This morning.

The Embassy of Egypt, Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Today marks three years since Ibrahim Halawa’s detention without trial in Egypt.

Thanks Gemma



A letter from Ibrahim Halawa to his family friends and ireland

I am sorry it has been 3 years

DAD, I am sorry that for 3 years your son has been taken away from you without being able to see him. I am sorry that you raised me to be righteous and ambitious, I am sorry you wake up every morning knowing that you might never see me again. I am sorry it has been 3 years.

Mom, I’m sorry that for 3 years you have been chasing me from prison to prison. I am sorry that you saw me dragged just because you wanted an extra minute to make sure your your son is fine. I’m sorry you can’t be happy with me like most mothers. I’m sorry it has been three years.

Nosaiba, Ahmed, Somaia, Khadija, Fatima and omaima. I am sorry I couldn’t be there as a brother for you. I am sorry I couldn’t be an uncle for your kids. Somaia and Omaima, I am sorry I couldn’t be at your wedding to take by your hand and make it the best day of your life. I am sorry that standing up for rights had us split up. I am sorry it has been three years.

Anas my friend, I’m sorry that our plan we drew for ourselves in primary school has ended before it started. I am sorry I can’t be you best friend. I am sorry it has been 3 years.

Ireland, I’m sorry I’ve been away from you for 3 years. I’m sorry I can’t see your kind people. I’m sorry I can’t see your bright green colour. I’m sorry I can’t walk your beautiful mountains. I’m sorry I can’t breathe your reviving air.

I’m sorry I can’t soak from you pure rain drops. I’m sorry I can’t watch the city as it gets busy early in the morning. I’m sorry I can’t live the happiness of the villages around Ireland. I’m sorry I can’t watch the blue sea from your high cliffs. I’m sorry it has been 3 years.

Irish people, I’m sorry that for 3 years you have been fighting for my release. I’m sorry for the years I have missed between you. I’m sorry for missing out on all the Irish gatherings. I’m sorry I was stolen away from the warmth of the Irish laughter.

I’m sorry for a limitless language expressing limitless feelings, but I’m fighting for what you thought me to die for. I’m fighting for other to gain democracy like back home. I’m sorry that I am willing to die for freedom. I am sorry it has been three years.

Ibrahim Halawa
August 17, 2016

Free Ibrahim Halawa (Facebook)

Previously: Ibrahim Halawa on Broadsheet

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58 thoughts on “Three Years

    1. well, that's tat

      Don’t go to a country and commit something that’s illegal there and complain by the consequences it brought. As a gay man who is in the UAE a lot I don’t go out of my way to gay-it-up or show PDA with my partner because I know it’s frowned upon/illegal there. I don’t do it because I know the Emerati legal system is tough and UAE prison is no 5 star hotel. Respect local laws. If you don’t you play by their rules, shitty legal system and all.

    1. Nigel

      The quality of being surprised at something like this isn’t really a metric for anything other than lazily composed rhetorical questions.

        1. Nigel

          ‘Are we surprised’ is up there with ‘am I the only one who’ in terms of lazy composition. Is anyone surprised that I’m the only one who thinks this? It’s meaningless guff and I am mildly irritated every time I see it! Particularly when it amounts to advocating complacency and blithe acceptance of injustice and mistreatment.

  1. Jake38

    I think I’ll go to Cuba and protest the political prisoners there.

    Can someone from the Dept. of Foreign Affairs follow me to dig me out, please?

    1. whut

      are you from Cuba? coz thsi dude was from Egypt, and went there to protest about something in his original country.

  2. Junkface

    Look, he was brought up with certain beliefs in his family like any of us. His family are from a country which has been in political/military turmoil for decades, its natural for someone who is young and idealistic to feel that they can repair their country of origin.
    He thought that 2011 was an opportunity to change Egypt for the better, but he misjudged it like many others. He was very young to go into such a confusing/dangerous situation for Egypt at the time. Loads of us in Ireland would have done the same thing at that age if it was our country going through a perceived revolution, so don’t get all “He deserved it”.

    1. Jake38

      While I don’t know for certain what exactly his beliefs are, if, as I suspect, they include the imposition of Sharia law on a secular state and institutionalized misogyny, then he can keep ’em.

      1. Bob

        Because people should be imprisoned without trial as you fear what their political beliefs are. That’s exactly how society should be run…

          1. Bob

            Wow, that’s even worse. Just because they’re pathetic he must be imprisoned without trial. That’s a terrifying world you want to force on us.

  3. Eamonn Clancy

    He identifies as Egyptian. Playing the Paddy card won’t work. If his name was Mick O Shea, from Drimnagh, rest assured he wouldn’t be on a platform speaking to 10,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters far, far away from home.

