Monday, January 14, 2008

A Journey To Nablus

As I said in the previous post, I am now on holiday in Nablus, Palestine (West Bank), for three weeks. In this town live all my relatives from my mums side, including my grandmother, as my grandfather passed away 3 years ago (allah yir7amo), and is also the town of my still living 100-year old great grandfather, whom I will go and visit hopefully this holiday.

In these posts, which I will be posting daily inshallah, I will include my daily actions in the city of Nablus. I will also try to include some photos, if I can. Some kind of 'live-blogging', if you want to call it that. Enjoy the first post of my visit to Nablus, the city under occupation.

Were to begin?

At seven o'clock in the early morning, the sun still barely coming out, the family was wide awake and on its way to the Jordanian bridge. The "bridge", for you that aren't familiar with it, is a building that you enter to cross between the two neighboring countries, Palestine and Jordan.

Two very close-by countries, but very far in political situations, for one is in war, and one isn't. And not just any war.

Almost five years of crossing the two countries, using this type of uncommon travel, I was used to entering the whole cliché of 'the bridge'. Everyone who has tried crossing the bridge will know how badly unorganized it is. And by saying that, I really do mean it – chaos, mayhem, disorder.

But not this time. Allah was on our side, and we had chosen a perfect timing – in between the two terms, and just before the end of Tawjihi exams. And I must warn you, never ever think about going on the bridge in the summer holidays, because it will be total mayhem. We have learnt our lesson, and now go in between the two terms, when it is calm with barely any people.

Now let's get along with things, shall we?

We went through the Jordanian bridge, got on the rickety bus, and it began to drive. Looking out of the window, I could see the Israeli flags on the gate that we were approaching, with the pale men wearing sunglasses, green clothing and guns in their hands sitting in the bunkers.

After having to take off jackets and belts, removing mobiles and purses, and handing passports and papers, I entered that weird device that sprays you with some weird chemical (maybe air, or maybe bug spray). If anyone has been in that device or knows about it, can you explain what it is, because I felt a bit queasy after it. :D

Then, we got onto even more buses, who took us to the city of Jerico, or Aree7a, as it is called. There we tried to find a taxi who would take us to Nablus, but of course, they were taxi drivers, the worst species on earth. This time we had a driver who was a mixture of a dirty pig and a cheater (refer to post), because he tried to take 10JD extra from us to go early. Maybe he thought we were 'the rich idiots' or something.

Anyway, Nablus was quite easy to get to, this time the checkpoints were simple, and the driver did a good deed for once in his life, and took us a through a longer but checkpoint free route.

And now we ended up in my grandma's house. Of course, I typed all of this onto Word before pasting into Blogger, because this house still doesn't have the luxury of ADSL. It’s a good thing my grandma has dial-up. ;)

I'll keep posting whenever I can, maybe with some photos as well. Thank you for reading, and comments are welcome.


  1. Khaled i really enjoyed reading this post very much, wel 7amdella 3la elsalameh.. i have never visited palestine i wish i could some day so enjoy it :) salmi for all and ask ur mum to send me her mob. no. if she had another one there

  2. 7amdillah 3al salameh. My father spent most of his youth in Nablus way back when. Sallem 3ala everything there :)

  3. Wesam: She will send it to you today by SMS.

    Qwaider: Ok thank you.

  4. salamle 3 Nablus, I realy miss it … belive me u'l enjoy it … although it is cold

  5. Khaled, 7umdellah 3ala elsalameh.
    First, my regards to all there.
    Second, listen to me carefully because your future in Jordan depends on this : Take as many photos as you can for Nablus. My grandfather house, from inside and outside, my grandfather himself, the garden outside, the streets, any photo you can get will be appreciated. O
    therwise, I will personally make sure you dont have any more sugar, in any form, for the rest of your life:D
    Yalla go start taking photos.

  6. Thanks Khaled. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this.