Tag Archives: poet in prison

Mohammed al-Ajami Still in Prison

We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)*

Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi
You don’t hold constitutional power
We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times
For us that’s past history
The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime
Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice
We only criticize the disgrace and the horror
And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions
Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people
Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free
And tell those who are holding their shroud
That every victory bears its ordeals
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king
Believes he can rely on the American military
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied
While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen
And you wake up stateless the next morning?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?
Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?
Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value
And fail to choose its own government?
Enough with tyrannical regimes!
Tell the one who torment his people
That tomorrow someone else will take his place
He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring
Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory
Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny
We are all Tunisian in the face of repression
Governments and Arab governments
Are all- without exception
A gang of thieves.
And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder
But shall never be answered by the official sources:
If we import all kinds of things from the West
Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?

Free Mohammed al-ajami

Mohammed Al Ajami reading at table pic

The New Year has arrived and Poet Mohammed al-ajami remains in a Qatar prison. We have written extensively at the FCR on his plight and encourage you to engage in activism to encourage Qatar to release the poet from his harsh sentence. You can read more on his plight at Pen America at this link:

http://www.pen.org/defending-writers/mohammed-al-ajami

 

The Plight of Mohammed al-Ajami

al-ajamiOver the last few years we have written about the plight of Mohammed al-Ajami, a poet who is serving a sentence of 15 years in Qatar for writing and reading a poem that was offensive to the Emir. He was initially sentenced to a life sentence. As reports of his situation fade we remain hopeful for his release. Many of us take for granted our rights to freedom of expression. There are places in this world where a simple act such as writing a poem will separate you from your family and land you in prison. Such is a place is Qatar, the owners of Aljazeera News and Aljazeera America.

mohammadalajami

We are hopeful the regular readers of this blog will take some action. You can call the Qatar embassy and leave a message at (202) 274-1600 (press 1 four times to leave a message with the ambassador’s office).  Those in other nations should contact the Qatar embassy in their nation.  Over at Code Pink there is a link to send a letter to the embassy and additional information on Mohammed al-Ajami http://codepink.salsalabs.com/o/424/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7122 On September 25th it was reported his latest appeal was denied  http://qatarwatch.net/wp/news/qatar-court-upholds-poet-mohammed-al-ajamis-sentence/

Step up and don’t forget Mohammed al-Ajami

 
 The Poem
 .
Mohammed al-Ajami
 .
We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)
 .
Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi
You don’t hold constitutional power
We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times
For us that’s past history
The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime
Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice
We only criticize the disgrace and the horror
And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions
Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people
Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free
And tell those who are holding their shroud
That every victory bears its ordeals
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king
Believes he can rely on the American military
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied
While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen
And you wake up stateless the next morning?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?
Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?
Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value
And fail to choose its own government?
Enough with tyrannical regimes!
Tell the one who torment his people
That tomorrow someone else will take his place
He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring
Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory
Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny
We are all Tunisian in the face of repression
Governments and Arab governments
Are all- without exception
A gang of thieves.
And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder
But shall never be answered by the official sources:
If we import all kinds of things from the West
Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?

 

Qatar in the News – Mohammed al-Ajami still in Prison

Qatar in the News

emir.

Qatar plans $11B oil field redevelopment

Qatar sees no worrying rise in concentration of bank lending

Qatar Seeks to Be Global Hub for Culture

Qatar is doing quite nicely in the world. They own cable news networks, spend billions of dollars, reassure investors and of course now want to be a global hub for culture. The city of Philadelphia welcomed their airline with glee.

And there is this……

Poet Mohammed Al-Ajmai

Poet Mohammed Al-Ajmai

The poet is serving a 15 year sentence for writing and reading a poem the Emir was affronted by. Embassies have been contacted, legislators have been contacted, even former Vice-President Al Gore has failed to act, (he sold his cable network to Qatar.) This powerful economic force we know as Qatar is afraid of a poet writing and reading a poem.  A global hub for culture? Over 15,000 people have signed a petition for his release. Still he sits in jail. I encourage you to sign the petition,   (http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7041 , a few more signatures may help. More importantly we cannot forget the poet.

A visit to the poet was prevented: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/qatar-authorities-thwart-pen-prison-visit-with-al-ajami-229125471.html

The Poem 
.
Mohammed al-Ajami
.
We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)*
.
Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi
You don’t hold constitutional power
We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times
For us that’s past history
The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime
Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice
We only criticize the disgrace and the horror
And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions
Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people
Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free
And tell those who are holding their shroud
That every victory bears its ordeals
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king
Believes he can rely on the American military
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied
While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen
And you wake up stateless the next morning?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?
Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?
Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value
And fail to choose its own government?
Enough with tyrannical regimes!
Tell the one who torment his people
That tomorrow someone else will take his place
He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring
Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory
Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny
We are all Tunisian in the face of repression
Governments and Arab governments
Are all- without exception
A gang of thieves.
And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder
But shall never be answered by the official sources:
If we import all kinds of things from the West
Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?
.
.
g emil reutter– g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA)  http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Mohammed al-Ajami – Still in prison for writing and reading a poem

al-ajamiMany of us take for granted our rights to freedom of expression. There are places in this world where a simple act such as writing a poem will separate you from your family and land you in prison. Such is a place is Qatar the owners of Aljazeera News and Aljazeera America. Mohammed al-Ajami, first sentenced to life, is now serving 15 years for writing and reading a poem.

