- 20 Oct 17
"It feels like our life was on pause, and it's just about to begin again," Somaia Halawa says, speaking with a clear sense of optimism in her voice.
Somaia is the sister of Ibrahim Halawa, a young man from the south side of Dublin who had been held in pre-trial detention for four years between the Egyptian prisons, Tora al-Marg and Wadi el-Natrun, while his trial was postponed 28 times.
Then, on September 18, Ibrahim was found not guilty of the 15 charges against him, included among these were murder and participating in anti-military political protests. As a result, for four years, a possible death sentence hung over his head. So, as we spoke in the living room of the Halawa household in Firhouse, ten days later, Somaia's primary feeling was of relief, albeit with a certain degree of anxiety.
Knowing that he has endured an appalling, traumatic experience, Somaia voiced her concern in regards the gradual process of rehabilitation. "We are negotiating with him where he would like to go once free," she says. "Maybe somewhere close to the beach, so he isn't around too many people. It's important for him to get away. Whether Ireland, or not, he is not coming straight home here. He's not mentally ready to meet people.