What I saw in Jerusalem; Al Jazeera’s Showkat Shafi Reports

(Al Jazeera Online) – On his first visit to Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Showkat Shafi saw how daily life is completely segregated for Israelis and Palestinians.

Of all the places I wanted to visit, Palestine has always been at the top of the list. So when I got an opportunity to go there on a reporting assignment, I was very nervous.

I had heard horror stories about Israeli security checks and intense interviews, and as a result, I was anxious about the visa application process.

My travel agent, who had helped me obtain visas for Europe, Brazil and South Africa was clear; as a Kashmiri Muslim, my chances of getting an Israeli visa were slim.

Nevertheless, I travelled from Doha to New Delhi to apply.

After two days of waiting, I got a call asking me to attend an interview the next day at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.

I was told not to carry any belongings with me. A friend accompanied me, and we stopped some 500 meters before the embassy. I gave him my phone, laptop bag, and wallet and kept 100 rupees with me.

The moment he left, a member of the security team ran towards me and told me to call him back.

Since my friend had already walked some distance and I didn’t have my phone, I had to shout until he heard me.

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About Cholo Brooks 7103 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.