Dear Mr. President,
Salutations and peace to you and your family.
My name is Ali Yusufali; it may interest you I was born not too far from your father’s birthplace of Kenya, in Arusha, Tanzania, where I grew up and became an adult. Aspirations for a quality education, better economic opportunities and awe for the United States brought me to this country. A very wise decision, since I have, thanks to God and this very generous country and her people, done wonderfully well. I love this adopted country much, whose citizen I became some fifteen years ago. I cherish the privileged freedoms and liberties she affords my children and me. For this kindness and generosity, I frequently pray for the safety and success of these United States of America.
Mr. President, I have written to you before, when you and Michele visited India in 2010, on November 6 2010, to be exact. I hope you read my letter but doubt it, what with your very busy schedule running the United States of America. However, should you feel inclined, I have posted the write-up on my Blog which you can access by clicking here.
You recently made your first trip, as President, to Israel. I was quite excited you were going; happy to learn you were going to listen, to both the Jews and Palestinians. I am sure you did that, listen. But I gather, from news reports, you listened to one side only, the Israelis. I was very hopeful you would listen to the oppressed people of occupied Palestine relate their lives under Israeli rule to you. Real life stories of oppression and brutality and subjugation and indiscriminate, arbitrary killings of innocents and arrests without cause and razing of homes and burning of olive farmland that put bread on poor Palestinian dinner tables and usurping of land and of insults to the oppressed and the denial of medical facilities or care to the sick or injured and of sheer helplessness and desolation of these hapless people.
Mr. President, the above description of Israeli rule of occupied Palestinian land is not mine. No Sir, I have never been to occupied Palestine. These words are from a very renowned and respected Jew, an Israeli citizen who has witnessed and documented all these atrocities I describe. My dear President, I beg you to spend about fifty minutes of your time to watch this. It will be time very well invested, I promise you. Granted Al Jazeera TV, not your cup of tea perhaps, has hosted this piece, but, to me, it is quite fair and balanced reporting. Again, this intense documentary is not mine or Al Jazeera’s, but from Journalist Gideon Levy, a well-known, well respected reporter from the renowned Haaretz newspaper in Israel. My request is asking a lot from a busy person as you, I am certain; but it beats travelling time and considerable cost of taxpayer dollars going all the way to Palestine and seeing, hearing all that is documented, all within the peace and comfort of the White House.
My good President, I believe you are a man of decency and honor. You are from the genes of humble people; you too, have international flair of events with your background in Hawaii, Indonesia and your legal background here in the USA. I have seen passion for fairness and all that is good for humanity in you; in your speeches and your direct addresses to me. That is why I voted for you, both times! But you are letting me down Mr. President. You have missed out on a unique opportunity by not talking to ordinary Palestinians under occupied rule. Here is an opportunity again, please do watch this documentary. May I suggest you invite your beautiful wife and two lovely daughters to watch with you? You and them will truly appreciate how lucky we all are living in these the United States of America and how truly awful, brutal, beastly the occupation of Palestine is.
From your campaigning for reelection last year, you stated you are a practicing Christian. Wonderful! I attended elementary school in a wonderful Catholic school in Africa; those were formative years of who I am today. Even at that young age, I learnt, from mandatory church attendance, how very similar Christianity is to my Islam, how much we share in values and Biblical history, prophesy. My holy book, the Glorious Quraan commands me thus:
“Let there arise from you such people inviting what is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; these are the ones who will be successful.” (3:104)
I am sure this command is not unique to Islam, but is common to all religions, especially the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Mr. President, the occupation of Palestine by Israel and her brutal rule is vile evil. Period.
I am confident you have in you to be a good President; nay, a great President. These personalities, history teaches us, become great by men who have the steel in them to be just and fair, against formidable odds. I am cognizant and appreciate the many pressures and constraints you have from numerous US and international vested interests that root for Israel and her unjust and brutal policies. By not speaking out, as leader of the only country that can make a difference to the current status quo, by not enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil may make your life easy in this temporal life. Perhaps. I do know however, that Christians believe in an afterlife that will have to be reckoned with.
I must end here; again, your time is important. Thank you Sir, for giving me the opportunity to write to you, an opportunity that is not a privilege to a vast majority of this worlds populace.
I wish you peace.
Yours very truly.