الاثنين، 11 أبريل 2011

Letter to President Obama

Mr. President,

I write to you from Bahrain, after living through horrible injustice that I would never wish upon anyone in the world. Security forces attacked my home, broke our doors with sledgehammers, and terrified my family. Without any warning, without an arrest warrant and without giving any reasons; armed, masked men attacked my father. Although they said nothing, we all know that my father's crime is being a human rights activist. My father was grabbed by the neck, dragged down a flight of stairs and then beaten unconscious in front of me. He never raised his hand to resist them, and the only words he said were "I can't breathe". Even after he was unconscious the masked men kept kicking and beating him while cursing and saying that they were going to kill him. This is a very real threat considering that in the past two weeks alone three political prisoners have died in custody. The special forces also beat up and arrested my husband and brother-in-law.

Since their arrest, 3 days ago, we have heard nothing. We do not know where they are and whether they are safe or not. In fact, we still have no news of my uncle who was arrested 3 weeks ago, when troops put guns to the heads of his children and beat his wife severely.

Having studied in America, I have seen how strongly your people believe in freedom and democracy. Even through these horrible times many of the people supporting me are Americans who never thought their government would stand by dictators and against freedom-loving people. To the American people I send my love and gratitude.

I chose to write to you and not to my own government because the Alkhalifa regime has already proven that they do not care about our rights or our lives.

When you were sworn in as president of the United States, I had high hopes. I thought: here is a person who would have never become a president if it were not for the African-American fight for civil liberties; he will understand our fight for freedom. Unfortunately, so far my hopes have been shattered. I might have misunderstood. What was it you meant Mr. president? YES WE CAN… support dictators? YES WE CAN… help oppress pro-democracy protesters? YES WE CAN… turn a blind eye to a people's suffering?

Our wonderful memories have all been replaced by horrible ones. Our staircase still has traces of my father's blood. I sit in my living room and can see where my father and husband were thrown face down and beaten. I see their shoes by the door and remember they were taken barefoot. As a daughter and as a wife I refuse to stay silent while my father and husband are probably being tortured in Bahraini prisons. As a mother of a one-year-old who wants her father and grandfather back, I must take a stand. I will not be helpless. Starting 6pm Bahrain time tonight I will go on a hunger strike. I demand the immediate release of my family members.  My father: Abdulhadi Alkhawaja. My husband: Wafi Almajed. My brother-in-law: Hussein Ahmed. My unlce: Salah Alkhawaja.

I am writing this letter to let you know, that if anything happens to my father, my husband, my uncle, my brother-in-law, or to me, I hold you just as responsible as the AlKhalifa regime. Your support for this monarchy makes your government a partner in crime. I still have hope that you will realize that freedom and human rights mean as much to a Bahraini person as it does to an American, Syrian or a Libyan and that regional and political considerations should not be prioritized over liberty and human rights.

I ask of you to look into your beautiful daughters' eyes tonight and think to yourself what you are personally willing to sacrifice in order to make sure they can sleep safe at night, that they can grow up with hope rather than fear and heartache, that they can have their father and grandfathers embrace to run to when they are hurt or in need of support. Last night my one-year-old daughter went knocking on our bedroom door calling for her father, the first word she ever learnt. It tore my heart to pieces. How do you explain to a one-year-old that her father is imprisoned? I need to look into my daughter's eyes tomorrow, next week, in the years to come, and tell her I did all that I could to protect her family and future.

For my daughter's sake, for her future, for my father's life, for the life of my husband, to unite my family again, I will begin my hunger strike. 

Zainab Alkhawaja
11th April 2011

هناك 56 تعليقًا:

  1. God Bless and keep you and your family safe from harm! My dearest wishes are for you and your family to be reunited and for this nightmare to be over, once and for all! I will also hunger strike in support of you and your family and will continue to write letters and support you in any way that I can. All my love to you, dear.

  2. In His Name, the Most High


    We are all praying for the swift liberation of Bahrain from the cancer of the Zionist Aal-Khalifa

    Stay strong sister, Allah ma'ak and we will lodge protests and do what is possible for us

    With prayers for your success

    With Salaams and Dua's


  3. We all with you sister
    for Bahrain freedom.. for batter future
    we will continue what we start
    until take our rights ..

