Thank you for having me and for your most esteemed aknowledgement.
What is there to say after all of this?
What is there to share of this journey?
What good could result from all this pain?
What good could ever be realised by all this shame?
So many questions...loose ends
And having all the answers would not be my claim.
Nor would I presume on such wisdom or advice or illusions of fame.
What we have together here,
is a view into an obscure experience. What we have together is a strategy for inspection.
What we can share in this travesty and this display of such delinquent legal processes, is not a bitterness or anger, but a clear and progressive regrowth.
As I stand back from it all with you, from an objective standpoint, and after a great deal of effort and care assisted by a great many wise contributors.
What I've done up till now is to have presented the myriad of confused components coherently and clearly for you to see and share and assess.
Through my previously unblemished reputation and my perhaps tardy attempts at a putting these events up for an exacting scrutiny, it is my sincere hope that much of this unfortunate travesty will be presented in its entirety for the good things it has yielded .and Your opinions are very important. crucial.
Your respected opinions and conclusions are yours alone to choose with no obligation to me, or my devastated family and friends.
I am most highly indebted to my now divorced wife and son for enduring the most traumatic deprivations and social rejections on my account.
Their shame and ignominy through all these years of secretive whispers and gossip must have been a most painful ordeal.
Their incredible fortitude and achievement, even as everything they had earned and deserved, was snatched away, in a day, as I lay incarcerated, helpless, destitute and muzzled.
Significantly too, was how my parents endured much of the same torment and disinformation.
My dear parents were equally bewildered by the roughshod allegations which were bandied about, so contrary to the long suppressed truth which eventually surfaced years too late.
Bravely those most gallant parents, family and friends stood by my side regardless of the fabrications that resulted in my errant convictions through THAT well proven legal slaughterhouse.
Most importantly I've acknowledged my misdemeanors and shortcomings many times over and have drawn much reprieve from having disclosed all of that.
The acceptance and confessions of my misdemeanors was a very important factor for my credibility, recovery and self respect.
What I really need to express now, is that there is so much good that has transpired from this most unfortunate turn of events.
The indescribable horror, shock, shame and outrage mustered into the Arab spring and its inconsistencies, transformed into the errant legal processes leading to my imprisonment.
So much good came out of all this.
So many networks of campaigning supporters formed..
So many meetings of the most wonderful personalities.
So many diligent operatives within the diplomatic structures and rather sadly, also our dissappointment at their inaction and impotence.
Where we had hoped that they would have influenced a more balanced resolution. They didn't.
Finally I managed, with the help of some friends from respected kuwaiti social circles amongst the inmates , to get hold of a tiny phone.
From then on, everything changed, and it allowed my loved ones to hold my head above the water . Every day.
It consoled them too knowing that I was well and contending with the daily trials.
It encouraged an interaction of powerful emotions, as the cruelest of events played out. Every day.
So many friends felt the pain and sadness with me... Every long night.
So many shared the great many joys that occurred.. And little miracles.
Contributions came in to me in many ways.... Emotional support and
by relief parcels.. Visits..
Cash amounts or loading to my phone credit.
Some supported my old mum and helped her to learn to use her phone..
Carrying letters and love between her and myself so excessively restrained and silenced.
Some very great friendships and meetings have resulted from all of this.
There is a manuscript for a book presently undergoing final editing.
I have also managed a few of my own achievements as I experienced living into another culture.. Language religion and lifestyle. There was so much I could never have learnt anywhere else.
Reading speaking and writing arabic and using it all every day.
I completed a course as an electrician in the workshops and ran the satellite TV systems for hundreds of inmates.
I made many good friends and good impressions at every level.
I used the time well and exercised consistently and many now follow my example.
I fed the birds every day, now they do it.
I taught some basic English at the school .
Every day I gained a foothold and where I feared I was slipping behind the busy outside world..
I was progressing in other ways.
Obtaining a tiny illegal phone was a revelation and it changed everything.
It became my lifeline and a bridge into my metamorphosis to freedom .
An interface between the cloistered surreal jail existence and the the fast moving real world outside.
I had found a way to see the world and to extend my presence far beyond the thick concrete walls and steel bars.
I was never alone as my support base grew ever wider.
I was more reassured as the details of my case were corroborated and shared widely.
The details were all researched and cross referenced and carefully set in place for everyone to see, so they, and you, could come to your own conclusions.
The heavy black clouds lifted from over my head, and my family and many friends breathed a huge sigh of relief as the long concealed explanations were finally aired .
So many letters of appeal were made to many a high level of government and media groups.
Every single one was rebuffed or ignored. So many kind friends wrote the most flattering glowing testimonials on my behalf submitted all in hope.
Nothing was wasted.. It all served a purpose and confirmed a most universal support and encouragement to me, and to all who hoped with me.
Thank you to my stalwart friends who persevered with these appeals on my behalf, literally right up till the last day of my incarceration.
Thank you to the hundreds that messaged the most heartwarming encouragements on all social media platforms.
My jailers all knew of the delinquent events leading to my implication and incarceration but of course were bound not to say a thing. They reciprocated however, by looking after me most kindly, and I will be ever indebted to them for that.
A number of them are linked on my fbook. My dark angels I call them.
I've gone on too long here I know.. But I needed to share an important point with you here.. That this most terrifying ordeal was turned around to serve a far greater purpose than my welfare.
It's way bigger than me..
Its every one of you,
who held this all together,
and I will never be able to express sufficient gratitude to you all, but will endeavor to pay it forward.
I know it's taken a corner of many lives and brought together the most incredible friendships across the world. There will be a book and another after it concluding and revisiting, rejoicing.
I will recover.. And I hope the odious labels will fade.
My losses will balance,
with many more gains....
and the credit for all this is due to you.
Thank you for standing by me through all this. Thank you for acknowledging the bravery of my young son and my parents.
Thank you for having me here today
I am most overwhelmingly honoured.
Bless you all.
I recently responded to an old friend who has been funding me very generously over the last few years and I thought I would copy you in on some thoughts even though you might not have the previous track..
Sadly diplomatic intervention was not anything he we had hoped it could be.
It was so very disappointing to learn so late, how impotent and apathetic.. Aloof and bound by bumbling excuses the authorities were, at every turn.
They were polite and kind and always close at hand but it was very clear that they really did not need me.
There is more to this than meets the eye I think?.. and they have yet some cards to play...
Some evasive excuses or possibly good reasons that they were previously unable to disclose?
Either way, they were careful and courteous, and I know a few concerned individuals were well on my side, and did for me far more than they were permitted, but understandably, were careful to stay within the sensitive diplomatic boundaries.
I write to a few of them today out of official channels and they will always be family now.
I think at this stage, after so much good has resulted, that angling at deficiencies and flaws will not do as much good, as highlighting the minimalistic tardy efforts with complements and thanks.
They did a lot of good too.
Even to the kuwait authorities, I will direct only respect and thanks, for their efficiency and compassion.
In all these big organizations, there are failings,.
As much... or more, as there is in the uk or usa.
The last thing is, that we can be secure in our knowledge that we tried everything.
We left no stone unturned and still had no response.
But I know that every letter and appeal was noticed.
And today every one of those was a bright ray of hope for me, restoring every ounce of my honour and self esteem bit by bit.
My family was so grateful for the concerted efforts by so many great people from near and very far.
For them it was much more of an exoneration from my indiscretions and my getting into this shameful situation.
Nothing was wasted.
Everything, every voice counted, and today it has all pulled together so positively in the end, that there will be little place for critical reproaches, only relief, and gratitude