Advice

The Chosen Champion

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I was outside the office with my luggage trying to get my Uber app to load, when this cab driver asked me if I needed a ride. I figured why not, and jumped in.

The cab driver asked me if I had ever heard of Cash Cab before, and that my ride would be free if I could guess (with some clues) where he is from. His first hint was his name: Estaifan Shilaita. After telling me about his culture, religion, and his language, I felt terrible (and a bit uneducated) for not being able to figure it out!

After I gave up and he told me the answer, he gave me another task: to Google “The Chosen Champion trailer”.

So it turns out, my cab driver used to be a national boxing champion!

When I asked how he ended up in the US, he told me that as a Christian, he was not allowed to represent Iraq internationally – so he then moved to Greece, and later to Chicago where he started driving cabs.

But even crazier – Estaifan is having a movie made about his life! He made me promise to tell my friends about his cash cab, “The Chosen Champion”, and how I met a man who “might one day be walking down the red carpet”.

This was definitely a cab ride I will never forget. Good luck, Estaifan!

Michelle Maraj is a consultant who frequently gets the opportunity to travel for work. Michelle loves pretending she knows how to use a camera, seeing new cities, and visiting touristy attractions. Michelle currently runs www.travelafterfive.com.

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