This morning we had an appointment to visit the American embassy in Tel Aviv. I wasn’t sure if I would be meeting with Ambassador Dan Shapiro or not.
Five years had passed, and it was time to renew Naama’s passport. Having been to the U.S embassy many times over the years, we know that security is tight and that the lines are long. We usually prepare to wait…. But, not today.
Today’s experience was different than the usual procedure. Waiting for us outside when we arrived, was a member of the consulate, who greeted us, and brought me and my family inside, past security.
Once we got in, the lady took us straight up to a counter where the clerk already knew us, by name. They processed the paperwork in under 3 minutes and told us the passport would be mailed to the house in about two weeks time.
We were then escorted upstairs, into the consulate, where we met with Ramona Crippen, the Forein Service Officer, Lawrence Mire, the U.S Consul General, and Timothy Nelson, the Human Rights political officer. U.S Ambassador, Dan Shapiro, surprised us and joined in on our conversation.
We discussed what has been going on in our immediate neighborhood and talked about the issues that are more widespread.
We continued to the reactions of the Israeli government and talked about what has changed since our story took off. I was asked what I thought needs to be done in order to correct the problem, and I discussed my ideas with them.
The people I met with had no agenda other than speaking with me and seeing what can be done. There were no cameras, no photo op’s. They cleared their schedules to have a meeting behind closed doors. No publicity stint, no empty promises.
Only a few hours have passed and I have already been passing emails back and forth.
It is a great feeling knowing that there are good people who are willing to do the hard work necessary to make a change. The issue next to Naama’s school has calmed down, but there is still so much work ahead of us to make long term changes happen.