A Flight To Remember, by Mira, Palestine

In 2008 I was coming back from Germany after finishing my masters. I flew from Berlin to Prague and then from there to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. After landing at the Prague airport, I was trying to find how to get to my gate. While doing so I was stopped by an old woman who asked where the gate for Tel Aviv was?! We ended up walking together to find it. While waiting to get onto the plane, I went and got us something to drink. During our waiting time, we got to know each other’s names – Mira and Ellen, a Palestinian and an Israeli, meeting randomly in an airport while going back home. Once boarding was completed, we sat next to each other and continued to chat. All of a sudden three of the airport officers came to talk to me. Where is your passport? How many pieces of luggages do you have? And so on. After they left, I told her with a smile that I believed I would have an escorting team waiting for me at Ben Gurion Airport for a second round of interrogations once we landed. She told me not to worry and that everything would be ok. During the 4 hours fly we talked about everything, we shared many stories and laughed a lot. The minute our flight landed and I left the airplane, there were two airport security guards waiting for me. They asked for my passport and about the purpose of my visit to Israel (this question always makes me laugh). I told them I had been studying in Germany for the past 15 months, and I came back, because I live in Jerusalem. Ellen quickly interrupted the conversation in Hebrew and asked the officers whether there was any problem. One of the officers asked her how she knew me. She answered: “She is my friend!” and then they let me go. We continued on our way. I thanked her and before we reached the passport check point, I said goodbye to her, as I was expecting to be checked again after that. She told me that she didn’t think they would stop me this time and in response I said “Inshallah!”. They did not stop me and after we passed the last check Ellen told me “Take care beautiful Mira, I will never forget you!”.

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