Jordan: “Bring Raad Home” from Syria

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

Momentum is building up online to pressure the Syrian authorities to release Jordanian Raad Kawar, who has been held since April 19. The 26-year-old was in Syria returning by car from vacation in Beirut to Fuheis, Jordan, where he lives (Ar), when he was arrested.

According to a website run by his family and friends:

Raad Kawar is a warm and loving 26 year-old Jordanian citizen. He went to Lebanon to visit some friends for a day and come back home. On Tuesday 19th of April at 1 a.m. that night, Raad sent a friend of his a text message saying that he is on the highway and on his way back from the Damascus borders, and should be arriving in a couple of hours. But that was the last his family or friends heard from him.

The website adds that Kawar was in no way politically involved. Kawar's case was featured on Al-Jazeera's May 1st Live Feed for Syria (note 9:40 pm).

Raad Kawar

Raad Kawar

On the website, Alameer Kawar, Raad's brother, earlier wrote a letter to Syria, saying:

Dear Syria: Today is the 9th day that you’re holding my brother captive on your soil. I believe that is more than enough time for holding an innocent Jordanian citizen…We’re hoping and praying for today to be the day, the day we celebrate our brother’s return, the brother for so many and the friend for many more.

I <3 you Raad Kawar

Others tweeted a video that Raad had made and posted on Youtube, encouraging others to witness his vibrant personality:

Friends created a Facebook event with a recommended prayer for his return:

Raad Kawar is God's child. He will resist the devil. No weapon formed against him shall prosper.

And others exchanged suggestions for action to assist Raad at another Facebook group. Still others shared happy stories of time spent with Raad at Luma Spin wrote:

Raad was my first boss, although you couldn't really call him boss, he was more of a friend right from the start. One day while in a meeting with him, he suddenly got up on his desk and started dancing, and that's when I knew, this would be the best job ever

Others expressed hope for his quick return. Salem al-Beiruiti tweeted:

#RaadKawar, Hang in there & don't let go of ur smile! I've never seen u BUT smiling, keep doing so! we're going 2 #BringRaadBack soon! :)

Wissam Chidiak wrote:

#BringRaadHome, precious, I know you're holding strong, I hear your words. We'll get you back free very soon.

Some, like Omar Biltaji, wanted to know how long it might before Raad is returned to Jordan and his family:

Can we understand the timeline in which Raad Kawar will be released and reunited with his family? #BringRaadHome #JO “Please ReTweet”

And others demanded updates from the Jordanian Foreign Ministry and its Minister, Nasser Judeh. Aseel al-Otaibi wrote:

@ForeignMinistry any news about #raad, isn't it time to #BringRaadHome !! 14 days are more than enough .. please update us

Foreign Minister Judeh responded from his own Twitter account:

Efforts being exerted at all levels. Not tweeting about it doesnt mean we are ALL not trying and concerned. Please. #BringRaadHome

Follow the hashtag #BringRaadHome on Twitter for more updates on Kawar.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

1 comment

  • Dear Betsy,

    Thank you for publishing this article and being interested in my brother’s case.
    Today marks the 19th days for my brother’s captivity in Syria and we’re still hoping and praying for his freedom.

    God bless all those who have and are encouraging us and supporting us and we hope for every innocent to be freed and allowed to be back home to his family and friends.

    Thanks again dear :)

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