Sami Speaks

Looking back at my three decades in America, I'm indeed  grateful for the opportunities afforded to the son of stateless Palestinian  refugees. During these many years, I have tried to uphold the great values of  my faith and culture and the honored ideals and principles of this society.

I'm very proud of my contributions, whether in the fields of  academia, civil and hhuman rights, education, and political empowerment, or in advancing dialogue and civic discourse between cultures, faith communities, and intellectuals. I'm grateful to have been able to contribute positively in these  endeavors.

I'm also grateful that my five wonderful children were born  and raised in a society that provided them with freedom and equal opportunities  to reach their potential.

As a stateless Palestinian, I'll continue the struggle for  justice, human rights, and self-determination on behalf of the oppressed Palestinian people, whether under occupation or in exile. The struggle is a noble struggle, which millions of people of good conscience around the world  have supported and joined, from the celebrated young American peace activist  Rachel Corrie to the distinguished international statesman Nelson Mandela and  many great intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, the late Palestinians  professors Ismail Al-Faruqi and Edward Said, and the Israeli Ilan Pappe.  Indeed, the role of the intellectuals, men and women of faith, and  humanitarians in this righteous quest is paramount.

This struggle against an ideology that excludes others  because of their faith, heritage or race, is not only just, but also a  universal human concern. The only way for right to prevail over might is for  people of conscience around the world to band together to defend that right.

I also believe that the tools we must employ in this  difficult struggle must be legitimate and just. At the end of this struggle, I  can envision a lasting peace in the Holy Land, where Muslims, Christians and  Jews would be living side by side on the basis of justice, equality and mutual  respect, devoid of oppression, violence discrimination or hatred.

Moreover, I'll continue to call and work for the peaceful engagement and dialogue between civiliizations, in particular between Muslim and Western intellectuals and academics. Those who advocate the clash between  Islamic and Western cultures present a grave danger to this world and must be  confronted in the intellectual and public spheres through forums and programs  that deepen mutual understanding and cooperation. There is nothing more  important in today's world than such an undertaking.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my outstanding legal counsel in this case, Mr. Bill Moffitt and Ms. Linda Moreno. Their  tireless efforts on my behalf for the past three years have been truly  exceptional. I'd also like to thank the attorneys Mr. Lee Fugate, Mr. Jack  Fernandez and Mr. Simon Gaugush, as well as Prof. Peter Erlinder and Dr. Agha  Saeed of the Citizens‚ Committee for Equal Justice, for their excellent efforts  on my behalf for the past few months.

This process affirmed my belief in the true meaningg of a democratic society, in which the independence of the judiciary, the integrity of the jury system, and the system of checks and balances are upheld despite intense political and public pressures.

Hence, I'd like to express my deep appreciation for the jury for their remarkable courage and efforts in the service of justice in this case.

It‚s also my belief that an impartial and conscientious  jury, as well as principled judicial rulings that uphold the values of the  constitution, are the real vehicles that win the hearts and minds of people  across the globe, especially in the Arab and Muslim world.

When I depart, I will leave behind many, many good and dear friends and supporters from all walks of life. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their tremendous love and overwhelming support and for always keeping me in their thoughts and prayers. For the hundreds who wrote me or rallied on my behalf in the past three years: Thank you and may God bless you.

I'd also like to thank my loving family, my beloved wife, Nahla, and my children. Their continuous love and unwavering support during  this ordeal have been ceaseless and inspiring. During this entire time, they never lost faith in our just cause and in the ideals of truth and justice that  our society holds in esteem. I would like also to thank my mother, siblings and  countless people around the world for their love, support and prayers.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank the Almighty for bestowing on me deep faith and calming peace that have sustained me during  these past few years.

May 1, 2006
  Orient Road Jail
  Tampa, Florida

This just in, being distributed by Al-Arian's supporters in the Tampa Bay Coalition for Peace and Justice:

A Message by Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian to His Friends and Supporters

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This May 21 will mark my 31st anniversary in the  United States. The

American chapter of my life has surely been the longest. But  it's

about to end, as I will soon leave and start a new chapter.

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