Leading American Writer Abulhawa Denied Entry To Palestine – OpEd


By Annie Robbins*

Susan Abulhawa, the renowned Palestinian American novelist and political commentator, was denied entry to Palestine yesterday at the Allenby Bridge entry from Jordan. Her wrath is on full display:

Imagine being there, as Israeli peons denied this queen of Palestinian story her rightful entry to her homeland:

Her: Why are you here? Me: visiting family, friends and opening ceremonies for playgrounds. Her: where is your family? Me: Jerusalem Her: what is the relation? Me: cousin Her: (clearly agitated with me) no aunts uncles? Me: no Her: where are you staying in Jerusalem? Me: my cousin Her: what is his name? Me: (gave his name) Her: other cousins. Me: you want the names of all my cousins? Her: yes Me: there’s hundreds of them. It’s a big family. I don’t get what you’re asking. Her:(slams her hand down on desk) who are you staying with? Me: My cousin Adel, whose name and number I just gave you, along with every other official who asked. Her: (now very angry) I am asking the questions. Me: … Her: (slams hand again on table) who else lives with your cousin? So I just screamed at them. Thieves, occupiers I called them. You wish you had the same roots as I do, I screamed. You should be the one to leave, not me. I’m a daughter of this land. Then they took me to my luggage and sent me in the bus. I regret walking and not making them carry me.

And what were her plans in Palestine? To build two more playgrounds, visit new sites, hang with family and friends.” This is just a heads up. We’ve got to assume Abulhawa will write about it herself, if not in real time perhaps in a future novel. There’s more on her twitter feed. American citizenship is effectively worthless for Palestinians:

Abulhawa relates that the US Embassy in Amman is not doing anything for her, and she politely suggests that friends apply pressure.

>US Embassy in Amman would not even let me in the door. Nor would they even take my name or allow me to lodge a complaint at reception. At a minimum these representatives of the US State Dept should be compiling statistics on the systematic humiliations and denial of entry to US citizens. Israel is the biggest recipient of US handouts in the world. I was told told that another person in front of me “a real American” according to the receptionist, who was denied entry at the Jisr [bridge], and as far as I can tell, they didn’t take his information either. If any of you are inclined, please write/call or tweet to the embassy. http://jordan.usembassy.gov/contact.html

What a disgrace!!!

Recently Abulhawa has been coursing through my bloodstream on a daily basis — because I’m smack dab in the middle of The Blue Between Sky and Water (and yes I will be reviewing it here). Anyone who’s ever come in contact with Susie knows what a passionate person she is, leaving no stone unturned, her lyrical incisiveness swoons and slays. Calculating, breathtaking in her depictions of violence and cruelty, her novels take a reader on a roller coaster of beauty and devastation. Not a person I’d want to piss off, that’s for sure.

About the author:
*Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

This article was published by Mondoweiss.net


Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss lives in New York state and Horowitz lives in New York City.

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