" On Tuesday, Fogiel and Galit Oren will attempt to cross the border into Libya 200 kilometers west of here, thus becoming the first people ever allowed into the Arab country on Israeli passports.These days it seems that the only Americans that can get a visa into Libya are the ones working for oil companies, and even then I think they are given a hard time. Applications from American tourists are being rejected and even the cruise ships that moor themselves in Libya's harbours for the day to let the passengers spend a day sightseeing are told that Americans must remain on board the ship. And from what I understand, no visas are being given to Americans who want to come to see the solar eclipse that will be occuring here soon.
They are traveling as part of the Breaking the Ice mission, which has brought together 10 participants from around the globe on a mission of peace, a journey that has taken them through Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Egypt.
The group of two Israelis, a Palestinian, an Iranian, an Iraqi, an Afghani, two Americans, a Ukrainian, and a Tibetan is crossing the Sahara Desert together to send a message of peace and coexistence. The final goal is Tripoli where they hope to plant an olive tree which they have brought with them, perhaps with Libyan ruler Muamar Gadaffi. "
Tourism and peace missions aside, these restrictions cause others to suffer. For years we endured sanctions in Libya and with the easing and removal of sanctions the American woman who are married to Libyans have hoped to see an improvement. Here we are, so far from our families (many living here for over 20 years!) and our parents and siblings are not able to get a visa to come here. Before it was the American government who would not allow it, but now it is the Libyan government.
We raise our children here, our children graduate from schools and universities here, our children marry and have children of their own here. All of life's milestones without our American families being able to come and share in them.
I hope there is improvement soon. . . .sigh . . .politics . . . . sigh . . .