From the Twitter interaction, my fellow Egyptians consider me lucky to be banned from entering Egypt!! which describes to what extend the situation has led the youth to "wish" leaving their home country!
The news has spread out with my full name and age as written on the passport! which has surprised me as I have only shared that information on social media! No one knows my middle name though!
But to make the story short, I am banned from entering Egypt with no given reason after bad treatment to say the least and investigation!
April 26th, I was in transit at Cairo Airport for 12 hours from Casablanca to Abuja and supposed to have a night over in a hotel with EgyptAir. When the security checked my passport they informed me that I am "blacklisted" and cannot enter Egypt (which I didn't ask for anyway). The procedures that followed this were continuous interrogations for hours and hours from different security officers about my work, reasons of travels and previous visits to Egypt and some other provocative questions!
I have actually entered Egypt twice before, once as an International Elections Observer with Carter center and last december, I was invited for EuroMed conference in Sharm Sheikh where many ministers, including that of Interior Ministry, spent hours of useless speeches on democracy and safety while people were dying in the street! few days before that, I joined Women Living Under Muslims Laws training for women empowerment in Cairo. Maybe the name of this network also confused the authorities and they couldn't guess if I am with or against Muslim Brotherhood!
Anyway, I went back to Tunisia from Abuja April 1st for a transit of 12hours as well. Though they already have a long report about me, they have not stopped the hassles of interrogation, held my passport and escorted by security guards until the boarding Gate, as if I am a criminal or terrorist! They have also refused to give me any reason and suggested that I shall contact the embassy of Egypt in Tunis.
I am grateful and thankful to my support system (Egyptians, Tunisians and activists from other countries) who have backed me up when things got complicated and sent lawyers (who have been denied to enter the airport) and reached to Tunisian embassy in Cairo (which refused to react!).
I arrived safely to Tunis finally and visited the embassy where I met the Egyptian ambassador. oh and what an ambassador!!! If he would call his behavior giving compliments, I would call it sexual harassment! to be harassed in the ambassador's office while you're asking for solving the issue of being blacklisted, Life couldn't be more funny! I guess he also wants to give this issue more time that's why asked me to write a declaration of what happened in order to give me a concrete reason. Well I did a week ago and haven't got any response yet!
Though my fellow Egyptian might consider me lucky to be kicked out of Egypt, I consider it a curse if it won't be solved soon!! Because of my continuous travels to African countries, I will be regularly using Egypt-air and going back and forth through Cairo airport! Going through the same hell experience for the purpose of transit is not a comfortable one!
..and so I have to first know why I'm blacklisted but I shall also be able to enter Egypt again!! Egyptian and Tunisian governments, your diplomatic relations shouldn't by any means affect people's mobility! I am so ashamed of both embassies and both governments!