I got this answer from a Coptic Eritrean who is a marine biologist by training but makes a living as a taxi driver:
Before coming to the America I lived in Saudi Arabia and other countries in North Africa. And what I can tell you is this: The people in these counties, and also countries in East Africa, cannot believe that people in America actually speak for themselves and not for the government. Why? Because what they have seen all their lives is only the government speaking. When something is on TV, it is the government speaking. When something is in the newspapers, it is the government speaking. You see what I mean? Something on the internet, it is the government speaking again. The government never allows anyone else to speak. So, they think it is the same in America. That video about their prophet doing very bad, very evil things? That has to be the government speaking. So they go to the American embassy and try to burn it to the ground. They just can't believe a person can actually speak for themselves and not be in trouble with the government. This is what is going on.
His answer to why he is a taxi driver and not working in some capacity as a biologist: "Because it makes more money. I could go back home to Africa and get a nice job, but I would not make as much money as driving you and other people around Seattle."