Travelling easily without facing any difficulty is one of the simple dreams for all the Palestinians. I spent February waiting and praying for Allah so He would let my wishes come true . Here is my story which is the same story for any Palestinian wants to travel.
MY VISA TO FRANCE :-
I applied for the Water Youth Parliament for Water which was held in France as I’m interested in Water’s issues and I have the desire to tell the whole world about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about water .As a Palestinian , to be able to go to France , I should get a visa . So I went to the French Consult in Gaza and applied for a shingle Visa with much hope to get it . That month was the longest ever ; I was waiting for a reply from the French embassy about my visa. I was counting the days, hours ,minutes and even seconds. I was supposed to get the reply 2 weeks at max, starting from the day I sent my application of the visa . Two weeks passed and three weeks passed and I still didn’t get anything from them . After being depressed and frustrated that I’m not going to get it , I called the French Embassy in Jerusalem . I called them around million times but with no answer . Finally a man answered from the embassy and said “ Sorry , the head of the visa secession is really rude and she doesn’t answer anyone “ . I was sure that I will not be able to represent Palestine in WYPW but there was ray of hope to get it . I called Cathy who is the responsible for logistics in WYPW and I told her my situation . Cathy and Majed contacted some people so they can help me to get my visa . On Friday, two days before the exact date to travel , Majed’s mobile rang and it was the Palestinian representative in the French Consult in Gaza with good and unsure news. He said : “ You can send Tamam’s passport now and we will give the visa to Tamam in a week “. But also it was so late as we have had the Arab Youth Parliament for Water (AYPW) in Tunisia . Then we suggest to transfer my visa from Jerusalem to Tunisia so I can get it from there. He said : “I don’t think that we will be able to do this”. 26-2-2012 came which is the date of our traveling and I still had not sure news concerning my visa. I don’t want to tell you my fears about Hamas ,Egyptian side or even my visa. Will they let us make it ? Will they investigate us ? Will the French Embassy give it to me ?.
I was giving them excuses if they didn’t give me the visa , But unfortunately there were no excuses. I realized that it was my fault; My fault is my nationality .My nationality is PALESTINIAN and you know Palestinians are terrorists (haha) . My ancestors, my parents suffered, and I know the new generation will suffer even more but We are still proud that we are Palestinians.
TAMAM ABUSALAMA IS IN CAIRO:-
I waited more than 10 hours before I reached Cairo; two hours at Yousef Al Najjar hall in Khanyounis, 2 hours in Rafah border, then another 2 hours in the Egyptian side, and 5 hours by taxi to be in Cairo. Finally, WE ARRIVED CAIRO.I won’t forget the innocent question that I asked Majed which is “ Majed , Egypt is really big . Why don’t they give us some meters so we Palestinians could live better “ . Majed smiled and hugged me . The driver put us in Al Tahrir square in Cairo where the Egyptians were demanding their government for their rights , I looked around , smiled , take a free breath and then thanked God for everything . After spending very fast beautiful four days in Egypt , The time had come to leave Egypt and go to Tunisia .
TAMAM ABUSALAMA IS IN TUNISIA:-
I spent only 4 days in Tunisia for the Arab Youth Parliament for Water (AYPW) where I met youth from most of Arab countries . The first day in Tunisia , I heard the sound of planes . I shouted and said to Majed seriously :” Majed , There is F16 “ . Majed made fun of me and said “ Habibti (My dear) , We are in Tunisia not in Gaza “ .
I went to the French embassy in Tunisia in the second day with much of hope that I will get the visa . There were more than 2 lines of people waiting to get into the French Embassy in Tunisia . I told the guard of the embassy that I’m a Palestinian and they told me that my visa will be transferred from Jerusalem to Tunisia , the guard laughed but allowed me to tell my story for the head of the visa section . “ We tried to call you million times but you didn’t answer , we will give you the visa right now “ the responsible of the visa section told me . I didn’t reply to him directly as I took minutes to believe what he has just said . After I realized that I will get it and I will be able to attend it , I just wanted to go back again and keep thanking him .
I’m still glad and thankful for everyone helped me to get my shingle visa which opened for me many bright doors .
I will be writing about my days in France , Italy and Sweden soon so please kindly follow my blog .