Opening or closing borders… Secrets and developments of passports

Opening or closing borders… Secrets and developments of passports
Opening or closing borders… Secrets and developments of passports

At the end of his song “Imagine” in the 1960s, the Beatles singer John Lennon says, “Imagine that all people share the whole world, you will say I dream, but I am not the only one who hopes that the world will become one for all.”

This song, which was written, composed and sung by Lennon, appeared during the spread of the idea of ​​unifying human beings in one homeland, which is the entire planet, and this idea was dealt with in many types of means of expression, arts, literature and genetic sciences, in particular.

This song was restored between the elderly and their grandchildren during the period of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, to prove that the virus knows no borders and passports and does not differentiate between people on the basis of their national identity and nationalities that they carry, whether they are of super strength that opens all borders in front of their bearer, or that they are passports that are not worth anything. A value whose bearer cannot move across borders anywhere in the world.

The late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote a poem with the same meaning, in which he complains about the passport that grants or prevents its holder the right to move from one place to another, despite the fact that this right is considered one of the basic human rights enshrined in all international and humanitarian laws since ancient times, and it is A natural right such as food and air.

Darwish’s poem, which sings the epic of the dispersed Palestinian people, states, “All the borders, all the handkerchiefs that I waved, all the eyes, were with me, but they have dropped them from my passport.”

The Passport in the Contemporary World

In the general definition, a passport is an official document or certificate issued by a national government that identifies the traveler as a citizen who has the right to protection while abroad and the right to return.

On the other hand, letters of transit have been used for centuries to allow individuals to travel safely in foreign lands. It is a small booklet containing a description of the bearer and an accompanying photograph that can be used for identification purposes. The authentication of the passport indicates that it is an examination by the authorities of the country to which its holder is entering.

However, with the division of the countries of the world into developed, developing and underdeveloped, the passport has the authority of the country it represents. If the holder is from a European country or the European Union and from Britain, Canada, the United States of America and Australia, he can move around the world without any significant problem except in the event of political differences between two countries. two aids

But if the passport holder is from a third world country, he will need many transactions that may grant him an entry visa to another country and may prevent him from it.

Tourism demands resolved some of these global disparities in passports and prompted countries in Western Europe to relax their travel regulations so that travelers could travel between them without visas before the arrangement was extended to residents within the European Union.

Likewise, Egypt and Lebanon allowed many nationals of other Arab countries, Eastern European countries and the Russian Federation to enter their territories without visas, in order to encourage tourism and support their economy.

Sometimes wars and earthquakes allow the afflicted and displaced to enter countries that open the door to asylum for them, as Germany did during the era of Angela Merkel with Syrian immigrants when it received more than a million and a half people.

And because the passport is one of the important official papers, all countries of the world have added to it security features such as holographic images, digital watermarks, and embedded microchips that store biometric data, as well as secret signs that are included in the national currency to prevent counterfeiting.

The passport determines the nationality of its bearer, to which country he belongs, and to which country must be returned in the event of his expulsion, and it may be forged in many ways to be sold for thousands of dollars on the black market for immigration and immigrants.

In 2008 the United States began producing the Passport Card, which is less expensive than the traditional passport book and allows citizens to enter the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands.

Design as a work of art

Hevziba Anderson writes in her travel articles on the Internet that few wonder about the patriotic meanings of the emblems and golden letters embossed on the cover of the passport. Very conservative and monotonous, and even renewed to highlight the word Taiwan after airport staff began to confuse Taiwanese travelers with their counterparts from China, because the word “Taiwan” in current travel documents comes below the phrase “Republic of China”.

The writer Anderson says that passports were not always in the form of booklets, as is the case today. The phrase travel document appeared in the book of Nehemiah, during the reign of King Artaxerxes I of Persia in 450 BC. The ancient Irshashastra, which dealt with the arts of government and politics, stated that travel documents were issued in return for a fee, without which no citizen could leave or return to the country.

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World War I made the passport a necessary document for every citizen as a means of preventing foreign spies from crossing borders. The first British passports in their contemporary concept were issued in 1915, and it was a single sheet of paper folded several times inside a cardboard cover bearing the United Kingdom’s royal emblem, and these passports included a photograph.

Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Cannon Doyle appeared in his passport photo 100 years ago with his wife and two children on a horse-drawn carriage, as the whole family traveled on one passport.

In the novel “The American Passport”, Craig Robertson tells the story of Dan the mustache who trimmed his thick mustache so as not to remind the Germans of Kaiser Wilhelm, but when they were returning he was stopped by passport officers and refused his passage because he no longer looked like the picture in the passport.

This problem, i.e. the lack of resemblance between the photo and its bearer, was faced by many before biometric photos appeared and there are many ways to prove the identity of the holder of the passport, including the fingerprint of the eye and the face, so the photograph removed its importance.

After the war ended in 1920, the League of Nations imposed standards for the international passport within the framework of its role in preserving world peace, and stipulated that it include 32 pages in total, that it be written in at least two languages, and its cover bears the name of the country at the top, and the logo is placed in the middle, and then the word “passport” is written travel” below.

These rules determined the design of the modern passport, and the colors of global passports are almost limited to three colors, red, blue and green, and each color indicates a political identity, such as red for the Chinese communists and before them the Soviets, green for some Islamic countries, white and blue for United Nations employees, and blue Or dark blue for most passports in the world.

But the Slovenian passport is the funniest of all the world’s passports, if you quickly turn its pages you will see a knight on horseback jumping from side to side.

The design of the passport is of no small importance, as the United Kingdom’s change of the color of its passport caused a sensation in the wake of the Brexit vote to restore the blue passport, although there is no law in the European Union obligating it to change it in the first place to the color. Burgundy, to match the colors of other European passports.

Some more advanced features have been added to modern passports as well for security purposes. On the pages of a Canadian passport whose design was changed in 2015, if you shine an ultraviolet light, you will see the sky that appears dull become bright and you will see brightly colored fireworks, bright stars and rainbows, but in The new design of the Norwegian passport, developed by the company “New Design Studio” in 2014, highlights the terrain of the serrated and white Norwegian mountains, but its pages, when lit with ultraviolet rays, show the swaying and magical lights of the Northern Lights.

Types of passports

Governments around the world issue passports for various purposes, the most common of which are ordinary passports issued to citizens, and this category is entitled to obtain emergency or temporary passports for people whose passports have been lost or stolen in the event that the person is abroad and needs to return home within days.

There is the diplomatic passport, which came into force in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, immunity granted to officials of a foreign country under customary international law, and diplomats and other individuals traveling on government missions are entitled to less scrutiny at border checkpoints. It is issued to accredited diplomats, senior consular officers, heads of state or government, and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Diplomatic passport holders are entitled to a degree of immunity from searches.

Official passports are issued to senior government officials traveling on government business who are not eligible for diplomatic passports, and official passport holders are usually entitled to similar immunity from border checks.

Public relations passports are issued to Chinese nationals who hold senior positions in state-owned companies, while public affairs passports do not usually entitle holders to exemption from inspection at border checkpoints.

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