Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Manal,

I wish I can say that I have always been your biggest fan, but sadly enough, I am ashamed to say that my first reaction to your initiative was not excitement. I have, and always will be a huge supporter for women's right including driving. However, living in Bahrain and seeing what happened in Egypt and Tunisia over the past few months, I had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched your Youtube video and started reading your name on Twitter, it was a feeling of fear, a fear of radical change.

I would like you to know that I completely regret that feeling and wish that I was half as courageous as you are, and half as brave as you will need to be in the coming months as the events unfold.

Reading about your arrest today initially angered me, but I quickly returned to my senses and started analyzing what has happened in my head. Ever since this movement started, I have been waiting for someone, anyone in a seat of power to make a statement, or to even acknowledge what has been going on. The same feeling I had as the world waited for Husni Mubarak to speak, and for King Hamad to speak after him. Those leaders failed us as Arabs and as citizens of the Islamic nation.

I totally believed that Saudi will also take the Ostrich methodology as well, for sticking your head in the ground and ignoring the problem has proven to work well in the past. The more I thought about it, the more I started finding the silver lining in your arrest today. I want to believe that the decision to arrest you came with a blessing from up above, and no, I don't mean from God.

For someone with power to acknowledge this as an issue shows me that they have heard the screams and the pleads. Arresting you was the most logical reaction they can have, no matter what the ending outcome will become. I say this because no matter what their stance is on the subject, they had to neutralize you and return people's expectations to the status quo. This way, they ensure that if a change does occur, it occurred because they allowed it, not because you showed us that we do have the power to make a change.

I truly hope that I am right in my optimism(?), I truly hope that your actions do help in shaping the road to open minds and open roads..

Feras "Frogman" Sheraiff