When eTN publisher Juergen Steinmetz took an Uber taxi after the GBTA Convention in Denver, Colorado, from the Hyatt Regency to the Denver International Airport, he was quite amazed when before the airport, the driver stopped in front of a mosque.
Steinmetz told this story:
I was having a nice conversation with my driver – a young man, born in Ethiopia, who grew up in Kenya and had moved to Denver 17 years ago.
He asked me if I had time, and I said, yes, I had some time before my flight. He then asked if he could stop at a mosque to pray for 5 minutes. Of course, I agreed, and what an interesting Uber experience this trip turned out to be.
He thanked me, and explained going to the airport would push his prayer time back a lot. He prays 5 times a day but tries to do it so he does not inconvenience anyone. He prays 2 times at home, one time during lunch, and tries to arrange the other 2 times around his schedule.
I learned about his family, where he is from, him working as a telephone nurse in the morning, at a computer help desk during the day, and Uber in the evening. He has 4 small children, and one of them has terminal cancer. He met his wife in the same mosque he took me to, about half way between downtown and the airport.
When I asked him, he said he had never experienced any discrimination in the United States, and he feels that he is more accepted and can be more at peace in this country than anywhere else. He finished by saying that his mosque welcomes everyone from any religion, from any background, and any sexual orientation.
He told me he is a Democrat, but first of all, he is a very proud liberal African American, and so are his children and his wife. He believes in working hard and being honest, and he loves his family and wants to be a good father.
This is Denver, Colorado, whose state motto is “Nil sine Numine,” Latin for “Nothing without the Deity” – deity as in a supreme being, but not specific to a religion, rather to divine nature.
And this was my truly special Uber experience.