Feature: Palestinian stamps "Palestinian state" on foreign passport to win int'l solidarity

14:29, May 28, 2011      

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Hamada Hattab, Osama Radi

Putting the stamp of an " independence Palestinian state" on foreign visitors' passport to encourage the calls for establishing an independent Palestinian state was an idea suddenly occurring to Khaled Jarar, a 35-year- old Palestinian from the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"I'm trying to spread the idea which aims at getting the legitimate right for the Palestinians, who are trying to gain independence and freedom and will finally have their own independent state," Jarar, a photographer, told Xinhua.

The stamp is made up of a logo of the little bird of the sun with various attractive colors which only grows in the Palestinian territories, and "the State of Palestine" written in two languages, English and Hebrew.

Jarar decided to launch his campaign with the title of "Live and Work in Palestine" two months ago.

He said that all foreigners who arrive in the West Bank usually come via Israel and carry passports with the Israeli authorities' stamps, "so it is our right, too, to put the Palestinian stamp on their passports. I believe even though our stamp on the foreigners ' passport is only symbolic, at least I can convey the idea."

Sometimes, Jarar could get embarrassed when the foreigners refuse his initiative to stamp on their passport.

"I don't force the foreigners to have our stamp on their passports. I firstly try to explain to them and then if they agree, I stamp on their passport," said Jarar, adding "I feel so glad when the visitor accepts to put the Palestinian stamp on a page in his passport."

He added that more than 60 percent of the foreign visitors are willing to have the Palestinian stamp on their passports.

"It is not only having the stamp on their passports, but also expressing full solidarity with the Palestinian people in gaining their independence," he said.

Before he launched his campaign, Jarar used to encourage foreign visitors to visit the Palestinian territories. He created a group in the social website Facebook which gained large support and have hundreds of members. On the Facebook page of the group, a picture of the stamp is clearly seen, in addition to many campaign pictures and video clips.

"Around 20 activists from several European countries expressed their readiness to work as volunteers to help me publish my stamp all over the world and advocate the campaign to other countries," said Jarar.

Jarar refused to link his campaign to the intention of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to apply to the United Nations Security Council to demand an international recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

However, Jarar expressed confidence that the Palestinians would double their efforts to attract more international support to their legitimate cause, adding "such efforts will soon help the Palestinians gain their freedom, independence and state that will have a flag and a recognized passport."

"I will keep stamping the passports of the foreign visitors to the Palestinian territories, because sooner or later, we will establish our independent state," said Jarar.

Source: Xinhua
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