Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Traveller in Distress

Travelling sounds fun. It might be if you are a citizen of a country respected by other countries and are not hindered at every point. Travelling as a Palestinian with a Jordanian passport from Saudi Arabia to Palestine and back is not a walk in the park. The first hassle is getting all your travel documents ready. I envy those that need nothing more than a passport to travel. You will need:

1-Passport;

2- An Exit- Reentry visa for Saudi Arabia (in which you will need to reenter within one year at the most so that you will not lose your residence permit);

3- A green/yellow bridge pass ( green for those with a Palestinian passport, and yellow for those with a Jordanian passport) to pass through the Jordanian side of the bridge;

4- A Palestinian ID card which you will need at the Israeli side if you have a Jordanian Passport (I think you do not need it when travelling if you hold a Palestinian passport);

5-  An exit permit which is used for the Israeli side of the bridge, so that they can stamp your exit and entry dates. Why don't they just stamp on the passports? Because all Arab countries -with the exception of Jordan and Egypt- will refuse your entry if your passport is stamped by Israel.

Instead of just having to renew our passport every few years to be able to travel legally, we need to issue permits and visas each time we leave Saudi Arabia/ Palestine.

In Saudi you can make a multiple exit reentry visa if you want to make your life easier, but you must use all of your exits within a specific amount of time.

I dream of a day where I can travel with more ease. A day where Arabs don't seek to get citizenship of Western countries, so that they may travel with dignity.

I do not know what they call this in "developed countries", maybe "Troubles of Travelling in the Third World"?

There will be a better day...