Friday, 27 April 2012

#Bahrain I did my best

A letter to all the people I love, to all the people who care for humanity, and to all the oppressed people in Bahrain.

Dear Friend,

I didn't realise what a great man Abdulhadi al-Khawaja was until I had a dream about him several weeks back that had a huge impact on me. Waking up that morning I found myself crying for a man that I had never met before and knew little about. I had been hit with the realisation of just how great a man Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is, and yet I continued to watch the tweets and read what was happening to him, but do nothing.

Last week however, in the run up to the Formula One, I realised that this gentle hero was lying silently in his bed, enduring the pain of starvation, preparing himself for his final days, for the people that he loved the most, for Bahrain, and for humanity. And yet, all the while, the Formula 1 circus kicked up a noisy storm.

I wanted to do something to let the world know about this man, who could silently slip away whilst the cars roared out their engines. I started to tweet, but it wasn't enough. I wanted to act, but then it hit me, I was too late, his appeal was due in only a few days, and he didn't have long left to live. I felt guilty, that I had realised his greatness more than a month beforehand, and had done nothing to let other people know. So I wrote him a letter and made him a card. I didn't know if he would ever see them, but I just had to try, and some other people who felt the same wrote letters too.

So this week we had another chance, to tell the world about the hero of Bahrain, and I wasn't going to let it slip me by. I began to pray and fast with diligence, and to call on tweeps to help write emails to people around the world. Our objective, whether he was heading to freedom or martyrdom, was to ensure that his greatness did not pass by without being noticed.

We began campaign #Action4Khawaja where I wrote some tasks and set target numbers of emails for each - which we achieved, and then everyone began to write their own actions and support those of others which we called #MyAction4Khawaja, and then finally today I wrote one more set of actions called #Act4Khawaja and asked people to complete these too.

We noticed that as soon as we started to act together, we had power, and we started to see immediate results to our calls for action.

So I worked really hard this week. I hardly slept at all. I feel exhausted now but with some peace that I really did do as much as I could. Now if I don't go and tidy the house and look after my children I realise I might just get kicked out, so I'm not going to be able to do a lot more at the weekend (but will try).

Abduhadi al-Khawaja's appeal is due to give its verdict on Monday I understand. I am concerned that we have not done enough. I am wary that he may not even be alive. But this was our chance to get his message out to the world - and through him the message of the struggle for humanity in Bahrain. We made a good start - but I don't feel like this job is complete.

So I'm asking for your help. I need you to write, as much as you can, and to ask everyone you know to do the same. These are the actions:

Please do what you can to ensure the world gets to hear about this great man, before his appeal on Monday.



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