Finally, after 30 years of waiting, I got the chance to see my beautiful capital Jerusalem, which is only a 30-minute drive from home in the West Bank town of Bil’in. I have visited many capitals around the world, but never the capital of my own country. Seeing Jerusalem for the first time in 30 years was a very emotional experience and made my eyes tear up.
Yet there are thousands and millions of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims who can’t visit this holy place, because the Israeli government prohibits it. In fact I was only granted permission to visit Jerusalem on January 9, 2018 for a few hours because I was called to appear in an Israeli court as a witness for a case about an injured Israeli citizen. But the permit arrived late. By the time it was handed to me, I had missed my time slot to testify. Not wanting to squander the permit, I went to Jerusalem anyways.