This drama has played out on Twitter for the past 48 hours.
Since the Jan25 revolution in Egypt led to Husni’s Mubarak’s forced resignation, there has been speculation about a new and more open Egyptian policy to Gaza.
But, the adventures of two Egyptian guys [@dooolism and @tarekshalaby] trying to enter Gaza via Rafah (or, via the infamous Rafah-to Rafah-tunnels) shows us it hasn’t happened yet.
They reveal, among other things, that Hamas has a visa policy for human passage into Gaza via the tunnels.
Here is a summary or synopsis of their account:
@dooolism – so 2night [n.b. – Thursday] with possibly the worst plan ever conceived by mankind, @tarekshalaby and I will head 2 Areesh & attempt 2 get into #Gaza 2morrow. – 3:12 PM Apr 21st
@dooolism – @Tarekshalaby and I can enter most North American, European, Asian and African countries right now, but they won’t allow us into #Gaza #irony – 9:40 PM Apr 22nd
@dooolism – Hamas tunnel visa to #Gaza makes European Schengen visa like a walk in the park #justsayin – 9:10 PM Apr 22nd
@dooolism – Not looking good, Hamas minister of tunnels (yes there’s an unofficial official position ) denied our tunnel application to #Gaza – Friday, April 22, 2011 8:23:32 PM
@dooolism – Minister of tunnels doesn’t want to piss off new #Egypt govt with an unauthorized entry to #Gaza, hence rejecting our tunnel crossing – Friday, April 22, 2011 8:29:29 PM
@dooolism – In terms of dodginess, #Rafah really reminds me of Cuidade del Este on the Paraguay-Brazil border #dodgy – about 11 hours ago [early Saturday afternoon]
@dooolism – Also crossing from #Colombia to #Venzulela was pretty dodgy, but I think #Rafah beats them all, still on our last ditch attempt 2 #Gaza tho – about 11 hours ago
@dooolism – #tunnelshopping in #Rafah, some shut down for maintenance, some 2 small, some 2 expensive, 2 bad there is no Expedia for tunnels – about 8 hours ago
@dooolism – Not good, our fixer said all tunnel owners he has spoken to are not willing 2 transport Egyptians 2 #Gaza without authorization – about 7 hours ago
@dooolism – … we were hoping to do a report on the humanitarian case in Gaza – about 6 hours ago
@dooolism – Sadly, we are pulling the plug on our trip, @Tarekshalaby and I, we have exhausted all possible avenues both normal and dodgy, headn 2 Areesh – about 6 hours ago
@dooolism – Sadly our #Gaza mini-mission comes 2 n end, @Tarekshalaby n his way 2 Cairo and I am spending night in Areesh bfor heading to south Sinai tom – about 6 hours ago
@dooolism – Watching a perfect #Mediterranean sunset in Areesh #bliss – http://t.co/QGuCeUK – about 4 hours ago
@dooolism is Adel Abdel Ghafar, who describes himself as “Reformed banker, travel guru, middle eastern studies post-graduate student, activist, a concerned citizen of this planet who gets along much better with fish”…
@Tarekshalaby is Tarek Shalaby, who describes himself as a “freelance web designer” and “Blogger, Social Media consultant and Web Designer from Cairo, Egypt. Have always been, and will always be, a proud Egyptian. Love cultures, languages and travel”
@Tarekshalaby – So: tunnel owners don’t want to upset Hamas, who don’t want to upset Egyptian authorities, who don’t want to upset Israel. Won’t let us thru – 8:44 PM Apr 22nd
@Tarekshalaby – Now @Thawrah is writing us the letter that we’re going to send to Hamas so that they can give us permission to use an ilegal tunnel to #Gaza – 9:23 PM Apr 22nd
@Tarekshalaby – Both sides of a border forced on to us by Israel and the Arab dictators see the exact same beautiful night sky. Victory will prevail. #Gaza – 9:32 PM Apr 22nd
@Tarekshalaby – I’d like to think that @dooolism and I did everything we could to get into #Gaza, but failed (this time). Heading back to Cairo via Arish – about 6 hours ago
@Tarekshalaby – I blame the Egyptian authorities for fully collaborating with #Israel and pressuring #Gaza into a worsening blockade. Arabs will unite. – about 6 hours ago
@Tarekshalaby – Rafah – Arish – El Marg – Ramses – Behoos – home (for 29.75 LE total!). Next time we will make it into #Gaza. – 3 minutes ago