On the eve of Christmas, spend 5 minutes to save a man’s life.
On the eve of the second holiest day of the Christian year, a simple question: Would you take 5 minutes of your time to save the life of the man pictured below?
This man is Ibrahim Parlak. Pictured with him is his daughter, a US born and raised citizen, Who’s mother is a member of my extended family, herself born and raised in the US. In 1991, Ibrahim was brought to the US, and in 1992 he was granted political asylum by our Department of Justice. He is an ethnic Kurd, the only group in the entire Arab world that has been a reliable friend to America, and willing to fight like dogs for their own freedom.
He had previously been imprisoned and tortured by the government of Turkey, for simply advocating an autonomous Kurdish homeland, a policy that the US was also in favor of. After 24 years as a model US resident, the Obama administration has opened his deportation back to Turkey on December 24th. He faces certain imprisonment and probable summary execution.
Many of you know my brother in law, Col. John Nerges. John served 30 years in the US Army, including two years as the head of Intensive Care nursing at Walter Reed and a tour in Iraq. John knows Ibrahim, and states that he is fine human being, a man who came here legally, who has been a model immigrant, who’s deepest wish was to earn a place here, and to be an American citizen. This same man’s life is now a bargaining chip in the hands of this administration, to be used to appease the corrupt government of Turkey, the very same country we saved him from 24 years ago, when we still had a government which stood for human rights and individual liberty.
Below are several links, and a very important petition to sign. Read them and decide for yourself. If you pause before signing it because the administration might keep that list, let me point out that that is exactly how they want you to feel, afraid to speak up for what you know to be right.
If you read it but don’t sign because it isn’t worth 5 minutes of your time, I ask just this: When your own family gathers on Christmas eve, look at your own children and imagine that it is the last night you will spend with them on earth, That you will be sent to a torture cell in a merciless Islamic country unless, by chance, someone who has never met you, reads about yourstory, and is a good enough human being to spend 5 minutes reading and signing a petition for your life. If it was your last hours with your child, imagine how you would pray that this country still had decent people in it. Tonight is the hour where you discover if you are one those people.
From the family website:
“We are asking you to READ, SIGN and SHARE the petition below to stop the deportation of our family member, Ibrahim Parlak.
This situation is as urgent as it can be. Information has been shared with the family that the impending arrest and deportation will be occurring within the week.
If you choose to do nothing, and in a few weeks you read that a tragedy has happened, please don’t be reluctant to privately share your inaction with me. If you read my story: Thinking of Mike Holey, an Aviator and a friend. you understand that I have bitter personal experience in living with the burden of not having done enough to save the life of a good man. Having made the identical moral error, I will not judge anyone for it, and I will share what I have learned about coping with things one can not apologize for.
17 Replies to “On the eve of Christmas, spend 5 minutes to save a man’s life.”
WW, and Grace: I signed. I hope that the signature of one, simple Corvair builder (not me), will make the difference. WW: You will be able to stand up in any meeting of truly caring, decent, patriotic citizens, and count yourself amongst those who put credibility, fortune, and life on the line for what is just and right. You are able to sleep better at night knowing this, than most of us (including me). I’m proud to know you. John Schmidt St. Paul, MN amateur transmission crate builder. I might, or might not, dress more conservatively.
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:33:43 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Signed and shared……
The right thing for the right reasons!!!!
William, I have known several Kurds here in Sweden, all good hard-working men, and on their home ground they seem the only ones fighting the Daesh. Real Men, obviously.
Don´t know if I meddle in what is not my business, but signed the petition & wrote a short personal comment to show how I feel:
It is inhuman to deport someone after 25 years, an act contradictory to what the United States always stood for as seen by the World, and a slap in the face of all those millions who immigrated and made themselves useful in The New Country.
Seems to me the good ones are getting fewer & we should support them wherever they are.
Great story and comment.
I could not get to the petition to sign fast enough.
If only our “administration” would expend the same effort to prevent real, identified terrorists from entering and remaining in our country.
