Light and Support in Difficult Times.

I wanted to start talking about this family.

This week I have been glued to the news of *Nazanin Zhagari's Ratcliffe's release from her 6 year imprisonment in Iran. I've followed this story for years now and there have been glimmers of hope along the way only to be dashed (last year) by a further arrest.

In November last year I went to see Richard Ratcliffe outside the Foreign Office to show support for him, as he was on hunger strike.

Yesterday, Wednesday 16th March, Nazanin was handed her passport back and free to leave and I made sure I knew where she was throughout the day!


She's at the airport in Tehran!

She's on the plane now!

She's arrived in Oman.

She's on her way to Brize Norton...

She's arrived!


I could talk at length about the dignity, grace and tenacity of Richard Radcliffe and his calm but solid approach to dealing with the baffling and frustrating bureaucracy around his wife's imprisonment. However, in all of this there are two words that have stood out for me:


Light and Support



Richard Ratcliffe yesterday thanked everyone for keeping him in the light. I am sure he experienced some very dark times and he was pleased that the press and his supporters continued to shine a light on the awful situation to keep it alive in people's minds.



Light and support seem to be good things we can offer in tricky situations, especially when we feel hopeless.



The other thing he mentioned was support. When I visited him it was clear there was a very strong supportive network of family and friends around him not least M.P., Tulip Sadiiq who was relentless in her support and pursuit of Nazanin's release.


Light and support seem to be good things we can offer in tricky situations, especially when we feel hopeless.



This wonderful news of course took place against the background of the utterly heartbreaking news that is coming out of Ukraine. How can we help? What can we do?



Keep up the support

Keep shining a light

Be patient

Channel your anger somewhere good



Thankfully there are now schemes being set up by people who really have knowledge and experience of this. Whilst watching a live video 'How to Welcome Ukrainian Refugees' last night about how we can support Ukrainian people,there were some key messages.


  • Channel your anger into positive action.

  • Be patient and trust that key people are working around the clock to make sure things happen as they should, including background safety checks.


Here is a link to the talk 'How to Welcome Ukrainian Refugees' hosted by Krish Kandiah from Sanctuary Foundation and with guest speakers from some excellent, experienced organisations and charities that have heaps of helpful advice. It is about 90 minutes long but bear with it! Last night over 8000 people joined the event.


Keep up the support

Keep shining a light

Be patient

Channel your anger somewhere good


xx



*(More information here if you're interested)



#nazaninisfree #ukraine #sanctuaryfoundation

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