UPDATE (2): As of this writing, it looks as though Meriam is not to be freed. It was just an evil rumor that stopped the momentum of the public outcry for her release. See:

UPDATE: Thank you to all those who shared! Speaking out and spreading the word made a difference. Meriam is to be freed! Let’s hope they will allow her children to go free, as well.

Meriam. She lay shackled and heavy with child until the child was born. Now they will kill her. And those who could stop this from happening will not.

It’s not their focus. It’s not their problem.

And so she will be hung and her children orphaned, her husband widowed.

It would be so easy to intervene. She is married to a U.S. citizen. Her children are U.S. citizens.

The State Department, if it wished, could have made it easy for her, for Meriam. They could have saved her long ago.

Daniel Wani and Meriam Ibrahim on their wedding day (youtube screenshot)

But her distress, her husband’s distress, doesn’t speak to them. It’s not part of their job description. And hey, there are lots of terrible things going on in the world and this is just one more thing and it’s nothing to do with them. There is only so much they can do.

Except it’s not true. Those of us who know about Meriam are touched to the core by her beauty and steadfast refusal to turn her back on her faith to save her skin. What strength of character!

Why would anyone think she isn’t important enough to save?

So I ache from time to time as thoughts of Meriam come to me. I think of her tender maternal feeling for her newborn, her ache to raise her child, her fighting the urge to just give in so she won’t have to leave just yet, but knowing that it’s so much larger than just herself and her baby. It’s larger than Meriam. It’s a principle.

It’s important.

If they do it—and I don’t see how it can possibly be stopped—I will remember her.

Meriam’s 20 month-old son, Martin. (youtube screenshot)

I will remember Meriam.

She will remain a symbol to me of goodness and faith and strength. I will say a prayer for her from time to time. I will think of her children growing up without a mother, her husband aging and in pain, in a wheelchair, growing gray without his dear wife.

Meriam is a physician. She is dedicated to the art of healing.

Will the world recover from the wound incurred by her hanging? Will our collective soul rally and rebound to fight the evil that we dare not name or have our blog pieces censored from view, our tongues silenced?

Will we, with her death, be freed to finally say the words out loud? The words they don’t want us to say, even as we witness the terror and the destruction wrought by that which is ineffable?

When will we earn our courage, find the freedom to speak of the horror that has been repackaged and relabeled for consumption by the masses by those who do not realize that they, too, will live and die among those masses.

Individuals may escape. But other individuals, people like Meriam, will die instead.

It’s completely random. It’s unpredictable.

And seeing the big picture is all but impossible when all I can see is Meriam.



About the Author
Varda Epstein is a blogger and Communications Writer for