He sold top business minds on a TV show that promised to save the world – and make them famous. They handed over thousands. Then reality set in.
With millions in debt and no home, they were forced to flee from their home country, which had turned into a “death camp” after it became occupied by American soldiers on April 9, 2017. They left their possessions in a safe place and decided to cross the border into Mexico, hoping to make a new life.
But only six months later, the reality of what life in Mexico is like hit them hard.
Here are their stories.
The first couple to make it to Mexico
Abdul-Baki and Mona Monya were both from Pakistan. They met their first US citizen, a 20-year-old man, in a bar in New York City.
After meeting at a bar in Manhattan, the three met at the hospital where the young man was being treated in April 2016. They were both from poor families.
Abdul-Baki, the only child in his family, was studying medicine at Columbia University in New York, but was unable to pursue a medical career at a top American medical school.
His father was a bricklayer, and his mother was a seamstress, so he had no choice but to become a salesman.
Mona Monya had just finished school and was waiting for a summer job before applying for a teaching position at a local college.
She was looking to settle down and find a better job. She was not planning to marry until she had enough money saved so she could support herself and her baby.
“I did not plan to marry until I was financially stable,” Mona said.
Their dreams did not come true.
Soon after meeting in New York, the three decided to apply to an open class at American University where they had already worked.
By then they had already established a good rapport and were making plans to have a long-distance relationship. But their dreams of an intimate relationship with the future husband of their dreams did not materialize.
Mona decided to stay in New York, and they continued their relationship.