I have PM’d the starving girl in question. If she is hungry enough to come to the Kosher area of town, I am happy to feed her!

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    iWe (View Comment):
    I am just impressed that Arahant managed to hijack a thread about a hijacker.

    I am still Meta-man!

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in Ldon.

    And you! I made it to Soho and got seitan all by myself, I’m fine.

    Are there shadchanim that deal with gentiles?

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    So you were commiserating with a hijacker, huh!? Tsk, tsk. . . 

    • #13
  14. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Percival (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not to hijack the thread, @ iwe, but since you’re in London, you wouldn’t happen to know a nice Jewish grandmother there who could help remind a young lady to eat properly, would you? I just can’t find the listings for a Jewish Grandmother Service in London.

    Your daughter is here? PM me – maybe we’ll take her to lunch?!

    Not his daughter. The PiT’s daughter.

    For (all of) your sins. 

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Look at it this way, iWe. He took you where you wanted to go, not where he wanted to go.

    • #15
  16. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    I never initiate the conversation with my Uber driver but I’m not one who likes to talk. A much better taxi driver story than the Tom Friedman version where he puts his thoughts in the mouth of a generic taxi driver. Quite an interesting story.

    • #16
  17. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Arahant (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    I am just impressed that Arahant managed to hijack a thread about a hijacker.

    I am still Meta-man!

    I’m so meta even this acrostic..

    • #17
  18. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I had an uber driver that bred tarantulas as a side job. When they mated, he had to wait with a whisk and a spatula to try to get them apart before the female devoured the male. 

    • #18
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    That might be the beginning of a funny joke…….”A Jewish guy and an Iraqi were riding in a cab”……What are the odds paired with that story that either of you would be sharing?

    • #19
  20. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    That sounds like my last Delta flight.

    • #20
  21. Norm McDonald Had A Farm Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Had A Farm
    @Pseudodionysius

    Related: Does anyone think its in poor taste to have guests at your funeral order from Uber Eats instead of taking the free food provided?

    • #21
  22. Norm McDonald Had A Farm Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Had A Farm
    @Pseudodionysius

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    That sounds like my last Delta flight.

    You flew the Delta variant. I hear its BOX OFFICE POISON, like Carrot Top.

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Norm McDonald Had A Farm (View Comment):

    Related: Does anyone think its in poor taste to have guests at your funeral order from Uber Eats instead of taking the free food provided?

    Are they vegan?

    • #23
  24. Norm McDonald Had A Farm Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Had A Farm
    @Pseudodionysius

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Norm McDonald Had A Farm (View Comment):

    Related: Does anyone think its in poor taste to have guests at your funeral order from Uber Eats instead of taking the free food provided?

    Are they vegan?

    They don’t taste like it.

    • #24