    God bless you and your family

  4. We are with you sister
    we will keep fighting for Bahrain freedom
    for our rights
    for those people who stay in jails because they call for freedom
    we will continue and keep fighting

    God bless you and your family

  5. We are with you in good times and adversity and we pray every morning and night for our country to Bahrain

  6. أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.

  7. I hope your letter gets read by President Obama and he starts taking some action to help all the Bahraini people to be released from prison! I just keep praying to God that we win our revelation and that the Human rights in America to start doing something to at least stop the crimes that’s happening.

    In Libya people die every day and here people get tortured everyday! No Human disserves to live or see stuff like that.

    I say this instead of all Bahraini people. We are going to keep protesting no matter what happen! we will fight for our right as long as it takes!

    And God bless you and your family and keep them away from any more harm and to all of the people that fight and demand to their rights.

  8. Zainab God bless your family, and your close will return home and give freedom to your country
    sympathized very much, my heart is with you,

  9. to All of the current United States of America president and his team, we will sooner or later take to the extreme extend of the law, we will file law suits in the courts of the crimes of war.

    For all that were done, and still and will be.

    Because of you, and your ego, and your own selfish concern, has caused us to suffer and got killed with with no basic human rights.

    If that isn't enough, we will file law suits against united states of america.

  10. My thoughts and prayers have been with you from the moment your family was taken. When I hold my daughter (2 years old) I think of your suffering, and I wonder what I would do if I were in your shoes; how I would explain to my daughter and my son (6 years old) why their father, grandfather, and uncle were taken for fighting for justice and peace, so that the next generation has the chance for a real life. I am sharing your story with as many people as I come into contact with, and I will join your hunger strike. I hope you can feel a sense of support and solidarity, knowing that at least one American daughter, wife, and mother on the other side of the world is walking with you.
    Ellen (@elleJDPhD)

  11. I hope that you get reunited with your family so soon. I support you and the freedom of all political prisoners in Bahrain. That's why I am going on a hunger strike to support you. I feel it is my moral obligation and the simplest to do for the freedom of the detainees. I especially feel very bad about the 25 women who are detained and separated from their families.

    It is inhumane what is happening in Bahrain. It needs to be stopped immediately by putting pressure from president Obama personally on the government of Bahrain. Bahraini people have rights as Americans. The US supports dictatorships in the Middle East like the Khalifa regime which inflects suffering and aggression on innocent people.

    Regards to you and your family.

  12. I have followed your story closely and will continue to do so. Insha'Allah all well end well.

  13. i never felt that any Arab would feel pain as we do here in Palestine. but today i feel i'm reading for a Palestinian wife , daughter, mother. but better to put it in the right position now : a human . i'm supporting you with my spirit and prayers . with my feelings and heart. i wish i can do more. i'll do my best to spread your words the least i can do . may Allah be with you. regards : Nalan Al Sarraj - Gaza

  14. Yes delete comments that says the truth,you know that army is in Bahrain to restore peace and not for killing .we r with king Hamad and we support him 100%,delete this msg as well .you are a gandful of liars

  15. aimy, put your finger in your ass and keep your mouth shut. If you don't have anything to say positively, please keep quite or you will hear a bad words

  16. Nobody deserves to go through what you and your family are going through. Today Bahrainis whom are asking for basic human right and -god forbids- democracy are labeled as traitors and agents to terrorist organizations. Cold-blood killing, attacking houses at midnight, gov thugs on every street, hate speech, threats, detention and torture are just some of the tactics to silence us. It won't work. My prayers with you.

  17. The following is arabic translation to the letter:
    السيد الرئيس ،
    أكتب إليكم من البحرين ، بعد أن عاشت الظلم الذي لا أرغب أن يتعرض له أي شخص في العالم. هاجمت قوات الأمن بيتي ، وكسرت الابواب وأرعبت عائلتي. دون أي سابق إنذار ، ودون مذكرة توقيف ودون إبداء الأسباب ؛ رجال مسلحين ملثمين هاجموا والدي من غير أن يقولوا شيئ ، ونحن نعلم جميعا أن جرم وذنب والدي أنه ناشط في مجال حقوق الإنسان. أمسكوا والدي من عنقه وجروه إلى أسفل الدرج ثم انهالوا عليه بالضرب حتى فقد الوعي أمامي. حتى انه لم يرفع يداه لمقاومتهم ، الكلمه الوحيده التي قالها هي "لا استطيع التنفس". وحتى بعد أن فقد الوعي واصل الرجال الملثمين الركل والضرب والسب وهم يهددون بأنهم سيقتلونه. هذا يشكل تهديدا حقيقيا للغاية نظرا لأنه في الأسبوعين الماضيين ثلاثه من المعتقلين استشهدوا تحت تعديب في السجن. قام الرجال المسلحين أيضا بالقبض على زوجي وزوج أختي بعد أن انهالوا عليهم بضرب.

