No stamp please
"If you don't wanna Israel's immigration stamp on your passport, put
your palms together and ask them 'Please. No stamp please" I got the
advice when I had been visiting Israel from Jordan.
Once you get the stamp in the passport, it will be possible to be refused
for entering some Muslim countries later on. So if you don't like it, just
ask an immigration officer for stamping on another paper strip.
However in that time, I was quite optimistic for it. I thought if I ask
them seriously then they would easily accept my request.
I lined for immigration at Allenbey (King Hussein) Bridge, border post
of Israel. No smile on the middle aged male officer's face. Something like
getting interview that I can not expect good result for. He asked me about
expected travel duration , then checked every page in my passport.
Looked like the interview had done ... or not yet? I could not find it
out. 'Any way I think this is the moment to say the lines'
" Ah, umm, No ... No stamp p ... Hey, wait, wait"
I put my hands together. But in the middle of the line, he stood up and
disappeared in back room with my passport. I just kept standing there in
vain. Shortly he came back without the passport. He found I was still standing
and said. "What are you standing for?" Then he pointed out another
corner of the hall saying "Go over there!"
'Was my immigration permitted? Or he meant I should go another room for
extra-interview?' I didn't make sense. Anyway I crossed the hall and walked
up to the direction he had pointed. There was nothing but vacant booth.
I looked over the hall and found a group who was sitting on the bench.
A officer was passing out something one after another. Looked like their
passports were returned. 'Maybe I should wait there'
Thirty minutes had passed. Folks who pass the interview must had got to
their hotel. 'If I was refused to enter Israel?' When I thought like that,
my name was called. A female officer gave me the passport. It looked like
that my immigration was permitted. I relieved.
Of course, the stamp was on the paper strip .... Oh! Thanks! It clearly
stamped on the passport page. Then I lost chance for visiting some Muslim
countries, Pakistan, Algeria or Iran for example.
Although I could cross the border, it's a shock to me. But, I thought on
the way to Jerusalem, stamping's his job. He might sit there all the day
for stamping on passport. He must get salary by stamping. How he can accept
the absurd request stamping on a small paper strip? I feel him. If I were
him, I would stamp on the passport page by full of my weight.
Through that I got to the conclusion. The theory what tourist who has ever
visited Israel won't be permitted entering those countries is ridiculous.
Actually I visited the west bank in Palestinian territory. To get there
I had to pass through Israeli passport control. No other choice.
More over, for the most of travellers of third country, visiting Israel
or Muslim countries doesn't means anything more than curiosity that they
want to touch with different cultures or people.
For the new year, I wish the world will one step advance to a peace. And
I wish increasing number of border where people can come and go freely.
" Heading for Jordan River " Jordan River, Israel 2010
Digging up the junkyard