Ben Gurion airport

September 7, 2017

"Where are you coming from?"
"Tel-Aviv", I say.
But something in her face tells me she is not satisfied with the answer. She stares at my passport for clues. I start staring at my passport too. It had so willingly passed from my palm to hers, and now it seems like it is almost arroused with the fact that it is telling about me. What is it they are whispering to each other in codes? I feel so left out! This object that lives under my roof, turns out to be a traitor!
The Israeli security woman looks like she has an idea now: "Where were you born?".
Ah! A good one. Because although I am a resident of Tel-Aviv for the last twenty years, I indeed was not born there. I proudly answer "Rameh village". A-ha, she nods silently. "What are the names of your siblings?".
Oh wow, I get what you're doing girl, and I willingly go where this is heading: "Ala'a and Sinan", I say, not even trying to disguise the Arabness of them or of my accent when I mention them. She is now so proud she even nods to herself a "good job" nod. She slaps a few stickers all over my belongings, she returns the stray passport to me, and wishes me a pleasant journey.
As I start rolling away, a young man enters my pereferal vision, he aproaches the girl, and I overhear him whisper: " You don't know who that is?".
As I reach the check-in counter and lay my luggage on the conveyer buelt, the same guy materialises to my right and asks for my passport back. I swear I can almost hear that paper double agent purr! The security officer rips off the sticker that the girl put, and replaces it with another, then does the same to all the other stickers on my luggage. I pretend to be naive and ask: "Is all ok?", he smiles and says: "Yes, yes! The girl just made a mistake", and gives me a huge smile.
I smile back. Instinct urges me to say "Thank you". Because instinct detects that I just got upgraded from citizen SUSPECT to citizen WELCOMED, and that this will definitely save me some time entering on, and will prevent further harassments. But every cell in my body and every corner of my soul wants to punch this guy in the face and wipe that smile forever. There should be a rule: You should not be smiling while practicing discrimination. Because this profiling system is nothing but discrimination. And despite your "corrective" act of re-humanising me under the codes of your fucked up system, there is really nothing to be smiling about here.

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