    من وقت إلقاء القبض منذ عليهم ثلاثة أيام ، لم نسمع اي شيئ عنهم. نحن لا نعرف أين هم ، وما إذا كانوا سالمين أم لا. في الواقع ، ليس لدينا حتى الآن أي أنباء عن عمي الذي اعتقل منذ 3 أسابيع ، عندما وضعت القوات البنادق في رؤس أولاده وضرب زوجته بشدة.

    كنت قد درست في أمريكا ، ولقد رأيت كيف أن شعبك يؤمنون وبشدة بالحرية والديمقراطية. حتى خلال هذه الأوقات الرهيبة العديد من الأشخاص الداعمين لي هم من الأميركيين الذين لم يتوقعوا أبدا بأن حكومتهم ستقف الى جانب الطغاة ضد الشعوب المحبة للحرية. للشعب الأمريكي أبعث حبي وامتناني.

    اخترت أن أكتب إليكم وليس للحكومة بلدي لأنه قد ثبت بالفعل أن نظام آل خليفة لا يهتمون لحقوقنا أو لحياتنا

    عندما قلت اليمين الدستوري كرئيس للولايات المتحدة ، علقت آمال كبيرة بأن هذا هو الشخص الذي لم ليكن أن يصل الى منصب الرئاسة لولا اهتمامه بالحريات المدنية ، وأنه سوف يفهم كفاحنا من أجل الحرية. للأسف ، حتى الآن تبددت آمالي. قد أسأت فهمها . ما كانت تعني بذلك يا سيادة الرئيس؟ نعم نستطيع... دعم الحكام المستبدين؟ نعم نستطيع... مساعدة قمع المتظاهرين المؤيدين للديمقراطية؟ نعم نستطيع... غض الطرف عن معاناة الناس؟

    جميعها الذكريات الرائعة حلت مكانها الذكريات الفضيعة. الدرج لازال يحمل آثار دماء والدي. أجلس في غرفتي ومشاهد وصور ضرب والدي وزوجي وجهه لأسفل لا تفارقني. أرى أحذيتهم على الباب أتذكر كيف نقلوا حفاة. كأبنة وكزوجة أرفض أن أبقى صامته بينما والدي وزوجي يتم تعذيبهم في السجون البحرينية. كأم لطفله عمرها عام واحد والتي تريد والدها وجدها الرجوع لها مرة أخرى ، لا بد لي من اتخاذ موقف ولن افقد الأمل.

    ابتداء من الليلة الساعة 6:00 بتوقيت البحرين البحرين. سأبداء اضرابا عن الطعام. أطالب بالإفراج الفوري عن أفراد عائلتي. والدي : عبد الهادي الخواجة. زوجي : وافي الماجد. زوج أختي: حسين أحمد. عمي: صلاح الخواجة.

    أكتب هذه الرسالة لكي تكون على علم أنه إذا حدث أي شيء لأبي وزوجي ، عمي ، زوج أختي ، أو لي ، أحملك كامل المسؤلية كما أحمل نظام آل خليفة. دعمكم لهذا النظام الملكي يجعل حكومتكم شريكا في الجريمة. لا يزال لدي أمل أنك سوف تدرك أن الحرية وحقوق الإنسان تعني الكثير لشخص البحرينية كما هو الحال للأميركيين ، أو للسوريين والليبين. أي اعتبارات اقليمية وسياسية لا ينبغي أن تكون أولوية على حساب الحرية وحقوق الإنسان.
    في هذه الليلة أطلب منك النظر لعيون بناتك الجميلة وتأمل مع نفسك ما هي التضحيات التي ستقوم بها من أجل أن يستطيعوا ان يناموا هذه الليله آمنين. ، وكيف أنهم يمكن أن ينموا مع الأمل بدلا من الخوف والحزن ، كيف ان يكونوا في أحضان والدهم وأجدادهم عندما يتعرضون للاذى أو أنهم في حاجة إلى الدعم. في الليلة الماضية توجهة ابنتي ذات العام الواحد لطرق باب غرفة نوم باحثة عن والدها ، قائلة تلك الكلمة التي تعلمتها منه، ممزقة قلبي الى اشلاء. كيف تفسر لطفلة عمرها سنة سجن والدها؟ أود أنظر الى الغد في عيون ابنتي ، الاسبوع المقبل ، في السنوات المقبلة ، لأقول لها أني قمت بكل ما بوسعي لحماية عائلتها ومستقبلها.

