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"I don’t see the sky" - Ibrahim Halawa pens letter from Egyptian prison

In the letter, Halawa imagines that today could be his graduation day.

Ibrahim Halawa in prison last year.
Ibrahim Halawa in prison last year.
Image: Halawa Family

IMPRISONED IRISH CITIZEN Ibrahim Halawa has written a letter imagining what life would have been like had he not be sent to a Cairo prison.

Halawa, from Firhouse in Dublin, was arrested by the Egyptian army in a Cairo mosque after allegedly taking part in a protest during the Muslim Brotherhood’s “day of rage” in August 2013.

He faces court on 3 October. This will be the 15th date his trial has been set for. He faces a mass trial along with 493 others.

In a statement accompanying the letter, his family say that he has been suffering from chest pains.

“When Ibrahim demanded to see a specialist the prison refused and said they would only bring him to the prison hospital who have inexperienced medical students that have misdiagnosed many of Ibrahim’s cell mates before.”

In the letter, Halawa imagines that today could be his graduation day.

The letter in full (all sic):

Today has finally come, my graduation day, The day i have longed for. The day my parents invested their whole lives in to see me reach.It’s the day while every graduate gets their hair done, I forcibly get my head shaved, while my rough white clothes is my uniform, my fellow graduates are dressed in their best outfits.

Today while every graduate throws their graduation hat in the sky to come down with the long waiting dream, I don’t see the sky because I’m enrolled in a different college

A college i did not know I had applied for when I chose to fight for freedom, a college that kidnapped me from life to teach me the principles of really life, a college full of lessons. A lot of which I have learned in dark moments and nights where the first lesson is how I should have appreciated small lesuires in life that passed by unnoticeably.So simple as the sun burn that would reflect of my book to light my face up or the morning breeze that will find its way through its lungs.

Striving with life’s toughest conditions was another lesson. Being forced to show with 30 human beings  24/7 dormitory where my sleeping area is 35cm.

In this college I’m obliged to live with a broad diversity of inmates from presidential consultants and college professors to illiterate criminals which thought me to see the real human being behind every social rank.I have learned that absolutism is an invalid way to judge humans, humanity is all about relativism.

It is a college where the hardest subject is finding the forgiveness, as I must say as a freedom fighter I never became a revenge hunter.

Even though after all these years my oppressor is yet not convicted to let me graduate from his prison and go home while for others it’s graduation night out for me its graduation lights out.

The statement says that “Ibrahim’s letter leaves no room for more to be said”, but calls on the Dáil to increase pressure on Egypt.

Read: Ibrahim Halawa case: Egypt hits back at Ireland and accuses him of assaulting police

Read: Taoiseach calls Egyptian president to seek release of Ibrahim Halawa

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