Sunday 8 November 2015

The Journey from Palestine to London

I woke up at 5:00 am realizing I had to catch a flight from Amman while I am still in Ramallah, West Bank. Once I packed everything and said my goodbyes, I headed to Jericho in order to begin the journey to three stops that represent three political dimensions. The first stop is the Palestinian stop where one buys an Israeli tax and waits for a bus to head to the Israeli stop. Although I call them stops, they are more like checkpoints, places where you have to get approval from every place in order to travel freely in Amman. The bus left the Palestinian stop at 8:00 am, but the Israelis didn’t think this was appropriate for their major security checks. Thus, we waited between the two stops for two hours until the buses were mirrored and extensively searched. The Israeli stops welcomes us with metallic machines and a guy who yells at you if you don’t remove your belt, shoes, or your necklace. After being cleared as a security threat, I headed to the passport control section where the Israeli soldier asked me whether I have a different passport. I said no multiple times until he was convinced and decided to stamp it with Hebrew words and letters.

After leaving the Israeli stop, Palestinians go to a place where they have to find their bags between the rubbish. I like to call this stop the nowhere land stop because it’s literally a deserted desert. I picked up my bag and filled a card for the Jordanian stop where once again we are met by security checks and passport control. Once I finished, I ran for a taxi as if freedom finally embraced me and headed to Amman’s airport. The airplane landed in Beirut and once we were there, I could smell trouble. Since Lebanon doesn’t have any type of peace treaty with Israel, they don’t normally accept Israeli stamps in their airports or near their country. However, it was only a layover and I kept on reassuring myself nothing would happen. Once I gave my passport to the Lebanese border officer, his face looked confused and lost. He instructed me to sit on the bench and he left. After waiting for 40 minutes, he came back holding my passport and my ticket and told me that I was free to go.

I was so happy once we took the plane to Heathrow Airport. On our arrival, we met a great lady called, Jill. She took us to a different world in the underground tubes. I was too tired to profoundly explore my surrounding. But, I realized after a 17-hour travel plan that I was finally here and I wasn’t going to ruin it because of the restriction on movement stamped on my passport and identity. And now, Hello London!


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