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Emotions on graduation day for a daughter of the Holy Land Five

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Its been 4 years since he has been in prison. 2 years since I last hugged him.

I hate it when I think too much. I was thinking about what could have been. How it could have been.

At my graduation, I could have been able to hug him, like all my other colleagues. My father would have hugged me tight, kissed me on my forehead, and told me “mapook, habibti” like everyone else’s father… My father would have BEEN there like everyone else’s…

As I was walking into the arena last night, 5th in line, out of a few hundred students, I looked up to the families waving and greeting us. I waved and got excited when I saw my family. I saw my mother, my sisters, pother in law, cousins, aunts, and uncles, but I did not see my dad… I was so close to tearing up.

“Nida, dont… dont you dare… suck it up, you dont want to ruin your eyeliner… you need to look pretty for the picture!”

I had to tell myself all of that, just to stop myself from crying like a loser.

Every time I turned around to see my family, as I was sitting, I kept imagining my father…

Its hard… It really is. Im not writing this to gain attention, im not like that. Im writing this because I need to let it all out some how…

I held in my tears all day yesterday. When we went out for lunch, i imagined him in front of me, instead of my uncle. Hugging me after I got ready. Hugging me before I went into the hall for the graduates. Hugging me and giving me flowers after the graduation…

All i did yesterday was laugh and smile. I kept in my true emotions.

He was on my mind all day, and all night.

I should be happy I graduated, but Im not… Im just not feelin’ it.

I feel like half of my heart is not in place.

As a matter of fact, it isnt.

My father completes me. I can never be truly happy without him.

I miss him… I love him…

This post first appeared on Nida Abubaker’s blog.

Nida Abubaker

Nida Abubaker is the proud daughter of a proud political prisoner, Shukri Abubaker. To learn more about the Holy Land Five case visit

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3 Responses

  1. annie on May 14, 2012, 10:45 pm

    just remeber he’s thinking of you as much as you’re thinking of him, so he is with you even when it seems like he is not. he really is. you know he wants the best for you and for you to be happy so you have to find joy in these moments. visulaize him there, because you know in your heart he is. he’s so there with you on those special days and even the not so special days. he’s always there for you.

    thank you so much for writing. the injustice done to your father is such a stain on this country. it reminds me of the japanese internment. completely unfair and unjust. someday they will be free and this country will apologize for what we have done. big shame for us.

    congrats for finishing school. hold your head up always, shine.

  2. Chaos4700 on May 15, 2012, 8:47 am

    It’s disgusting that the United States holds political prisoners on behalf of Israel.

  3. Rusty Pipes on May 15, 2012, 7:41 pm

    Considering the treatment of these American citizens for coordinating contributions to charitable organizations before the State Department labeled them terrorist, the recent delisting of the MEK as a terrorist group under zionist pressure makes this family’s story even more wrenching (even more disgusting to be part of our nation’s alleged democratic processes).

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