    لأجل ابنتي ، لمستقبلها ، لحياة والدي ، لحياة زوجي ، لضم عائلتي مرة أخرى ، وسوف أبداء اضراب عن الطعام.
    زينب الخواجه
    11 أبريل 2011

  18. We Syrians dont blame Ahmedinijad responsible for syrians being killed. We hold those who act on such actions responsible. Every person responsible for his own action, he will be called on day of judgement for what he did, not what his sheikh told him, or his govt told him. And dont be afraid to protest, say b3d al yom, mafee khof. Inshallah khair, the truth never is lost.

  19. السلام عليك يا أخت زينب.. لن أفصح عن إسمي الحقيقي فأنت تعرفينني و نحن من أقاربكم.. أرجو إسال رسالة خاصة لي على العنوان alhujja@gmail.com لكي أخبرك بأمر مهم يرتبط بموضوع الوالد و العم و الخال.. الرجاء التواصل في أسرع فرصة ممكنة.

    و شكرا

    Salaam Alaikom Sister Zainab.. I have something important to tell you to share with you about helping your father and two uncles. Please contact me ASAP. Thanks

  20. Rabena ma3aki... God be with you and your family in this critical time. I will pray for you all and Inshaa Allah your daughter will see her father & grandfather very soon.

  21. Sister, all Bahrain Support
    I hope President Obama sees this msg and react fast !
    Just have faith in Allah and miracles can happen

  22. We all with you Sis.
    maybe Obama let you down maybe the organizations let you down .. but be sure that GOD will never let you down.. One day they will stand in front of all the wronged people ..

    I hope that they got what they deserve in this life before the last-life..


  23. آيات القرمزي بانتظارك يا زوزو وتقول لا تنسين تجيبين معاش حقنة بوتوكس حق براطمي :)

  24. God bless you and your family! I will pray for you, and I hope that your family is returned to you safe and unharmed. We are all with you in our hearts, and hoping always for the best.
    Signed in Zxii,

  25. So many of us Americans want so badly for your situation to change, to become better. I hope and pray for freedom for everyone, for it truly is a universal human right. Bless you all!

  26. and from a stranger so far away, I join you in your plea to those who DO have power to,intervene that they do so and do it now.
    My sincerest wishes for your release from such times.

  27. What a heartbreaking and moving letter - so full of truth and bravery and conviction. I know President Obama will not only read your letter, but will be moved by it. But I have no confidence in our politicians. They are not as brave as you and are mostly concerned with themselves.

    But American people are with you and I will send your letter to anyone I know - and they will send it on also.

    And I will pray for you and your family and all in Bahrain and all over the Arab world and beyond, who are living with such evil being done to them by self-serving dictators and tyrants.

    God bless you and keep you safe and strong.

  28. Egypt hasn't forgotten about you. Rabina m3a al haq we m3ana kulina inshallah. Praying for Bahrain to join us.
    -Love from Egypt

  29. Solidarity from the UK. Official sponsor of state repression in the 1990's. Take note Mr. President or history will not judge you kindly as the latest "Butcher of Bahrain." Zainab, take care with your hunger strike. Some local inspiration http://www.testimonyproject.org/testimonyprojectuk/article/news/yarls-wood-hunger-strike-six-months
    Hugs David

  30. أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.

