Why is the world silent about Hakeem and Nada?

Remember all of the outrage around Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun, the Saudi Arabian refugee who barricaded herself inside a hotel in Thailand? Well, there are other refugees from the Middle-East looking for safety, but they have been nowhere near as successful in getting it.

Remember the case of Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun, the Saudi refugee who barricaded herself inside a hotel in Thailand? Whilst she was quickly accepted as a refugee in Canada, there are many others who wait in limbo for months, if not years, with no end in sight.

One such refugee is Hakeem al-Arabi, a footballer who was tortured for alleged dissent towards the Bahraini government. He was 19 at the time. In 2014 he fled to Australia and was granted refugee status. However, in 2018 whilst on his honeymoon with his wife, he was arrested by the Thai government on the basis of an Interpol notice put out by the Bahraini government. Whilst this notice was quickly removed, he has remained behind bars ever since.

There is also the Yemeni refugee Nada Ali, who attempted to enter Canada illegally in 2017, and has been waiting ever since to be granted asylum after fleeing war-torn Yemen.

This has raised the real question of why Rahaf’s case was resolved within a single week, whilst scores of others continue to wait for any official recognition and assistance.

Many have pointed out that in these very similar cases, one major difference was Rahaf’s exuberant rejection of Islam, which she has repeatedly publicised on social media. Eating pork and drinking wine have been received by many in the west as “acts of liberation” which proved her place in Canadian society.

Meanwhile, however, the cases of Hakeem and Nada continue unresolved, which may be in part due to their continued commitment to their faith.