Passing Through Borders
Maybe It is a little pit late to write about what happened with me in April 2011. However, what is going on these days on Rafah borders is pushing me to write about what Gazans go through if they want to cross Gaza borders.
As Egyptians promised to open Rafah crossing and they offered many facilities to Gazans in order to make it easier for them to move freely. Gazans, depending on what Egyptians promised, signed their names in Rafah website in large numbers to have their normal right in moving. But unfortunately for them, nothing moved in the way they wanted, they had to go through many difficulties in order to cross the borders!
In April 2011, I had the chance to attend a leadership seminar in Denmark. I was so much happy that I was going to leave the big prison of Gaza for few days. However, I was worried as much as I was happy. Going out from Gaza is not that easy, you don’t just hold your passport and your suitcase and that’s it. In Gaza, the first thing you do is to ask about the borders. Is it open today? Will it be opened for long? And so many questions goes around your head!
We managed to get our visas done and to go out of Gaza after a really long trip of procedures in order to attend a leadership seminar in Copenhagen. Okay! Let’s say that everything has gone pretty well in comparison with other Palestinians who have to work on their hands and knees to manage having their visas. BUT. We can never escape the fact that we are PALESTINIANS!!!!
I spent really one of the best weeks in my life in Copenhagen, the good time I had didn’t last , when I had to go back to Gaza, things started going against me. I guess you all know why! Your nationality can put you in real troubles. I am a Palestinian and Palestinians are special cases everywhere. I left Copenhagen without troubles, (now I am coping what I’ve written in Vienna airport and Cairo airport). I am now in Vienna and I am supposed to have already taken the plan and headed to Cairo. Egyptians have a new decision which allows no Palestinian to enter their lands without a visa. Now, we are in a real trouble, we don’t have visas, and never knew that we should have a visa to enter Cairo!
After spending the whole day in Vienna airport waiting for anyone to help us, Danish people managed to help us in a way and they took us back to Copenhagen, they were very helpful and they couldn’t believe that what is happening to us is just because we are Palestinians. Thankfully we went back to Copenhagen and we went in the other day to the Egyptian embassy to get a visa for Egypt. The man, who was in charge of making the visas, first said that it needs 5 days to have it done; we told him that we so much needed it and explained to him our case. Eventually, he accepted to make it in the same day.
we went the other day to Copenhagen airport hoping that we will not find any troubles in the way back home. When we reached the last check for passports in Copenhagen, I breathed a sigh of relief. We managed to get back to Cairo.
Now. I am writing from Cairo airport standing on my feet in a very disgusting room. Here we go again! Gazans never escape troubles! Egyptians didn’t allow us to enter Egypt. They sent us to "the deportation" room which is made especially for Palestinians –Gazans- I was about to shout out loud when that man who checked our passport said that we have to go there, the room made for Palestinians, the room smells really bad and looks exactly as a jail. Old women, children and men are in. and they have to wait the whole night in order to be sent t directly to Gaza without even having a rest.
People here are so rude they didn’t allow us to go out if the room. And if anyone wants to. A police have to come with them.. And that is because- we are from Gaza!!!!!!!
My friends and I kept standing and we refused to stay there. They finally allowed us to sleep out of the room. We slept on chairs all the night long, and everybody was looking at us! I felt humiliated, Egyptians, you are our neighbors. And we are all Arabs and Muslims. Why you made us go through this?! I wish that after you made your great revolution. Things will be better and Palestinians tragedies in your airports come to an end.
Now, I am writing from Gaza! And it is great to be back home especially when your home is the lovely Gaza. I have to admit that even though I went through some really bad times crossing borders to Copenhagen, the few days I spent there was the best ever! And the people I met there were so great and lovely.