How much more vetted could a person be after 25 years in country as a productive businessman and family man. I am presuming that HS does not have an active case reason for discrimination. This is not a target that HS or myself should be interested in. On the contrary, he demonstrates character traits that should be welcome in the United States. Leave him and his family to live in peace.
William, Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Merry Christmas! Becky
Merry Christmas to you and yours
I signed the petition William because we live in a State where the impact is well known of what the President did in allowing many to enter and remain in our Nation without any legal process at all. Oddly enough, that happened about the time of the last Presidential election! Now we have a crisis in New Mexico. The crimes here, especially in Albuquerque, are beyond understanding. Quite often they are committed by those very same “citizens” permitted to stay in America without any legal immigration process. Every day we see heartbreaking evidence of failed administration policy here. What angered me most about this brave Kurdish mans plight is that my wife is a legal immigrant from Russia. It took us several thousands of dollars total and almost a year to process her immigration AFTER our marriage. Her uncle is a Uzbek ethnic Jew granted asylum and a citizen here about 25 years ago and is a man that lives a peaceful and productive life as Mr. Parlak has. ALL of them are legally here through due process. I myself am of German heritage. My Grandfather loved this Nation to his core..and even in the dark days of WW1 and WW2 he was never threatened with deportation. I am wondering… what possible crime has Mr. Parlak committed that he should be deported? Will I and my legally immigrated family also be deported now? Born in Kansas, with a certificate to prove it! My immigrant family members were part of the teams that BUILT the Enola Gay and Bockscar, the airplanes that ended the most horrendous war in history! I myself was employed on several programs in defense of our Freedoms. ABL, E4B, and VC25 for example! Will the DHS now knock on my door?
Thank you for adding some real meaning to these holidays. I truly hope that common sense prevails! God Bless!
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:33:43 +0000 To: email@example.com
Four times in my life the oath of office has demanded the protection of the Constitution. Three of those four times could have required life itself, depending on circumstances. Similarly on many occasions confession of a faith describing freedom and liberty has been the task. Seeing the neighbor and advocating on his behalf is what is done.
Hello William and Grace….
I signed the petition. I don’t care that I’m a Canadian and that adding my name may not carry any weight, my signature means I believe in what’s right and just.
I am all about being an American and the right to live in the USA as a free man, COUNT ME IN!!! dan-o
I recently had the privilege of singing “God Bless the USA” at a veterans day event. I signed the petition. I could never sing the song again with conviction if I had not.
Signed and shared. I couldn’t stand not to. I hope all works out well for him and his family. Merry Christmas to all.
Not long ago I read a news article about a Turkish citizen sentenced to prison for criticizing their president. Yes it is actually against the law in Turkey, one of our great partners in NATO, to say anything critical of the administration. Our Founding Fathers made Freedom of Speech the first amendment in the Bill of Rights for good reason, without freedom to find fault in the government then the government is no longer representative of freedom. I signed the petition without a seconds thought and I hope the “Government” does take notice of my name on it, I spit in the face of anyone who would consider any retribution for exercising my 1st Amendment right to speak out about that travesty of justice that is taking place here.
Merry Christmas to All !!!
Signed. Grateful every day for what we have in this country.
WW, This is good. I met this man in his restaurant last summer.
When I was in Al Asad, I met a man name Abbas Saad, he was also a Kurd. He was our interpreter and sort of a cultural liaison. One day I told Dr. Saad that the shirt he was wearing was really nice, had this cool print, out of place in a war zone. Saad stood and began to take it off to give it to me, he asked over and over again, “Do you want it? I would like to give it to you”. He was willing to give me the shirt off his back.
Saad explained the custom of generosity, it was very moving, if I compliment something, he would like to give it to me. The cultural way out is to say that I was obliged by a higher authority not to accept the present, this allowed me to return the gratitude with taking his shirt.
Fast forward 5 years, I am sitting with Mr. Parlak in his restaurant recounting that story. He loved that story and assured me it was true.
When I said we were relatives of others who were trying to help him, he teared up and hugged us both like we were family. He is a beautiful man. Many like him love our country, I don’t have the corner on honorable behavior, there are many others, Saad and Parlak are just two great examples of honorable men.
Thanks for moving this forward.