Five foreign women from Europe and the United States got together on a Tuesday morning in October for a traditional Palestinian breakfast and to share their experiences as spouses of Palestinian husbands.
They talk about how do they experience life in Palestine and what are the difficulties they face in order to stay with their husband and children in Palestine. Each of them has their personal stories that reflect the difficulties to live in a place that is military occupied.
The Palestinian Authority has no say in who gets a visa and for how long. It is the Israeli occupation authorities that decide about the fate of the women. Most women have been getting visas that do not allow them to travel to Israel (including Jerusalem and the airport in Tel Aviv), they are not allowed to work, they need to renew their visa every three months and pay full visa fees.
Some of the women have the experience of being stuck outside of the country without permission to come back. Others have been without visa and were not even able to leave the town they live in, because of the many Israeli checkpoints where they may find out that you are without visa and you can be deported and separated from your family. This causes a lot of anxiety among the families.
Despite the difficulties, the women feel home in Palestine and among Palestinians. They know that the policies were created to make them want to leave. But they are convinced that this is where to want to be and they are not planning to move.
This podcast episode was recorded in cooperation with the British Academy project on visa precarity lead by Dr Mark Griffiths.
Music in the end of the episode is called Mawtini, which means 'my homeland'
(the previous unofficial Palestinian national anthem)
It was performed by the Cello Orchestra in 2021 in an online concert that you can find on the YouTube channel of Al Kamandjati
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