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Asylum speakers
A radio sketch show in progress

May 9, 2005
iranian.com

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
INTERVIEW 1
Scene 1 - Int. Day - INTERVIEW ROOM

Ms JENKINS: So you say you left Afghanistan because you have...

Mr AHMADI: A fetish.

JENKINS: A fetish?

AHMADI: I love to wear the burqa.

JENKINS: I can see that. Mr Ahmadi, in order to claim asylum in this country, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your life would be in danger should you return to your own country.

AHMADI: It’s so difficult it is to be a woman in Afghanistan -- especially for a bloke.

JENKINS: Let me get this straight -- you are claiming asylum for being persecuted as a woman?

AHMADI: Yes.

JENKINS: Mr Ahmadi, that is ridiculous.

AHMADI: John Simpson wore a burqa and nobody said a word. He works for the BBC!

JENKINS: He was trying to enter Afghanistan under cover.

AHMADI: Undercover, under duvet -- that’s what we all say. He was wearing a burqa just like me. That environment consumes you.

JENKINS: But at what point did you feel your life was in danger?

AHMADI: When they found out I was a man.

JENKINS: How did that happen?

AHMADI: Someone asked me the time...

JENKINS: And?

AHMADI: I answered - in the wrong voice. Only that someone happened to be a plain-clothes policeman. They took me to the station and the sergeant confirmed I had a penis. Under Afghan law if you have a penis you are most definitely a man, so wearing a burqa was not acceptable.

JENKINS: So what happened?

AHMADI: They beat me and threw me in jail. I only escaped because the magistrate knew my cousin Ali. He gave me a suspended sentence, but it would only be a matter of time before the police caught up with me.

JENKINS: Mr Ahmadi, I’m afraid judging by what you are saying you have no chance of being granted asylum in the United Kingdom.

AHMADI: I’ll settle for Wales.

JENKINS: Wales is part of the UK.

AHMADI: Okay Guernsey.

JENKINS: No.

AHMADI: Jersey? Isle of White?

JENKINS: You can’t haggle - Her Majesty’s decision is final.

AHMADI: The Queen? She knows?

JENKINS: What compels you to dress as a woman is no concern of the British government.

AHMADI: But men here have that right - look at Dame Edna, Lily Savage, Julie Burchill.

FX KNOCK ON DOOR AS IT OPENS

MS FENTON: Ms Jenkins, we have a Mr Jamali waiting to see you.

JENKINS: Yes, Mr Ahmadi was just about to leave.

FENTON: Surely you mean Ms Ahmadi?

JENKINS: Fenton it’s Mr Ahmadi.

FENTON: But she’s wearing a burqa.

AHMADI: That’s precisely my point Ms Fenton. I am wearing a burqa.

JENKINS: Right well you’ll have to take it off.

AHMADI: No .

JENKINS: Yes.

AHMADI: Leave me alone.

JENKINS: Ms Fenton!

AHMADI: (REVERTS TO ENGLISH ACCENT) Hey what is this?

FENTON: What happened to your voice?

JENKINS: You’re not Afghan! Who are you?

AHMADI: Okay, okay you got me! I’m not Ahmadi, my name’s Darryl - Darryl Cox. Humble tabloid journalist doing me bit for queen and country.

JENKINS: (SIGHS) Fenton.

FENTON: Yes.

JENKINS: Deport Mr Cox.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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