- Egyptian jail causes Al Jazeera journalist to miss birth of son
Jailed Al Jazeera journalist Baher Mohammed will become a father again today. His unjust imprisonment has however meant that he will not be at his wife Gehan’s side when she gives birth to their baby boy.
From his jail cell, Baher released a letter to the new arrival, to be named Haroun. The letter is a mix of sadness and hope for the child’s future, as well as some valuable wisdom for his two other children – four year old Hazem and three year old Fairouz.
Baher begins by sharing his hopes that there are better days ahead for Egypt:
“Sorry because you were born where free people are behind bars, including your father. Sorry too because you have come to a society where its freedom’s restricted. But I promise you I will always fight for liberty. I don’t want you to give up on this society… because I am sure that soon everything will change for the better.”
He goes on to share his life lessons to his children:
My dear children, there are things I learnt and I want to share with you. I was always fighting for the truth in my career and that was not easy. Whatever it takes, keep looking for the truth and never be afraid of it. I want you all to maintain your dignity. It is one of your most precious values. Always be patient because you will face lots of obstacles in your path. Always be good to all, even to those who treat you badly. Feel the pain of the others and keep trying to help them. If you feel you can help and make someone happy, never hesitate. If you can draw a smile on someone’s face… then take the action to draw this smile.
My dear children… keep smiling because behind the clouds the sun always shines.”
Finally, Baher tells of the close bond between the families of the three imprisoned journalists. Peter Greste’s parents and Mohamed Fahmy’s family are at the hospital to support his wife, Gehan, who was admitted to hospital earlier today.
“Finally Haroun, I want you to ask your Mama to forgive me because I couldn’t be with her the moment you arrived. I want you also to take it easy on her. And by the way… the moment you will arrive you will meet two great Australians; the parents of Peter Greste, who is in prison (with) me, as well as the great Egyptian family of Mohamed Fahmy, my colleague. Together we are sharing this struggle and together we will celebrate your birth. They are your family and their sons’ are your father’s brothers.
So don’t be shy of them.
Love you Haroun…
Your father: Baher Mohamed