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My dad`s experience at airport yesterday
Sam Bahour--Saturday, August 4, 2012--My dad left our home in Al-Bireh at 7am yesterday, Friday, to head to the U.S. via Ben Gurion Airport.
At the entrance of the airport his taxi was not pulled over.
When he entered the airport, like everyone else, he placed his luggage on the conveyor to the x-ray machines. All fine.
He proceed to the airline counter and checked in his luggage. He kept with him one small carry-on bag.
When going through immigration control they entered his passport # in the computer and the saga began. A security officer came up behind him and asked him to follow to a police section near the luggage x-ray machines. Another two officers joined and the routine questioning began. Then all pocket contents emptied.
Then a security supervisor came and asked if his father`s name was `Sami.` My dad explained that his name is Sami and his father is Salem as it states in his passport. He was asked to enter a closed room.
He was patted down and then asked to undue his trouser`s button and drop them to his knees. My dad is 72 years old! Once half naked, the security officer took a black wand with a cotton tip and rubbed his legs, belt and underwear. Then he was asked to sit on a chair, still with trousers down, and raise one leg at a time while each leg was also rubbed down.
My father tried to engage by saying, `My Palestinian friends know what you all do, but what am I supposed to tell my American friends whom I`ve been telling that during my last few trips the security was like anywhere else?` The security guard just laughed, sort of affirming that what he was doing was insane.
Then they took his wallet and carry-on luggage and dumped the contents of both and went through it in a `crazy way.` When done, they advised my dad that he would be unable to carry on his carry-on bag and would need to check it in with luggage. He asked for a bag to place his medicine in. They brought him a plastic bag with Hebrew writing on it. In protest, he refused to use the Hebrew bag and asked to only take out his apple and his worry beads (rosary), telling the officer I need the apple for my health and I need these beads to pray for you all.
So a 3-hour ordeal before even embarking on the 12 hour trip to Ohio.
Return to his birthplace, he will do, again and again, Sam
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