Maliha Fairooz, or “Maliha Around the World” as her travel blog is called, has been exploring the world on her own with a Bangladeshi passport. She promotes travel culture among Bangladeshi youth by sharing her experiences on her blog.
On November 25, 2022, Maliha reached her 100th country – the Republic of Ghana. On the occasion, she made a long post on her Facebook page, recounting the challenges, joys and discrimination she experienced while travelling as a “brown, Muslim, Bangladeshi woman”.
In Maliha’s own words:
“100 at countries, 6 continents, mostly solo with the 9th worst passport in the world. What a wild ride it’s been! I have dreamt of this moment for as long as I can remember and whilst it’s taken 1 year longer than planned – I am still so grateful to have been able to make it.
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Modern day travel as it stands is extremely neo colonial – built to favour those from wealthy countries with a strong imperialist and colonial past. From passport privilege to race privilege I have seen my more privileged travel friends waltz in and out of countries without any accountability or difficulty, whilst I have been detained, deported, put in immigration jail, interrogated, searched, subjugated, harassed and simply made to feel like I was not welcome by the authorities in spite of fulfilling every single entry requirement in many countries – simply because I am a brown Muslim woman who holds a Bangladeshi passport. I dream of a world where the colour of my skin and the place of my birth are irrelevant but sadly the reality could not be further than this.
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As I write this, I am reminded of the utter privilege I possess to have been able to make it this far. Class, wealth, education, language privileges that majority of the world can only dream of. But there is a long way to go and my work to urge travel world to decolonise travel will continue – so stay tuned as I attempt to reach what only a few hundred people in the world have managed to do so far – go to all 197 countries.”
Source: United News of Bangladesh