Free Shaza Barakat—the only Syrian woman onboard the Freedom Flotilla

Free Shaza Barakat—the only Syrian woman onboard the Freedom Flotilla

 By Forward Magazine, Syria

The only woman onboard the Freedom Flotilla, Shaza Barakat, has been arrested by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and taken to a prison within Israel. She happens to be the only Syrian woman among the hundreds of activists who were attacked by the IDF at 4 am on Monday, where 20 civilians were killed, 15 of whom were Turkish citizens.

Shaza, aged 45, was born in the northern city of Idlib in 1965. She is an amateur scriptwriter who currently works as manager of a computer systems academy in Damascus and had formerly served as an instructor of Arabic at the Pakistani International School of Damascus (PISOD). Shaza, a mother of three, dreams of writing a 30-episode drama about the life of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Her husband said that he had last spoken to her more than 24-hours ago, before the Freedom Flotilla was stormed by the IDF on May 31.

Forward Magazine calls for international solidarity with Shaza Barakat. She needs to be treated in a human and dignified manner, since she was illegally arrested by the Israelis, having committed no crime except help channel humanitarian aid to Gaza. She needs to be released from Israeli captivity and justice needs to be done to the thousands of those who were terrorized by the IDF earlier this week. Our prayers go out to the 20 civilians killed on Monday.

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6 Responses

  1. I am sure she will be deported soon. In the meantime, she is getting what she wanted.

    • Abou Ali’s comment not only reaks of crassness, but also is emblematic of the current state of disassociation many of us suffer when it comes to matters not related to money or narrow personal interests.
      Shaza Barakat not only is a Syrian, a mother, and an activist (which is more than could be said about either Abou Ali or myself!); but also, and most importantly, a human being. Such blatant disregard for her plight is, to say the least, a shame.

  2. A little bit of respect and sympathy can go a long way!

  3. Shaza Barakat – is now free
    Gilad Shalit – is not free

  4. Since when do Muslims care about women? This is a first. Maybe they want her back so they can go back to treating her like a slave.

  5. Cris… Muslims in Syria treat women well… unfortunately you are one of millions of people who think all Muslim/Arab countries are the same when it comes to their level of religious tolerance, understanding and practice.

    Your comment shows you have never been to Syria… you most certainly seem to think it is a Wahabi country. It is not. Syria is not Saudi Arabia, nor is it Afghanistan. Come to Syria and see for your self what kind of “religious pluralism” this country harbours.

    The stereotype that women are ill-treated around the Muslim and Arab worlds is simply not true. The world media have successfully created numerous stereotypes about this part of the world.

    Odds are Shaza is dinner-hopping from one invitation to another and is being received lovingly by her immediate and extended family… cause Syrian people are very much into pampering their women. Yes, you read it right… “pampering” their women.

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