On July 7, Kuwaiti Hussein Al Fudalah left his home to go fishing and was never seen again. A few days later his family got the news that he was detained in neighbouring Iran. Kuwait's Ambassador to Tehran assured them that he is fine and would be released soon. Days went by and Hussein isn't back home yet. And while Kuwait's newspapers are turning a blind eye to Hussein's plight, one Kuwaiti blogger thinks that enough is enough and is running an online campaign to draw more attention to the captured fisherman.
The mastermind behind the campaign, Ostad Hamam ( استاذ حمام) , from the blog neidans, charges:
لا أعلم الى متى هيبتنا كدولة تنتهك ونحن صامتين، قالوا لا تثيرون الموضوع حتى لا “يعاندنا” الايرانيون ويؤخرون خروجه، وها نحن ننتظر ويمر اسبوعين ولا خبر او علم! وكالة انباء فارس (اذا ممكن احد يترجم لنا الخبر، الموقع العربي لا يحتوي على الخبر!)، تذكر ان جهودا من “خالد الجارالله” وكيل الحارجية بذلت لاطلاق سراح المفقود، هناك تفاصيل مذكورة لم استطع فهمها، ولكن الحقيقة ان اي تقدم لم يحدث في الافراج عن المفقود.I don't know until when we will remain quiet while our sovereignty is being violated. They have asked us to leave the matter alone so that the Iranians don't become stubborn and delay his release. We have been waiting for two weeks and we haven't heard anything. The Iranian News Agency (If anyone can translate the story! The Arabic site doesn't have it) says that Khalid Al Jarallah, the Foreign Affairs Under-Secretary, is exerting efforts for his release. There were some details mentioned which I couldn't understand, but the truth is that he still hasn't been released.من ناحيتي، سأقترح حملة بالتعاون مع زملائي المدونين للضغط باستعجال الافراج عن المفقود، وثقتي كبيرة بزملائي المدونين بأن يتحركوا لاثارة هذا الموضوع، فنحن اذا ما المصالح دعت البعض للسكوت، لن يستطيعوا ان يرفعوا اقلامنا عن قول الحق، وما ابسطه من حق وهو المطالبة باسترجاع احد ابناء هذه الارض البرره.I think we as bloggers should start a campaign to call for the expedited release of Hussein. I hugely believe in my fellow bloggers and that they will participate in this campaign. If some have been forced to keep quiet to protect their interests, we will not be stopped from saying the truth. And it is a simple right we are calling for – and that is the return of one of the sons of this country back to his home.
Kuwaiti bloggers were quick to respond. Enter-q8 introduces a banner for the campaign and explains why pushing for his release is paramount:
ليش هالتحرك و هالحملة و السؤال
عن حسين الفضاله
هل لأن اهو سني هل لأنه اهو ولد بطنها هل لأنه اهو حضري
لا يا سادة
لأنه شريك معانا و معاكم
كويتي يرتبط معاك بالعقد اللي انت و انا وانتي موقعين عليه
و بناء على قبولنا بهالعقد و بهالشراكة
خذينا شهادة تثبت هالشي
شنو هالعقد اللي الكل يتسائل عنه
العقد اهو الدستور
اللي ينظم حياتنا و دولتنا و عملنا و تصرفنا
العقد اللي موقع عليه حسين الفضالة
نفس العقد اللي انت و انا موقعين عليه
يعني كلنا شركاء و نتحمل المسؤلية معاً
خلنا نشوف احد بنود هالعقد
المادة السابعة من دستور دولة الكويت
مادة – 7
العدل والحرية والمساواة دعامات المجتمع, والتعاون والتراحم صلة وثقى بين المواطنين
التعاون و التراحم صلة وثقى بين المواطنين
المواطنيين شركاء الوطنYou may be asking why this campaign and movement for Hussein Al Fudalah?
Is it because he is Sunni? Is it because he isn't a nomad?
No, it is because he is our partner. Yes, my and your partner.
Because he is Kuwaiti – a Kuwaiti who is linked to you and me with the contract that we all adhere to.
You may wonder what that contract is? Gentlemen, it is our Constitution, which organises our lives, nation and our work. It is the contract that Hussein Al Fudalah has signed – the same contract you and I have signed too, which means we are all partners and are liable.
Let's check one of the clauses of this contract.
Item Seven says:
Justice, freedom and equality are the pillars of society; cooperation and compassion are the strongest link between citizens.
Cooperation and compassion are the strongest link between citizens.
Citizens are partners in the nation.
باكر يمكن انت
و بالاخير مواطن كويتي شريكك و شريكي
لنعيد تلاحمنا كما كان
ندعو الى الله أن يرد حسين لأهله و بلده
المعاناة ما عشتها لكن ابسطها بابسط مثال
اغلبنا يسافر سياحة و يتلهف على العوده لبلده
سياحة فما بالك من لانعرف مصيره
أسف ولكن اكيد لن يكون بنفس حاله بين اهله و بلده
أدعوا معنا لشريكنا في الوطن
المواطن حسين الفضالة بالعودة الى ابنائه وربعه و جيرانه
و الى رؤية بلده الكويت
و لا تنسوا ان تساهموا معنا برفع الشعار
حتى يعودToday, it's Hussein's turn. Tomorrow, it could be you, or your brother, or father. At the end, it would be a Kuwaiti citizen – who is your and my partner. In order for us to cooperate with each other like we used to, we pray for Allah to return Hussein to his family and country. I haven't been through the agony he is going through now, but let me simplify it with another example: Most of us travel abroad for tourism and are eager to return home after a while. Imagine how it is for him, when we don't even know where he is. I am sorry, but he cannot be like he is when he is with his family and in his country. Pray with us that the citizen Hussein Al Fudalah returns to his children, friends and neighbours, and to his country. And don't forget to post the banner until his return.
comfy zone q8 writes about Hussein's plight as well:
It`s really depressing when you wake up to the ugly fact that your security as a citizen is not among the priorities of the government of your country.
It`s really humiliating when you discover that your value as a human being is not being respected and your simplest right of living safely is not guaranteed
it`s really frightening when you suddenly vanish and no one show any seriousness in finding you.
and it`s really sad when your country give you up for the sake of “the international relations”
Exzombie is frustrated with the government for not exerting enough pressure to secure Hussein's release. He says:
we are a bit disappointed with the level of ignorance the Government and the Parliament is showing to this case and their negligence to suffering of Husain's family.
a month has passed by now and no one could even tell if he was release, where and when, and what his condition is, we sympathize with his family and may he return safe and sound.
3erzala posts an appeal for Iranian officials to release Hussein, written by Enter-q8, which hopes people would email to Iranian officials. The letter appeals for Hussein's release and his quick return to his family.