Archive for the 'Travel Blues' Category

Mar 16 2006

Ramallah- Amman trip costs two Hundred dollars

Published by under Blogs,Travel Blues

By Daoud Kuttab

March 9, 2006

I paid through my nose this week to get from Ramallah to Amman and the bridge wasn’t crowded like in the summer time.

It all started when I had to make an appointment at 2pm in Ramallah. The meeting went till 2:30 and by the time I took a taxi (for 20 shekes) to the Qalandia checkpoint it was already 2:45. The line was not long but by the time I got out it was already close to 3. I hailed a taxi and haggled him to the normal price of 150 shekels. Continue Reading »

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Dec 30 2005

Breaking travel records

Published by under Blogs,Travel Blues

December 27, 2005

My trip from Amman to Ramallah this week was quite unusual. I succeeded in making the door to door trip in less than three hours. The taxi, driven by the veteran Haj Abdel Salam (who has been on the Amman-Bridge route for 38 years) picked me up from my Rabiah home shortly after seven am. I managed to get through the Jordanian passport control rather quickly, got was one of the last people to get on the first bus and was one of the first people to get off. Got through the Israeli passport control rather quickly (since I was the first there). Continue Reading »

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Apr 25 2005

Moving checkpoints

Published by under Articles,Travel Blues

There is something powerful about personal experience. No matter how much you read or hear about something, there is no substitute for actually experiencing it. I have thought of this phenomenon after meeting Israelis or foreigners who, after visiting Palestine, become emotionally engaged in the Palestinian cause.

This sense of engagement is happening to me more and more as my daily travels make concrete – literally – the difficulties of getting around the northern West Bank. On the road between Jericho and Tiberias one is struck by the changes near the Green Line. Continue Reading »

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Apr 20 2005


Published by under Blogs,Travel Blues

I was intended on not repeating my experience yesterday when I spent nearly 2 hours making the short trip from my office in Ramallah to my apartment in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina office. The problem is that I could have made it in a lot less time by going the bypass road which I would be allowed to by the Israelis because I have a press card, but I had wanted to be like every other Palestinian and as a result I found my self stuck in the long line at the Qalandia checkpoint. Continue Reading »

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Jul 07 2004

Summer Bridge Blues Again

Published by under Articles,Travel Blues

It can be predicted as accurately the Jordan Valley’s summer heat. Every year the Jordan River crossing point turns into one big human tragedy. And families with children are at the center of this suffering.

My 15 year old son and his cousin spent 11 hours this week just trying to cross into Palestine with the Israelis the major culprits of this unnecessary delay. Much has been written about the Israeli side of this tragedy. It is high time we also face the self inflicted wounds caused by the Jordanian government and its outdated rules and regulations that are causing hardships rather than providing badly needed relief. Continue Reading »

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Jun 04 2004

Summer blues on the Jordan crossing points

Published by under Articles,Travel Blues

As a regular traveler across the Jordan River crossings, I feel bound to inform the rest of the world which rarely makes this dreadful journey of what happens to thousands of Palestinians who have no choice except to make this short but difficult trip.

The King Hussein Bridge, which constitutes the shortest distance between Amman and Jerusalem, is quickly becoming the all-day difficult affair it used to be in the 1970s and 80s. Continue Reading »

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Dec 11 2002

The Bridge policy needs to be revisited

Published by under Articles,Jordan,Travel Blues

What began as a Jordanian temporary procedure aimed at averting the possibility of mass Palestinian, is turning into an uncontrollable policy that is souring Jordanian-Palestinian relations. For nearly a year now Jordan has imposed tight measures on the crossing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip into Jordan. The King Hussein Bridge on the river Jordan is for most Palestinian the only available passage point out of Palestine. Continue Reading »

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Mar 14 2001

Closed bridges policy

Published by under Articles,Travel Blues

The new Jordan River Bridge that has been built with Japanese money is impressive in its structure. Towering so high the new bride along with a short stretch of a four-lane highway is scheduled to be completed by March 15th. The contractors seem on time but it is unlikely that any Japanese or Jordanian official will be cutting the ribbon of the new structure any time soon. The bridge built at a level much higher than the existing landscape looks like overkill. The trickle of water that flows underneath clearly give the impression that the major purpose of the bridge is not simply to cross what is left of the waters of the Jordan River but to indicate the Japanese support for the need for heavy usage of people and goods between Palestine in the West of the Jordan River and the Kingdom of Jordan to the East. Continue Reading »

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Aug 25 2000

Blue is the color of travel

Published by under Articles,Travel Blues

Travel in the Middle East is one of the best reflections of the politics of the area. What happens at airports, bridges and other ground crossing points is so indicative of the low level of respect that governments have for human beings. There are VIP tracks for politicians and businesspeople with connections to senior politicians. Special service is made for holders of foreign passports (a US passport is great so long as it doesn’t say in it born in Jerusalem). Tourists travelling in groups also have special services. When crossing the Erez checkpoint (called Beit Hanoun crossing by Palestinians or the Allenby Bridge (called King Hussein Bridge by Jordanians and Al Karam crossing by Palestinians) Jerusalem residents have special services — which is slightly better than that of Palestinians from the West Bank. Palestinians from Gaza get the worst deal.  Continue Reading »

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