Third World Border Hysteria

| December 19, 2000

Third World Border Hysteria, Abouali Farmanfarmaian, Outpost
Since the 1979 U.S./Iran hostage crisis, Abouali Farmanfarmaian and other travelers of middle eastern heritage have suffered from a unique-but-humiliating condition: third world border hysteria. 'Symptoms range from feelings of vulnerability usually seen in abandoned toddlers,' he writes in Outpost, 'to seizures and a puckered sphincter at passport control booths. 'Farmanfarmaian, of Iranian background, tells [his story] of repeated border hassles and refusals: 'I've been turned back from the border of Sweden while Eurailing as a teenager,' he recalls, 'laughed at by Belgian patrols on a train, refused entry into France. I've been pulled aside by the Brits, the Swiss, the Americans, the Italians, the Dutch.' And once he became a Canadian citizen, he hoped it would all end. It didn't.
--Amanda Luker
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