Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: Government Cloud, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, ColdFusion, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Adobe Flex, Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, Video, Wearables, Log Management, @CloudExpo, CMS, Cloud Security

Government Cloud: Article

Open Letter to the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad

At the tender age of 17 months my severely ill daughter Sofia, an American citizen, was abducted in Istanbul and taken to Syria

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

 

To the President of Syria, Mr. and Mrs. Bashar al-Assad

Mr. and Mrs. President Bashar al-Assad:

At the tender age of 17 months my severely ill daughter Sofia, an American citizen, was abducted by her mother on Monday, July 26, in Istanbul, Turkey, and taken to Syria.

Fox News: video story

I was informed yesterday by Sofia's mother that she will not be coming back to the United States nor will she allow Sofia to return home.

Sofia has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that requires immediate treatment in the United States. It was scheduled to start on July 27, 2010, in New Jersey, the day after her abduction and was supposed to last until she reaches the age of 3.

Any delay in the urgently needed treatment will result in a life-long disability for Sofia and make her dependent for the whole of her adult life.

The treatment is not available in Syria.


President Bashar al-Assad with his son and wife. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Mr. President, I grew up in Turkey listening to the evening news during our family dinners where I used to hear your father Hafez al-Assad's name more often than the names of my own family together with Menachem Begin, Golda Meir, Anwar Sadat, and Yasser Arafat.

I plead with you on behalf of my daughter Sofia to learn of her whereabouts and see her safely and speedily returned home. I also respectfully request a visa to Syria to meet her at the United States Embassy in Damascus to bring her home.

Mrs. President, parents around the world have only the Hague Convention to rely on in international child abduction cases. I urge your humanitarian consideration, as the mother of a precious child, to fight for Syria to be a part of the Hague Convention. I thank you in advance.


Sofia in Wildwood, New Jersey, during the 2010 Memorial Day weekend.

To the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul Sharon Anderholm Wiener

Sharon:

I attended your farewell dinner hosted by the American Business Forum last Thursday in Istanbul. Perhaps you will recall my brief speech during the reception when I spoke about my father's last wish to visit me in the United States three weeks before he passed away 15 years ago.

After a three-year tenure in Turkey you will be arriving in Washington on Saturday. Yesterday was your last day in the office in Istanbul. I attempted to reach you by phone several times. Your assistant Judy informed me each time that you would not take calls in such cases. It is a shame! Speaking the local language fluently, although impressive, is not the entire scope of your responsibilities. I was in Istanbul through July 26 waiting to learn the status of my medical emergency visa application that was submitted on July 7 to your consulate with no luck.

The lack of response from your consulate led to the abduction of my daughter.

Your legacy in Istanbul is marked by the tragic 2008 suicide attack on our consulate in Istanbul that ended with six dead, including three police officers who were locked out of the building at your order during their gun battle. I'm praying and hoping the abduction of my daughter is not added to your legacy in Istanbul as the "Baby Sofia" case.


Sofia in Disney World, the day after her diagnosis, during a father-daughter trip, Summer of 2010.

To the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu

Ahmet,

Since our college days, we, your classmates have been following your diplomatic career with pride and admiration. This weekend I watched your press conference with rapt attention after your three-way summit in Istanbul with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Iran that made headlines around the world Sunday. You will be remembered as one of the international leaders of foreign policy of our time. Keep up the good work of peace in the region and the world!

Considering your historic peace treaties and collaboration projects with Turkey's neighbors - Greece, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria - and given what I am facing today, I wonder if your decision to lift the visa requirements previously imposed on Syrian citizens contributed to the abduction of my baby. On behalf of thousands of parents in my situation, I ask you to bring up the subject of the Hague Convention with your counterpart, the Syrian Foreign Minister Mr. Walid Muallem, whom you meet with often.


Sofia with Uncle Murat at home in New Jersey in April, 2010. (Murat Mercan is the Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee - Grand National Assembly of Turkey)

To Readers of My Blog

For the past eight months I have kept silent on a very heartbreaking private matter concerning my baby daughter Sofia but I have decided to share it with you today because it has escalated into a life-threatening situation. I shall keep her picture on my Twitter page until she comes home to the United States. I have set up an emergency email sofia (at) kircaali.com that I am using with the State Department and other communications.

Thank you all for your support and your prayers and wishes for Sofia's immediate safe return home.

Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali


Sofia with Uncle Atilla, her last photograph taken in Istanbul, on July 21, 2010, before her abduction to Syria.

Copy:
Mr. Barack Obama, The President of the United States
Mrs. Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State
Mrs. Sharon Anderholm Wiener, Outgoing Consul General to Istanbul, Turkey
Mr. Charles F. (Chuck) Hunter, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Damascus

More Stories By Fuat Kircaali

Fuat Kircaali is the founder and chairman of SYS-CON Media, CloudEXPO, Inc. and DXWorldEXPO, Inc.

Kircaali came to the United States from Zurich University, Switzerland in 1984 while studying for his PhD, to design computer systems for SH-2G submarine hunter helicopters for the U.S. Navy. He later worked at IBM's IS&CG Headquarters as a market research analyst under Mike Armstrong's leadership, an IBM executive who later ran IBM Europe and AT&T; and Fuat was the Director of Information Systems for UWCC, reporting to CEO Steve Silk (later Hebrew National CEO), one of the top marketing geniuses of the past two decades.

Kircaali founded SYS-CON Media in 1994, a privately held tech media company with sales exceeding $200 million. SYS-CON Media was listed three years in a row by Inc 500 and Deloitte and Touche among the fastest-growing private companies in America. Kircaali launched DXWorldEXPO LLC, a Lighthouse Point, FL-based "digital transformation" events company in March 2017.

Fuat completed Bogazici University (ranked among the top 100 universities in the world) Business Administration program in 1982 with a Bachelor's Degree in Istanbul, Turkey. He was one of 50 students accepted to the program out of over 1 million high school graduates.

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...