Portland Uber driver turns rides into singing sessions - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Uber driver turns rides into singing sessions

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BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

There’s a local star in Portland known for his live karaoke shows on weekend nights. Fans won’t find him at a club or bar, though, but rather behind the wheel.

Ahmed Ali Alshamanie has been an Uber driver in the Rose City for four years, and he told FOX 12 that when he moved here from Iraq he knew zero English.

Though Ahmed is a very talented singer himself, he said he does it all for his passengers. His car is totally tricked out for karaoke. He’s got an iPad for passengers to sing lyrics from, laser lights on the ceiling and a gold microphone.

“My dream when I come to America? I love drive taxi,” Ahmed said. “That’s my dream when I come because when I drive for Uber I see all people different accent, different country.”

He has more than 12,000 rides under his belt and a nearly perfect rating. Taking a ride with Ahmed is kind of the luck of the draw – while some riders are eager to grab the mike, some are just looking to get to their destinations.

“If it was nightlife, I would’ve been singing,” rider Sean Adkinson said. “If I was coming home from the bar, but not today when I’m coming home from work.”

Still, Ahmed has many fans that love to sing along, and many that have had those performances memorialized on his YouTube channel.

For this motorized MC, it is just one more thing to enjoy about his new home.

“I love people. I love people. Americans, it’s very nice people,” Ahmed told FOX 12. “My first country Iraq. But my second country is Portland.”

While riders may wish they could request Ahmed to pick them up this weekend, that’s unfortunately not how Uber works, though the corporation told FOX 12 it’s drivers like Ahmed that make the service unique.

“Ahmed's truly a joy to be around, which is evident whenever you're in his car. And it's not just the Karaoke that makes him special--he really takes care of his passengers," Uber territory manager Rachel Greenberg said. He's also got a tremendous story. It's drivers like Ahmed that make Uber what it is.”

Ahmed said he hopes to become an American citizen next year.

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