Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Nadia Hasan - You can't go home again, (they won't let you)
Yesterday I came to Aqaba, and today I went to the border at 8 am.
I was nervous, but at the same time I felt good, making something that I was waiting for long time.
I crossed the Jordanian border without problems, only 15 minutes and I take my bag again and I start walking to the Palestinian side. Two armed guys were waiting there and asked me for my passport. They look each other and asked me "from where are you?", well, one of them had my passport in his hand, a Chilean passport, why they asked me!! After I went to the check room, and two other guys were there and asked me the normal questions, well, normal for them! All the questions were about my family name, why my name is Nadia Hasan, if I am Muslim... I answered no, I am Christian, "but why you has a Muslim name, why you don't change it?" Well, 20 minutes of that and they let me pass, even they told me "Welcome to Israel, enjoy your time here"..
I went to the passport control and a big group of tourists were there, everyone got their visa in less that 5 minutes. When was my turn, I saw a familiar face, the woman in the control office was the same that last year, the same that after gave me one month visa told me "if you don't like it go back to Chile, we don't want more Palestinians here!!!!"
Everything was normal, she asked me for my passport, and checked my name at the computer.... she was looking at it for more that 2 minutes, at that moment I knew that my name was there, but which information they have, I don't know..., she called a guy, after another woman, after another guy... all of them were talking in Hebrew, looking at me sometimes, reading again, i don't know for how long, I was so nervous.
A new guy came to me and starts to speak in Arabic with me, I told him that i don't understand, he continues speaking in Arabic.... after that he told me "Good luck" and asked me to go to the check room again. Well, he didn't asked me, he order me, he told me "Move now."
I entered in the check room and I had all the Israeli security with me, more than 15 persons, all of them not more than 22, playing an important game in their life, with power in their hands and with a terrorist in front of them, I saw excited eyes, waiting for the orders of the oldest man, the guy with the biggest M16 in his hand.
They open all my bags, they put everything on a table and start to check it, everything... After a young woman told me that she need to check my body, and with a smile on my face I answered, "OK, no problem", when she was checking me she told me whispering "I am sorry, but is my work, can you take of all your clothes?", I answer yes, but I want to keep my t shirt (I didn't want to show my tattoo), well, she checked me all, open your legs, close your legs, sit here, up and open your legs again, etc... like last year.
After the woman from last year came and asked me if I was in Israel before, I answer yes. Why you are coming again. I have friends here. Arabic friends, she asked? No, Israeli friends, Israelis????? (her face changed). Yes, Israeli friends. She asked me their names and I gave to her.
After asked me for my other passport, passport that I don't have of course, asked me about Gaza, about Nablus, about other Arab countries, about my name again...
Well, she left me alone, I check the time, was 10:30 am, I was thinking that my future in Palestine will depend on what she decided, and I wanted to smoke, of course I was not allowed to do it, sit there and wait!!!!
The time running, I was nervous but quiet at the same time, I wait for this moment since I was refused from my homeland last year, 6 long months, and I was there again, ready for that.
I checked the time again, was 12:15, I asked if I can use the bathroom, they told me no, sit and wait!!! After 10 minutes the women came to me, I wanted to cry, I knew that she has my dreams in her hands and she gave me back my passport, I take my bags (after put everything inside) and I start to walk.
I walk, with tears in my eyes, full of emotions inside me, all my memories from Palestine were in my head, in my heart, I remember in this 5 or 10 minutes every person that I met in Nablus, how much I wanted come back, how near I was.
One man stopped me and told me something that I didn't want to hear, something that was only in my nightmares, something that I listened before: "Welcome to Jordan."
I am in Aqaba again, with Palestine in front of me but more far than ever.
I checked again in the Jordanian border, I took again my bags and I start to walk. I felt my bags lighter, not so heavy than before, the tears were still in my eyes, but my legs were stronger, I am stronger, they make me feel in that way, they don't understand that every time that they refused a Palestinian at the border they recognize that the Palestinians are there, they must to use the guns to keep something that don't belong to them, they are afraid to see us through our eyes, that we are here, near, and always will be near, they know that Palestine Exists!
I took a room in front of the sea, I will buy a bottle of wine, and this night I will drink, I will drink for Palestine, I am proud to be Palestinian.
All of you will be with me tonight.