CAIRO: Almost a week after she was told that she was not allowed to leave Egypt, a Palestinian woman and her two sons were informed Sunday that they would be able to return home to the UK.
“I’m so happy that it’s over, Manal Timraz told Daily News Egypt. She was scheduled to board a plane bound for Birmingham, UK, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Cairo Airport security officers stopped Timraz, a Norwegian national of Palestinian origin, and her two teenage sons in the early hours of Sept. 8, 2009 shortly after they passed through passport control.
Timraz, who is a UK resident, was told that because she was a “national security case she would not be allowed to travel.
While she was given clearance to leave the airport 10 minutes after her flight took off by a member of security bodies, she subsequently discovered that she had been banned from leaving Egypt.
Though not contacted directly by security bodies during the five days she spent in Egypt after leaving the airport, the Norwegian ambassador was involved in talks with state security investigations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Norwegian ambassador Thomas Hauff confirmed to Daily News Egypt that Timraz and her sons boarded a flight bound for Holland, and from there to the UK at 3 am Monday.
Representatives from the Norwegian embassy accompanied the family through the airport and until the moment they boarded the plane.
Hauff says that he has not yet received a response to the embassy’s written request asking for the reason why Timraz was prevented from leaving Egypt.
Timraz, who was in Egypt visiting family and friends for Ramadan, has also not been informed of the reason for her treatment.
She expressed anger and bewilderment at her treatment, in particular citing the effect the experience has had on her 13- and 15-year-old sons.
“I really try to maintain links with the Arab world for my sons so that they feel connected to it. This experience has made that really difficult, Timraz said.
Timraz says she now plans to pursue a complaint against airline company KLM, with whom she was supposed to fly on Sept. 8, 2009.
Timraz claims that on Monday morning when she was stopped and security bodies ordered a flight delay, a KLM representative said “this is the last time we carry these nationalities, they cause problems in front of her. She assumed that he was referring to the fact that she is a Palestinian.
“When we contacted KLM to complain about this a representative told us that there was a note on their computer recording us as not having checked in. Security bodies took our boarding passes from us but they forgot to remove the baggage labels, which prove that we checked in our luggage, said Timraz.