  31. dear Brothers/sisters
    aproching sinsetve leaders or orgasnization will not work if you keep laying to others and yourself all the world have discover the game betwen the terorist in BAHRAIN AND IRAN
    and all your posts every where is plan since long time ago to sick the help from every person will fall in your danger game by draging insent pepole ,,,,,, shame on you all

  32. When Allah is with you, you fear nothing.

    There is no power greater than Allah in the whole universe. As long as we are with the truth and justice then Allah is with us and we fear nothing.

    Stay strong Zainab. Bahrain needs you to stay strong and brave enough to face those murderers.

    God bless you

  33. Keep yourself strong!! AllAh with you. Freedom for Bahrainis

  34. a strong hug from Gaza. empaty.Victor

  35. الله يفرج همكم أنتم في دعواتنا

  36. Stay strong - I am keeping you and your family in my prayers until you are all back together inshallah. I hope your message gets heard
    Fatma M, Oman

  37. هذا المجرم وعضابته لن ينجوا من العداله، ما فعلوه سيئ لا يمكن الصمت عنه ، أما أوباما فهوا عبارة عن مهرج للمبراطورية الامريكية التي قتلت الملاين من الشعب العرقي والفغانستاني، كما يقول المثل العربي الشهير، الشكوى الي غير الله مذلة ، سيئتي اليوم عندما الشعوب العربية تصنع تاريخها ومستقبلها

  38. . I will forward your message to my Friends in France, the UK and Morroco as the world should know what is happening to you.
    You are a strong and beautiful woman
    with love

  39. allow me to copy your letter to my blog spot
    we wish freedom to all people of Bahrain
    god is there and justice will rule at the end

  40. a hudge support from France, may i had a link to this page on my blog

  41. Hmm .. am tryin to understand u ppl ?

    u have ruined the country and now ur trying to win the support of the western media to continue ur corruption ... if ur waiting for ur husband and father to eat .. there are numerous no. of people whom their family got killed becuz of u ppl .. plz stop acting .. stop exaggeratin .. this is too much ..

  42. From San Diego, CA.... we hear you. Peace.

  43. How horrible what has happened to Bahrain!

    Shame on the Al Khalifas... shame on the Saudis... shame on Al Jazeera for its silence.

    Shame on Obama, enabler of injustice... of course he will never read this... if he does read this, he should have the courage to comment here!

    Courage to you and your family... God willing, Bahrain will be free



  45. We stand with you here in the US and so many of my friends have expressed their support since I initially began spreading word of your fast

  46. Bahrainis are not alone. We in the West hear you cries and know of your proud struggle. Getting action out of western countries is a slow arduous process. You must be strong and persevere for a little longer. Attention is growing to your plight and help will come. Your war with ROSES is an inspired persuit, there is no one who is not influenced by seeing your approach. Emphasis of the differences between your particular type of Shia Islam as it differs from that which is Iran is helpful to your cause. The West sees Iran as a threat and no alliance w/ it can help! Don't give-up, be strong, you will prevail, one day you will build a monument to the martyrs where the Pearl roundabout was.

  47. President Obama: If you are interested in the humanitarian persuit of helping/saving Libyans, then you must also care for the freedom fighters in Bahrain. They are not Shia of the type of the Imams in Iran and refect no threat to the US. I contribute to your elections, I vote for you, I try to promote your policies and defend your actions. Now, its your turn, I ask you to help the Bahrainis against the Sunni, Wahabbist abuses in Bahrain. Human freedom and dignity trumps oil and money every day of the week. IF THESE WERE YOUR IMMEDIATE BROTHERS/SISTERS/SONS/DAUGHTERS WOULDN'T YOU HELP? THEY ARE ALL THAT... PLEASE HELP ASAP

  48. Stay Strong Zainab! I am writing an aricle on what you and your family is undergoing. Hope it gets published so that more and more people get to know about the brutalities faced by Bahrainians. Take care!

  49. I read your story on line, it is beeing reported on stations and on TV everywhere! Those who write bad things about your noble and heartbreaking fight should ask to be payed better. Selling your humanity to dictators has become more expensive lately. You can do this! All my friends are with you.

  50. !!Hi
    How are you doing? I hope you're doing fine, under the circumstances... I'm so worried for you, your health, your family and your country. You amazed me, you're so courageous. All the best for you, all the love and strength!

  51. I heard about this in Swedish Radio.


  52. people of Bahrain

    We stand strongly with you, We hope to reach your letter to the President of the United States: Obama

  53. I was interested read this post.