Take a stand for your self and refuse to let people steal your joy. You have this power to say “This is NOT how my story will end”. I did the same.
On 31st of May, 2019,
My entry was denied, my movement was restricted and I was deported back to Pakistan after 24 hours at KBP airport in Ukraine despite having a valid visa. I was tired, I was angry, I was feeling violated, I lost big amount financially but I was not hopeless because at the end its all about self respect. You have to respect yourself so others can start respecting you.
I posted my experiences on fb. I shared it on my fb timeline and on my page. I spoke with others. I told them every single detail because I believe in “bringing shame into the light.”
At same time I was hosting a guy from Ukraine. He was traveling around the world from last couple of months and we had a great time together exploring Pakistan. He is a amazing story teller and I just love his stories. One night we were sitting in Minapin, Gilgit-Baltistan and he asked me. You have traveled to many countries but not Ukraine. Why?
I smiled, took a deep breath, and said..Okay its my turn to tell you some interesting story. I told every single detail of my Ukraine incident. He was shocked and embarrassed after listening my story. Few days later he posted a 10000 words thread on his profile about my experience at KBP airport in Ukraine.
The post went viral. In just one night I got dozens of supporting messages from people of Ukraine. They put pressure on their govt to change the immigration system. My incident was discussed in high level govt meetings.
The journey I started from one Facebook post
reached to the desk of President of Ukraine.
On 9th of August, 2019 I was officially welcomed by the Immigration, Border Security guards, Kiev Tourism Promotion Department, Kiev Tourism Association and media teams at same KBP airport in Ukraine.
With Officials of Ukraine Boarder Guard & Tourism Dept. at Airpot
Kiev Tourism sent me official invitation. I went to Ukraine with my wife for 6 days and the trip was organized and fully sponsored by Kiev Tourism.
I am happy that they apologized to me and said that it was a mistake last time and you are welcome. This is power of social media and speaking for yourself.
I enjoyed their hospitality, meeting with new people, giving interviews everyday and Ukrainian people start recognizing me on street.
Now changes were made in the Ukrainian system and the Border Security guards are getting refresher training. People are thanking me and saying that all the positive changes are coming in the system because of a Pakistani guy. 🇵🇰