“Uncontrollable joy for me and my daughter. After getting the ‘reunification’ my daughter is planning our reunion. I don’t sleep anymore and I dream of the moment when I can finally hug her and smell her perfume…. Her siblings who grew up without seeing her or knowing her”.
The pain of separation hasn’t stopped Paula and Hussam’s family from Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, from continuing to work to reunite the family.
“Try to imagine: a young 16-year-old girl goes to Jordan to renew her visa and return here, but instead she is prevented from returning for 10 years. Where can she go at 16? And what can we do? The story is long and I could tell many things: I sold my house to emigrate and join my daughter. I couldn’t stay here while she was out of the country”.
The problem of “reunification” involves many Palestinian families: there are those who manage to emigrate, while others are prevented from moving otherwise they lose fundamental rights such as health insurance and education.
“I had to renew my wife Paula’s visa or residence permit every six months to a year. Each time I paid an amount of no less than 500 shekels”.
“It was very difficult: the Israeli government would only give me three months’ permission, then I had to leave the country: sometimes I would go back to the Philippines or go to Jordan to extend or get my visa renewed”.
In late December 2021, several Palestinian families celebrated Israel’s decision to register thousands of people in the Palestinian civil registry for humanitarian reasons.
Philippines “I was reborn when I got my Palestinian ID card.
Two years ago I didn’t get a visa, I couldn’t leave the country – my parents died last November and I couldn’t go home. I hope to be able to go this year”. A testimony and a light for all those waiting to be reunited with their families.