Saturday, July 17, 2010

A visitor, well, almost

Last week our friend Alan contacted us because his sister's nanny has been traveling throughout the middle east and was coming to Israel next.  While we don't have room in our one bed hotel room for guests (bad timing, unfortunately, as once we're in our apartment, we are looking forward to hosting visitors!) we did offer to pick her up at the airport. 

So after almost daily email communications from her, we were coordinated to pick her up at arrivals at 6pm.  She'd be in a yellow tshirt with a red backpack.  And it's not that big of an airport.  There's only one way to come out of it.

We arrived just before 6pm, and Dan went in to find her.  After about 20 minutes, he came out empty handed.  He emailed her, and Alan just in case, then I sent him back in for another round.  This time he also went to ask at the police station inside, but they were closed.  Another 20 minutes later, still no luck.  Then I went in to use the restroom, and looked around briefly.  At 7pm the arrivals hall was nearly empty, so we did a loop via car from the departures (our trick for pick-ups at airports without getting harrassed while waiting), to the outside area of arrivals just in case, and still nothing.  So we left to meet up with Dana and Ronin for dinner. 

This morning we woke and Dan finally had an email from her.  The poor girl was stopped at immigration, as she was flying in on Royal Jordanian, from Jordan, after having traveled in Lebanon and Syria, among other places.  She said they held her for 7 hours, and went through her email as well as her belongs, so she saw the email from us but they would not allow her to reply or call anyone.  They stamped both her US passports and denied her entry, sending her back to Jordan on the next flight. 

Dan has to go to Dubai to meet with his bosses from the 24th-30th.  To do that, he has to fly Royal Jordanian through Jordan.  But he has official business reasons, and hasn't been traveling all around neighboring countries that are considered hostile to Israel, so should be fine.  Still, it's another reminder that Israeli's profile, and they take anything or anyone that appears suspicious very seriously.  That's what fear creates.   

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Interesting to hear Isreal profiles women as well. Most of the stories in the US I hear are all from men being profiled for having names that match those on the do-not-fly list or being from countries the US doesn't like.