A 12-year-old Sheikha Latifa AL Maktoum with her estranged mother Houria Lamara
Never seen before pictures released of Houria Lamara, one of the wives of Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum and mother of kidnapped and tortured Sheikha Latifa
Today, on international Mother day, Tiina Jauhiainen, the best friend of kidnapped Dubai Princess, Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum has called on Latifa’s estranged Mother Houria Lamara to help free Latifa.
In a heartwarming letter, sent today to Latifa’s mothers home at her family home of Al Wasl Road Palace, Dubai – Tiina said
“I am writing to you to respectfully as that you help me in freeing your daughter. Please help set a good example for this world, please do the right thing and help free Latifa”
“I am not a Muslim, but having lived in Dubai for many years I respect your faith. It is my understanding that the holy month of Ramadan is said to be a month of compassion and forgiveness. It is therefore that during the holy month of Ramadan and today on mothers day that I respectfully appeal to you not just as a human being, a Muslim but as a mother not to continue being complicit in the arbitrary detention and abuse of your daughter Latifa and to help Latifa and bring an end to her suffering.”
The letter was released together with never seen before family photos of the Al Maktoum family. In very personal photos, Latifa’s mother is seen publicly by many for the first time.
On the release of the never before seen photos, David Haigh a human rights lawyer and campaigner working on behalf of Latifa said “thanks to many of Latifa’s close friends we now have hundreds of unreleased pictures and videos of Latifa and her family. She entrusted these to her close friends before her escape attempt with the instructions to use them as necessary”.#
Houria Lamara mother to kidnapped Princess, Sheikha Latifa AL Maktoum in earlier years.
Dear Houria Lamara,
On this Mother’s Day, I am writing to you as the best friend of your daughter Latifa Al Maktoum, as Latifa is not able to. I am writing to you to respectfully ask that you help me in freeing your daughter.
As you know, I spent almost every day of the last decade with Latifa, until she was violently kidnapped before my eyes a year ago. I consider her my sister, and she considered me family -we were inseparable. A little over a year ago I saw her dragged away from me under cover of darkness, by armed men kicking and screaming for her life and freedom, the terror of this for me and I am sure for Latifa has never left me. This past year has been extremely difficult for me as I worry constantly about the wellbeing of my best friend, I’m sure it been much worse for Latifa.
I have campaigned tirelessly for Latifa for the sole reason that we were best friends and I know she would do the same for me. All she wanted was her independence and to study and travel like anyone else, nothing more. For all the suffering, imprisonment, torture and oppression that Latifa has endured, I will continue to fight for her until she is free. Thankfully as you will have seen from the news, I am not alone and Latifa has proven an inspiration for millions around the world. That candle of inspiration is only growing, lighting other candles around the world, the longer she is held
I do not work for any organization or group, nor am I profiting at all from Latifa’s plight, nor do I want to profit. I have put my own life on hold this last year, I just want my best friend to be free and happy.
You yourself have all the freedom in the world. You have your passport with you, you’re free to travel, you have your own bank account and properties and you have a driving license. So why do you not allow Latifa to have these same freedoms?
Latifa told me, and often I saw evidence myself, that 4 of your daughters have been imprisoned as teenagers, you had the power to stop it but instead, you allowed it to happen, choosing to look the other way. Please don’t look the other way anymore and bring an end to the suffering of Latifa and other women at your hands. Your future is in your children. As a high profile figure, please show that you care about the interest of your children and the future of your faith and your country over your own. Show the world the right path to follow, rather than the wellbeing of those children.
Latifa told me that you receive a considerable 280,000 USD monthly ‘pocket money’ from her father the ruler. I know little about such large sums, but I do know that money is not something you can take with you to the afterlife.
I am not a Muslim, but having lived in Dubai for many years I respect your faith. It is my understanding that the holy month of Ramadan is said to be a month of compassion and forgiveness. It is therefore that during the holy month of Ramadan and today on mothers day that I respectfully appeal to you not just as a human being, a Muslim but as a mother not to continue being complicit in the arbitrary detention and abuse of your daughter Latifa and to help Latifa and bring an end to her suffering.
Please help set a good example for this world, please do the right thing and help free Latifa.