Thursday, April 09, 2009

Um Yousef stuck at Cairo Airport

Laila el Haddad , Palestinian journalist and probably Gaza´s most famous blogger is currently being detained at Cairo Airport, and being denied entry into Egypt, in order to travel to her home in Gaza. Laila is being held together with her two small children Yousef and Noor. They traveled to Cairo from Durham North Carolina where Leila´s husband lives. A journey that is part of her and her family´s life, while her husband is a Palestinian who´s not allowed to live in Gaza, in order to live a life that contain dots of family life, she travels back and forth.

This time she is denied entry to Egypt, though she has obtained the necesary paper work from the Egyptian Consulate in the U.S prior to her traveling to Egypt. The reason why they are not allowed entry to Egypt , is because the Rafah border crossing is closed according to airport authourities.

We have been stuck in Cairo airport for nearly a day now. We are neither being allowed entry or exit by Egyptian authorities, who insist that as long as Rafah Crossing is closed, they are under strict orders not to allow Palestinians in.


Yes Rafah´s border crossing is closed, until Egypt decides to open it again, as they do haphazardly seldom, but why can´t the authorities grant them entry to Egypt? It´s not Egypt that is a closed zone, or have i missed something? What´s so unique and changed this time, it´s not the first time she travels through Egypt to Gaza via Rafah´s border crosssing, this is routine for her and her kids, though a dreadful and endlessly tireing one. The authorities should let her into Egypt, instead of treathening to send her and her children back to the U.S with the next plane, despite the small fact that her visa to the U.S already expired, being the reason of why she left for Cairo in the first place.

Laila, Having been held at the airport for approxmately 32 hours at this point, this seems to me as being a combination of something written by Kafka and the Terminal, only this is not fiction, it´s a mother and her two small children Yousef and Noor.

You can follow her ordeal on twitter or on her blog.

Update: A new quick blog post by Laila

¨quick post to let everyone know after 36 hours I am being deported- away from my home. more later¨
and also the latest tweet with the same meaning.

UPDATE: April 10th - Laila was allowed back in to the U.S this morning.

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