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Monday, 24 September 2007

Ahmed Namazi & Me - Page 2

Written by Steve Bramucci
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Ahmed Namazi. That's the name that nearly ended my first trip to Israel before it could get off the ground.  Ahmed—“Excuse me sir, please come this way, yes right over here, and please take of your sandals…”—Namazi.

 

“Hello, Mr. Bramucci,” he pronounced clearly, “I see you are planning to head to Israel today.”

You will note that he didn’t say “heading” but “planning to head” – there was obviously a possibility that my plan wouldn’t come to fruition. I nodded.

israel“And why do you want to go to Israel?” he asked, “Are you Jewish?”

“No,” I said almost apologetically.

“I didn’t think so,” he said, his suspicions affirmed, “but why then?”

Here, it is important that I add that the Chief of Security spoke softly, in calm, measured tones.  In truth, he was undeniably friendly. But make no mistake; he was listening to every syllable that I spoke, studying every twitch. Taking mental notes.

Soon the questions were coming at a rapid pace:

“Who is Ahmed Namazi?”

“Why were you in Dubai?”

“Are you aware that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world?”

“And why were you planning on visiting Israel?”

Now it had become “were planning” – my trip was already sitting off somewhere in the past tense.

A nod from the chief brought more security over. More men with earpieces.  More gun bulges. My SCUBA card, my bank cards, my magazine articles, everything was inspected.  There were questions about my travel particulars and every habit that they had ascertained from my luggage:

 

(Page 2 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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