Punjab Immigrants Stuck in Iraq | How to Avoid Fraudulent Job Offers

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Vinita Tiwari, Middle East CorrespondentLast Modified: 12:50 p.m. DST, 24 June 2014

Self portrait – All about the Sandy’s, Photo by: MattysFlicksPUNJAB, India & Dubai -- When dreams get wings, they fly high. But when dreams are met with deceit, often disappointment and broken aspirations are the residue left behind.

The metaphor is evident in a recent tragedy that has stirred the whole world and has discredited the developing economies involved in Dubai.

Let us unfold the chapters of this very dark story......

A Shameless Tale of Innocent Job Seekers & Fraud Predators

More than 40 young job aspirants from Punjab were lured west by proposals offered by travel agents who promised them high-paying job opportunities in Dubai. The worst part here was that these travel agents were in direct connections with illegal recruitment organizations operating from the Gulf countries.

The travel agents (as per their promise) sent these youth to Dubai, but there the job seekers were told to wait for many weeks. Later, they were informed that Dubai has dearth of ideal jobs, and currently Iraq would be a better fit for them.

In need of money and a better career, the aspirants agreed and moved on, not knowing that Iraq has been the epicenter of political and social unrests for the past decade.

Subsequent to the arrival, several of the hopeful employees disappeared and are still unaccounted for, and the families of these individuals are heartbroken. They are imploring Dubai to deliver justice and proper punishment for the fraudsters. Those immigrants who have been located in Iraq are trying to return home, but the cost of travel has been a barrier for many of these individuals. Other reports claim that ISIS terror group are holding the Indian workers.

Be Aware

While this seems like an extraordinary occurrence, many similar cases have been reported in recent years. The best antidote is to be aware and cautious when applying to jobs in Dubai or elsewhere. Whether you are promised a job in a large metropolis or rural area, the same risks apply.

Here is a plan to avoid becoming the next victim of such fraud:

  1. “Deposit Money & Get Your Dream Job In-Hand”

This is the first red flag that the there is something suspicious about the job offer. As the saying goes, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Well, if the opportunity is genuine, potential employees will never ask for money, but rather they will ask you your expected salary range. In these cases, the best advice is to avoid such opportunities and not fall prey to fraudulent career-furthering options. The statement is generally mentioned in the ‘terms & conditions’ part of the intent letter.

  1. Remuneration Amount Beyond Experience & Expectations

This is another technique used by the conmen to raise hopeful employee's hopes and encourage a flood of applicants. It is understandable that if you get an opportunity to go for a high-paying job in Dubai or EU, as these are some of the flourishing economies of late, you might have a hard time saying 'no.' However, it is advisable to study the current global market salary trends in advance, so you can find work that pays well, and avoid fraudulent job offers.

  1. Use the Power of Internet

Make use of the power of the internet by searching buzzwords and hashtags related to your job. There are cyber cafes that offer access to the world wide web in small towns and big cities of every globalized country. To know the authenticity of the job offer, enter the company’s name, the agency’s name, and even the address of the company. You can find this information in prior corporate mailings and brochures.

  1. Job Search Sites

If you are eyeing opportunities in Dubai or other flourishing economies, you should access famous Dubai job portals like Naukrigulf.com. You just have to create a profile, and then you can access several legitimate job options at your convenience.

  1. No Personal Information Please!

There have been incidents of hacking and identity theft; therefore save yourself from this trap. There are mailers containing job opportunities that may ask you for your birth date, social security number or your mother’s maiden name. It is safe to assume that the intention of these mailings is to steal your identity or access your financial accounts.

Last Word of Advice

Be aware as you conduct your international job search. However if you find yourself a victim of a fake job offer, immediately report it to the job board, the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. The commission or the establishment will vary from country to country, but by reporting the offense, you can actively end the fraudulent and exploitative practices perpetrated by these recruiters.

Follow Vinita on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Middle East Correspondent: @vinita1204

Tarsem Singh | The Fall

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 00:45 AM EDT, 13 June 2012

The Fall, Photo Still 4 by Tarsem SinghTarsem Singh, 51, born in Jalandhar, Punjab to a Punjabi Sikh family, is the acclaimed director of The Cell, and has created in his movie The Fall, a moving and seamless portrait of mundane life in a 1915 Los Angeles hospital inhabited by rich and mercurial characters.

This movie is filled with a visually sumptuous fantasy world of exotic bandits, evil tyrants, dream-like palaces and breathtaking landscapes.

Finished in 2006 it was later released in theaters in 2008 with music by Krishna Levy. The costume designer is Academy Award®-winner Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula). The Fall was shot on location in South Africa, India and many other countries.

After only viewing clips and trailers, the cable provider in our area finally added this extraordinary movie to its content offering. Words cannot adequately describe how magnificently Singh conceptualized this film.

It is in equal measure ludicrous and heart wrenching as viewers cheer for the heroes and marvel at the ­wondrous ability the young Romanian actress Catinca Untaru possesses but which many adults have lost, the power to imagine a world unfettered by the laws of reality.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO0LYcCoeJY]

The framework of the story centers on the desire of the protagonist, Roy Walker, to commit suicide using the young girl, who is also a patient, as an unwitting accomplice. A stuntman by profession, he is paralyzed from a fall after performing a jump scene in his first film, and is now bedridden. He begins to tell Alexandria played by Untaru, an epic story which he will only continue if she agrees to get him pills with which he can overdose.

Tarsem's "The Fall" is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance "The Fall," filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.

It tells a simple story with vast romantic images so stunning I had to check twice, three times, to be sure the film actually claims to have absolutely no computer-generated imagery. None? What about the Labyrinth of Despair, with no exit? The intersecting walls of zig-zagging staircases? The man who emerges from the burning tree? To the scene of the monkey, Wallace, chasing a butterfly through impossible architecture, "The Fall" is beautiful for its own sake. ;(Source: Roger Ebert review for the Sun Times)

Watch an interview with the director below and I highly recommend readers to rent or buy this movie and lose yourself in an alternate reality worthy of distraction.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOqSHKLrVC0&feature=relmfu]

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Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias

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