    1. Maria

      Agreed Eamonn Clancy. Hes only a Paddy because he got caught. There is enough stuff on Youtube to convict him. I’m sick of this family and their influence over our media. Must be big bucks in it for someone

      1. Bob

        If there’s enough to convict him then let him be convicted. But don’t pretend that being held indefinitely without trial is a good thing just because you’re afraid.

      2. Kieran NYC


        Tell us, Maria. All about these “big bucks”. Who, how much and where?

        Enlighten us with your deductions.

  4. 15 cent

    whenever this story comes up i despair at all the “thats what he gets” comments. He’s an Irish man, he went to join protests in his country of origin to be a part of making positive change. He got heavily punished for that. And continues to be punished, as are his family. He committed no great crime at all. People hear ‘muslim bortherhood’ and think he was up to no good, an organisation by the way, which is a peaceful, democratic organization that condemns violence and violent acts. the same with our government, they aren’t getting involved because they dont want to be seen by their bosses (EU) and crushes (US & UK) as helping out someone who protested with the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s a young irish man, and deserves to be brought home to Ireland, a place he loves and belongs to. there are plenty of irish men and women here at the moment who do worse almost every day and they dont get punished accordingly. this guy does not pose any threat to us whatsoever, just stop the posturing and bring him back, its so lousy, and our gov. are so pathetic. if he lived in england they’d have him home by now. our lot are not mentally equiped or versed in the ways of resolving this.

    1. Tony

      If we are so simple and awful, why would he want to come here. Sure its only a kip according to you.

        1. Tony

          Sure how could it be?

          our gov. are so pathetic. if he lived in england they’d have him home by now. our lot are not mentally equiped or versed in the ways of resolving this.

      1. 15 cent

        what? i never said irelands a kip, you massive dope. the only bad mouthing of ireland i did in that comment was in reference to the government. you just wanted it to be something else. and ur response to bob doesnt make any sense either. you’re not reading the comments and just reading what you’d like to read and get annoyed about. and here i am responding to you .. a mindless cretin .. i feel foolish for having taken the time to address your irrelevant dribbles.

    2. Neilo

      I don’t know if I’d agree that Muslim Brotherhood are all about placing over-sized daisies in rifle barrels.

    3. rotide

      If he actually did go to join the protests, I don’t think there’s much that can be done by Ireland. He went to protest, got caught by the winning side and is subject to their law. That’s kinda what you get. By all means, Ireland should be trying to get him out and back home but there isn’t any ‘3 YEARS ENDA, SHAME’ about it.

      Ibrahims supporters claim he was there on holiday with his family and got caught up in the protests which started while they were there. If this version of events is the truth (and I reckon there’s a fair pinch of salt given his dad’s postition on the whole thing) then Ireland has been very remiss in not getting him out quicker.

      It really does depend on who you believe.

  5. Eamonn Clancy

    Oh, and by the way, his Mom and Dad doesn’t speak English, so why is his letter in English?

    1. Bob

      “A letter from Ibrahim Halawa to his family friends and ireland”

      But don’t let that stop you loving the fact that another human being is being imprisoned without trial.

    2. Gah!

      Neither do you, Mr. Clancy. “Don’t” not “doesn’t”. If you’re going to be a smug, make sure you’ve something to be smug about..

    3. Chris

      His Dad was interviewed on the radio, while I find him staunchly conservative and not likely to be seen enjoying a pint anytime soon I can say he spoke perfect English, better than a lot of us do.

  6. thefatlad

    Despite being imprisoned and tortured they seemed sound enough to give him two coloured biros to work with

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      This would be so much more impressive and believable if he had written it with an ink made from his own blood and a quill made from bone.

    1. Nigel

      Just imagine if they could have excluded homophobes from Ireland. The Church would have fallen overnight.

      1. Tony

        Answer the question maybe? I dont see you taking on the muslims much over their homophobia. Is it ok because its religious?

  7. Amado Carrillo Fuentes

    Where’s the posters who were on the previous poo-show of a thread calling everyone racists? Wasn’t there a list of stuff we couldn’t say?

    Anyway, Ibrahim is a pawn in a game played by his dad and the current Egyptian govt. No level of intervention from Ireland is going to change that. Papa Halawa over-reached himself and now his son is in the clink. I feel sorry for Ibrahim really, I don’t think he was entirely complicit or understanding about what was going on.

  8. Zuppy International

    Ibrahim Halawa’s handwriting looks like a girls.

    And it has today’s date on it so the ‘letter’ obviously wasn’t posted from Egypt.

    I smell spooks…

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