alkhawaja

The Bahrain authorities must release a prominent activist dragged away along the ground in handcuffs from a peaceful protest, Amnesty International said today.  

Blogger and activist Zainab al-Khawaja, whose father and husband are both in prison in the aftermath of popular protests this year, has been charged with taking part in an illegal public gathering, showing contempt of the regime and assaulting a police officer. 

Video and photographs of her sitting in protest on her own at a roundabout on 15 December, then being handcuffed and dragged along the ground by the handcuffs into a police car contradict the contention that she assaulted the arresting officer.

Thankfully, she was released the next day (see @angryarabiya), but she’s probably angrier than ever.

You might recall I posted about this woman earlier this month - When Its Time To Take A Stand.

The Sultan Digs My Fathers Grave, by ZAINAB ALKHAWAJA

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is a human rights activist, currently on his 55th day of hunger strike. His daughter, Zainab, is also an activist. During her most recent arrest, she wrote this poem about her father.  

I watch in horror as, the sultan digs my father’s grave.
He digs it deep and makes it narrow,
smiling that one day he shall live in a towering castle
surrounded by the deafening silence of miserable obedient slaves.

I watch in horror, and I call to him:
“Gravedigger, dig! But make the grave a little bigger.
Dig for two and not for one.
Make it so it fits us both,
for I could never step on the ground,
if my father is buried under.“

I hear the sultan cursing,
his face all red with fury. 
He has found another seed he knows my father planted.
He crushes the life right out of it,
and into the grave he throws it.
Yet as he digs a home for death,
he’s blind to the seeds of life growing all around him.

As tears of anger burn my cheeks,
I feel a hand around my shoulder.
I look into my father’s sad eyes.
I see him smile, a sunrise.
"Don’t despair,” my father whispers.
“You witness victory. Celebrate.”

As the sultan sits in the dirt,
tired of all the digging,
he sees around him bones and bones,
of sultans, emperors, kings and queens.
He sees with fear skulls and skulls,
but no more crowns.
A question arises:
how to crawl out of a hole
that he had dug and dug and dug so deep?

From in his grave he looks up high and in the sky.
The sultan sees a vision.
With giant wings rising to the heavens,
a man who is only skin and bones
and big dark eyes and a tranquil smile.

SOURCE: Democracy Now!

The Sultan Digs My Fathers Grave, by ZAINAB ALKHAWAJA

Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is a human rights activist, currently on his 55th day of hunger strike. His daughter, Zainab, is also an activist. During her most recent arrest, she wrote this poem about her father.  

I watch in horror as, the sultan digs my father’s grave.
He digs it deep and makes it narrow,
smiling that one day he shall live in a towering castle
surrounded by the deafening silence of miserable obedient slaves.

I watch in horror, and I call to him:
“Gravedigger, dig! But make the grave a little bigger.
Dig for two and not for one.
Make it so it fits us both,
for I could never step on the ground,
if my father is buried under.“

I hear the sultan cursing,
his face all red with fury. 
He has found another seed he knows my father planted.
He crushes the life right out of it,
and into the grave he throws it.
Yet as he digs a home for death,
he’s blind to the seeds of life growing all around him.

As tears of anger burn my cheeks,
I feel a hand around my shoulder.
I look into my father’s sad eyes.
I see him smile, a sunrise.
"Don’t despair,” my father whispers.
“You witness victory. Celebrate.”

As the sultan sits in the dirt,
tired of all the digging,
he sees around him bones and bones,
of sultans, emperors, kings and queens.
He sees with fear skulls and skulls,
but no more crowns.
A question arises:
how to crawl out of a hole
that he had dug and dug and dug so deep?

From in his grave he looks up high and in the sky.
The sultan sees a vision.
With giant wings rising to the heavens,
a man who is only skin and bones
and big dark eyes and a tranquil smile.

SOURCE: Democracy Now!

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Activists in Bahrain.