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Aleen Masoud

You’re free, but I’m in a cage

So here I am, my name is Aleen Masoud, a 20 year old Palestinian business student at Bethlehem University writing my first blog from Dallas Fort Worth, Texas! What brought me here? I am lucky I had the chance to do my internship in Parish Relation at Catholic Charities Diocese Fort Worth for six weeks.

Coming to USA is not easy for us Palestinians, not at all. Well travelling to any place is a big hassle. Not having an airport in your country and not being able to use Ben Gurion Airport in occupied Palestinian territories, trust me it is absolutely not easy! So, how did I come here? Hmm… Well check this out.

In order to travel to USA, I had to travel to Jordan first by taxi and busses passing by the Palestinian border, Israeli border, and finally Jordanian border. If you are asking how long it takes, my answer is I don’t know, but it takes minimum 8 hours or more. It depends on the number of people waiting, also on the Israeli soldiers’ orders, as no bus can move until they are ordered to do so. Then after a whole day of travelling and crossing a short distance that in reality it does not take more than an hour, I head towards the Jordanian airport to continue my trip.

Since I arrived to United States, people are asking me what makes here different than anywhere else, different than Palestine. In 2011, I had a musical tour in many States. As a Palestinian I was surprised that if you travel to any state you don’t need to apply for permission and wait to get one, or not! I, for the first time in my life enjoyed the freedom of travelling and freedom of movement that Americans have! A lot of things are different in America, but the freedom of travel that they have is what I will miss when I come back to my home, Palestine. Palestinians live in what I call an open air prison. It is a struggle not only in travelling abroad but also to commute from one city to another due to checkpoints.



Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine