Letter from Noor Falesteen Said to the Emir of of Province Dammam in Saudi Arabia
January 7, 1997
His Highness Mr. Mohammad Ben Fahd Ben Abdul Aziz, The Emir of the Eastern Province Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Dear Sir; I am sending you this urgent message via FAX on behalf of my family: my father, Dr. Mohammad H. Said, my mother, Nadia H. Said, my two brothers Yasser and Hashem.
I am asking you to free my two uncles Mahmud Hassan Said in Al’Ahsa prison and Fahd Hassan Said at the detention center in Ryad. Both are awaiting deportation to Jordan. My father sent you an extensive letter, also sending letters to your Deputy Prince Saud Ben Nayef Prince Nayef Ben Abdul Aziz the Minister of Interior, to Prince Salman Ben Abdul Aziz the Eniir of Ryad, and to Prince Bandar Ben Sultan the Saudi Ambassador to Washington. Even though my father phoned the Princes’ offices over a hundred times in a 3 month period he achieved no response.
My uncles, after tremendous effort, are still unjustly imprisoned. In my father’s letters he spoke of my grandfather Hassan Said, a kind and goodhearted man who I was regretfully unable to meet. My grandfather fled Palestine to Jordan and then found work in Saudi Arabia in 1950 after he lost his home in Haifa when the war broke out between the Palestinians and the Jewish invaders. While my grandfather lived in Saudi Arabia he had the honor of working on the first railroad ever built in Saudi Arabia which connected the cities Ryad and Dahran. He met your grandfather Abdul Aziz the founder of the now modem Saudi Arabia. He married a local young lady from the Al’Muhana family. He then lived the rest of his life in the city of Mubaraz. While he lived there he applied rightfully and legally for a Saudi Arabian citizenship which was promised to him. Nearly 30 years later he died without becoming a citizen which was wrong and cruelly unjust. Last year his wife died sadly still waiting for the ID cards for her children, my uncles.
Your Highness without this card my uncles and others are considered outcasts in Saudi Arabia. My uncles were not allowed to work, to finish high school, to get help from the government, to apply for loans. Indeed they were outcasts thrown into poverty because of a small piece of paper which considered them equal to their neighbors, friends, and even their mother. For the last 20 years my uncles have lived in fear, always looking over their shoulders in fear of losing their homes and lives. In spite of being born and living in your great country they still were not given ID cards. My uncles have suffered tremendously and now they are imprisoned awaiting deportation to a country they have never known. The situation reminds me of how the Palestinians were expelled to Southern Lebanon 3 years ago by the Israelis.
Sir, I am an 18 year old born and raised in the United States. I am proud to be an Arab, a Palestinian and a Muslim. Last year at age 17 I was elected a delegate of the Washington State Democrats in which I attended their convention. I was also elected Director of Diversity Affairs for the Young Democrats of Washington State. I am currently running for Washington State Senator for the National Junior Political Association. I am currently aiding to setup a Young Democrat Convention in April where I hope President Arafat and others attend. I am very happy to be acknowledged so prestigiously as a citizen.
My father was born in the port city of Haifa, Palestine which is now part of Israel. My father is very well known internationally. He met with leaders; King Faisal, King Khaled, President Yasser Arafat, the President of Iran, President Saddam Hussein, etc. My father established the Muslim Student Association in Europe and Spain, the Islamic Medical Association and many other important parties. He was elected in 1988 as one of the Representatives of the Washington State Democrats for their National Platform Committee. Last year my father ran for Governor in the State of Washington and was treated with respect and prestige. His ideas were acknowledged whole-heartedly by the media and his competitors.
The United States has treated us with the utmost respect and equality, and here we are the minority. We are in a non-Muslim country and still we are considered equal. My uncles are Muslims in a Muslim country, the birth place of Islam and they are being treated unjustly.
How could this be? Are we not brothers and sisters? Have we lost all ties to our heritage and blood because of borders?
Sir; I will not sit idly while my uncles are being punished. They are suffering in prison while you do nothing! This letter and case will be faxed to President Bill Clinton, who I am hopeful will respond, and to other Human Rights organizations immediately. Copies are being also sent to your father the who were previously contacted.
Miss Noor Falesteen M. Said