Happy birthday, my dearest Leyla,
Asking for health, happiness and a long life are the traditional German greetings on this particular day. But for you, dear Leyla, we ask for many more and very special blessings:
We wish for an immediate end of your and Arif's unjust detention, followed by a fullscale judicial and political rehabilitation. We wish for both of you to be allowed to return home. May both of you be blessed with the physical and moral strength as well as the confidence necessary to continue your struggle for justice.
Thinking about our time together in Hamburg, I remember your love for classical music. I still recall you, Leyla, adorned with some exquisite pieces of jewellery, and you, Arif, wearing your most elegant hat, both on your way to the opera house, the concert hall or, on rare occasions, even to a musical performance. Together we went out to some chamber music concerts.
You had a wonderful time in Hamburg. And Hamburg, for almost a year, was a brighter place because of you.
Your friends in Hamburg and I are constantly thinking of you, trying to imagine your current conditions of life. How big might be the cell they have forced you into? How small is your plank bed? Are you allowed any privacy at all?
Probably you've been deprived of all but the very basics of life.
And while you were in jail, winter has come to Hamburg. And with it the festive season of christmas and the traditional preparations for the New Year to come. There are christmas markets all over the town, thousands of lights are glittering above streets and squares. Street vendors are selling wooden toys, sweets and other things. People are gathering, happily laughing and chanting.
I'm sure that you, dear Leyla and Arif, remember your christmas time in Hamburg very well.
If I could wish for a very special gift for christmas, I would ask for both of you to be able to be here with us, strolling along the streets of Hamburg. You know that both of you have a standing invitation to Hamburg.
Your friends and I are waiting for you!
Hugging you, with love