Typically, when I think of the word “stateless,” I think of refugees in limbo. Through the story of Mona Kareem, I realized that a stateless individual may be your lab partner and you would never know. Kareem’s family, descendants of the Bedouin tribes of Arabia, have no residential status in Kuwait. She received a special travel document to attend a doctorate program in the United States; however, she is unable to travel home to see her family and her family is unable to travel to the United States. Statelessness has various implications for people depending on the laws of each country and how each country’s laws work with one another. This creates gridlock between countries and danger for stateless people.
Additionally, following the project, I realized how impatient I am. As we worked on our passports, my friends and I didn’t know exactly what we were supposed to do. We became stressed and impatient. We asked Professor Tamura and Ms. Wulia many questions. In reality, many people are waiting nearly 20 years for paperwork. They are living in uncertainty and danger. How can we become so easily frustrated over a twenty minute project when so many are living in limbo for 20 years?