We are particularly appreciative of Sen. Leahy's many efforts, including a statement he made yesterday calling for tik's release. The college would also like to acknowledge all the work of the. Embassy in Damascus and the syrian Embassy in Washington,. C., especially syrian Ambassador Imad moustapha. We are indebted to many friends of the college who provided support and advice as well. Ron liebowitz, note from President Ron liebowitz to the campus community at 9:36. M.: to middlebury Students, faculty, and Staff, we just received word from Tom root and Andi Lloyd that tik has been released in Damascus, and wanted to pass on the good news!
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They spent the past two weeks making call after call to congressmen, senators, ambassadors — anyone who could help find their son and bring him home. Yesterday, a week after Syrian officials acknowledged that root had been taken into custody and after long negotiations to establish he wasnt a cia agent or some other covert operative, root caught a flight from Damascus to london and then another to logan International Airport. There, he emerged from customs about 7:15. With a beaming smile and fell into the arms of his parents. I want to express how very happy the middlebury college community is that tik root '12 has been released to the. Faculty, staff, and students have anxiously awaited news about tik's status throughout the two-week period when he was first missing and then in Syrian custody. We are thrilled for his parents, tom root and Andi Lloyd, and their family now that they will be reunited, and we all look forward to seeing tik when he returns to vermont. The college has received a great deal of support in its essay efforts to assist the family in obtaining tik's release, and we are enormously grateful. I want to thank all three members of the vermont Congressional Delegation: Rep. Bernie sanders, and Sen.
we acknowledge two in particular. . Frank sesno was the calm, reasoned voice on the phone who talked us through the past two weeks, and we thrived on his thoughtful insights and advice. . Bob Arnot has done more than we can possibly describe, and we thank him for the very specific and key roles he played and for his unwavering confidence in the imminent arrival of good news. Together, these people acted immediately and professionally, giving their time and energy without hesitation. . we ultimately return, though, to the incredible number of people around the world who know tik, love him and who ultimately carried him home to us on their thoughts and shoulders. Tik shares our gratitude for all of your efforts, and he will be releasing his own statement in the next few days. Last month, after telling a friend he was going to check out the Old City of Damascus, pathik tik root became one of an unknown number of people who suddenly disappeared as demonstrations began rattling the authoritarian regime that has long ruled Syria. The parents of the 21-year-old Middlebury college junior from Ripton,., who went to syria to study Arabic, had no idea whether their son was alive.
To our friends, family, neighbors, and the countless strangers who long offered moral support, good thoughts, prayers, food, phone calls, and solace: we would not have survived without the web of support that you wove. Our gratitude is inestimable to senator Patrick leahy, who worked tirelessly over the last two weeks, along with the. Ambassador to syria, richard Ford, and the syrian Ambassador to the. S., the honorable Imad moustapha, to secure tik's release. They worked closely with the staff of the. Embassy in Damascus, in particular Mimi Asnes and Consul General Andre goodfriend. . you brought our son back, and we are forever in your debt. The role of Middlebury college was pivotal, most notably the selfless work of President Ron liebowitz, tim Spears, jeff Cason, and the entire staff of the communications Office, all of whom rallied to tik's cause immediately and have been steadfast in their efforts to help. Many people worked deep behind the scenes to directly win tik's release and rarely received our public gratitude. .
This is especially true for people detained as protesters, without a camera or a criminal background. I share this information so that others are more informed than my family was, and so that families and friends of detainees can have at least a measure of hope. To those still following my story, thank you for the continued support. For those still fighting in the middle east, i hope that you win the rights that you deserve, but please stay as safe as possible. Sincerely, tik root, feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested. Media requests should be directed to either or, unfortunately it will be physically impossible to accommodate all requests, but I truly appreciate the interest. The family of tik root issued the following statement on Sunday, april. By now, you are aware that our son tik was released from Syrian custody and returned to us on Saturday, april. . we wish to begin expressing our deep gratitude to the many people who contributed to his release, realizing we will never be fully able to.
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It is reassuring to know that genuinely kind people exist all over the world, even within the syrian regime. Over the coming days I will relay my own experience as well as the stories of those i met in prison. My hope is to help create an understanding of the challenges that Arab people face, and english not to sour anyone's view of the region. Arab culture is nothing short of amazing, will and has much to teach us if we take the time to listen. Only through a better mutual understanding of each other's lives can we begin to address tensions and stereotypes coming from both sides of the globe. The middle east has a rich, history and culture but is currently being plagued by repressive regimes that are keeping their citizens from reaching their true potential. The importance of this moment in both regional and world history cannot be overstated.
If a lasting change does sweep the region, the possibilities for good are endless, and the future bright. I offer my assistance, in any way useful, to Arabs who are peacefully fighting for the rights that we Americans enjoy everyday. I want to draw immediate attention to one specific aspect of my detention: the details of the prison in which I was held. The following is what I have been able to ascertain with some confidence, despite being blindfolded during transportation and a lack of confirmation from Syrian officials. The prison is located on Baghdad Street in Damascus and serves as a hub for the secret police (a division of the syrian national security forces) and possibly a counter-terrorism group as well. Prisoners detained in this facility are generally kept for one to two weeks, and are often released on a thursday night.
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Dear All, i am absolutely overjoyed to be safely back in Vermont with family and friends. A fellow prisoner phrased it best when he told me that; "everything is more beautiful when you have freedom.". I would like to express my utmost gratitude to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I cannot even begin to express how much it meant to me to discover the outpouring after two weeks in the dark. To my friends, family, the media, and the many strangers who voiced their support through all imaginable mediums, i hope a heartfelt thank you will suffice for now. Although there is a long list of those who deserve credit for my safe return, i would like to send a special thank you to the us embassy in Damascus, senator Patrick leahy, the syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad moustapha and the middlebury.
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