The Poem

Mohammed al-Ajami

We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)

Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi

You don’t hold constitutional power

We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times

For us that’s past history

The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime

Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice

We only criticize the disgrace and the horror

And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions

Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people

Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free

And tell those who are holding their shroud

That every victory bears its ordeals

Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king

Believes he can rely on the American military

Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied

While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?

Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen

And you wake up stateless the next morning?

Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?

Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?

Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value

And fail to choose its own government?

Enough with tyrannical regimes!

Tell the one who torment his people

That tomorrow someone else will take his place

He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring

Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory

Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny

We are all Tunisian in the face of repression

Governments and Arab governments

Are all- without exception

A gang of thieves.

And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder

But shall never be answered by the official sources:

If we import all kinds of things from the West

Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?

What You Can Do

 You can show your support for the poet by calling the embassy in Washington D.C. and leave a message at  (202) 274-1600 (press 1 four times to leave a message with the ambassador’s office).  For those outside the United States please contact the embassy in your nation. It is not too late to contact elected officials in your country to seek support for the poet.

Our Previous Posts:

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/no-mercy-for-qatari-poet/

http://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/senator-casey-weighs-in-on-mohammed-al-ajami/ 

http://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/senator-toomey-reaches-

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/hes-still-in-prison-for-writing-a-poem/

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/robes-in-a-bunch-sends-poet-to-prision-for-life/

 

 

.

Mohammad Al-Ajami Still in Prison for Fifteen Years

mohammed al-ajami

Least we forget Mohammad Al-Ajami remains in his cell in Qatar. Fifteen years for writing a poem.

Please check out our previous posts and send a message for his freedom.

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/senator-casey-weighs-in-on-mohammed-al-ajami/

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/senator-toomey-reaches-out-to-state-department-concerning-mohammad-al-ajami/

A Call To Release Chinese Poet Zhu Yufu

Zhu Yufu

From Russell Streur

Many of you are aware of, and have participated in, the Saloon’s support for the imprisoned Chinese poet, Zhu Yufu.  It has been nearly two years since his arrest and incarceration.  Hopes for a general amnesty of cultural prisoners stemming from the recent change in Chinese leadership appear dim.  Zhu’s birthday is February 13.  To demonstrate a continued support for him, I request that each of you consider one or more of the following actions:

·         Send him a birthday card.  I do not know if Mr. Zhu speaks English or not.  It he does not, someone in the prison block might.  What I suggest is to send him a card with a positive image on it—a flower for instance, or a bird or rainbow.  A short message in English would be appropriate—“I am thinking of you” or “You are not forgotten” would work.  So would a direct “Best wishes on your birthday.”  Nothing complicated or lengthy, and nothing against the Chinese government or any message that could bring him trouble.  He may never receive the card—but the prison grapevine might bring him word of the envelope.  Pay attention to colors:  red means good fortune and joy; yellow represents good luck; green, health and prosperity. Include your name and return address on the envelope so the authorities know the breadth of his support.  Do not send money and do not expect a response.  The international postage will be less than the cost of the card.  At the end of January, the US Post Office will be selling Forever Global stamps for $1.10.  The address is:

Zhu Yufu

Zhejiang Provincial No.4 Prison

P.O. Box 50, Hangzhou City 311100

Zhejiang Province

P.R. China

·         Sign the petition for his freedom at http://freezhuyufu.blogspot.com/.  Many of you have already done this.  I ask everybody to, and to ask your friends to as well.  The petition was delivered to Chinese authorities last year following his conviction; it will be delivered again on this and all subsequent anniversaries of his arrest on  March 4.

·         Write the Chinese ambassador to your country expressing your request for his release. A source for embassy locations can be found here:  http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/2490/

·         Submit a poem in his support in a separate and individual email to me ateditor.camelsaloon@gmail.com.  I will post it at The Bamboo Foresthttp://zhuyufu.blogspot.com/

Zhu Yufu is just one of hundreds of imprisoned writers around the world.  For more information, I recommend visits to these sites:

English PEN http://www.englishpen.org/

EveryOne Group http://everyonegroup.com/EveryOne/MainPage/MainPage.html

He is also just one of thousands of imprisoned Christians in China and around the world.  For more information, I recommend visits to these sites:

China Aid  http://www.chinaaid.org/

Human Rights in China http://www.hrichina.org/

Persecution  International Christian Concern http://www.persecution.org/

Thank you for your support, and all good blessings on your houses,

Russell Streur

Barkeep, The Camel Saloon

Groundskeeper, The Bamboo Forest

He’s still in prison for writing a…. poem

Mohammed al-Ajami

Mohammed al-Ajami still sits in prison for writing a poem in Qatar. We published our first article on this tragedy on November 30th: https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/robes-in-a-bunch-sends-poet-to-prision-for-life/ You can show your support for the poet by emailing the embassy in Washington D.C. as we did, however, I believe the emails go unread. You can also call the embassy and leave a message at  (202) 274-1600 (press 1 four times to leave a message with the ambassador’s office).  Over at Code Pink there is a link to send a letter to the embassy and additional information on Mohammed al-Ajami http://codepink.salsalabs.com/o/424/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7122

Step up and don’t forget Mohammed al-Ajami