I am a writer and reporter. I live in Brooklyn. I have a beard.
Samir is out of options and has decided to sell his kidney. After escaping prison and torture in Sudan he has lived in poverty on the streets of Cairo for the past several years. Now Samir wants out. In March he explained to me that his options are to either sell his kidney and pay to be smuggled out of the country, or become a suicide bomber for Hamas or a regional Al Qaeda affiliate. Samir (names in this story have been altered) declined to ‘work’ for a terrorist organization. Today he told me that he will sell his kidney and flee the country. He hopes to survive passage across the Mediterranean in a smuggler’s boat to Italy and lonely trek north to Norway or Sweden where communities of Sudanese escapees huddle in relative safety. For hundreds of men like Samir, life with one kidney on the run in Europe is far preferable to sure-death in Sudan or the brutal streets of Cairo.