Jump to content

Toy row teacher speaks of ordeal


biloxifalcon
 Share

Recommended Posts

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher jailed in Sudan for allowing a class teddy bear to be named "Mohammed," has spoken for the first time about her ordeal after arriving back home in England.

art.embrace.ap.jpg

Gillian Gibbons embraces her son John at a news conference in London.

An Emirates airlines plane carrying the 54-year-old touched down in the pre-dawn darkness Tuesday at London's Heathrow airport.

Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in jail last Thursday after authorities were alerted that the teacher had allowed her students at a private school to give a Teddy bear the same name as the Muslim prophet.

Asked if she had been shocked by the punishment handed out to her, Gibbons said: "I am just an ordinary, middle-aged, primary school teacher. I went there to have a bit of adventure and got a bit more than I bargained for."

Gibbons, smiling and gripping the hand of her son John in the arrival lounge at the airport, said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from British officials, friends and well-wishers.

Her release came after two British Muslim lawmakers, Sayeeda Warsi and Nazir Ahmed -- both members of the House of Lords -- persuaded Sudanese officials that letting Gibbons go free would create international goodwill toward their country.

Gibbons thanked Warsi and Ahmed and also paid tribute to former colleagues at the Unity High School in Khartoum whose support, she said, had been "legendary."

Gibbons arrived back in England after she was granted a presidential pardon Monday. She was arrested after a former secretary at her school complained to the authorities, apparently in retaliation for being dismissed from her job, Sudanese officials told CNN.

Gibbons' conviction for blasphemy could have seen her sentenced to 40 lashes. Without a pardon, she would have remained in jail another six days.

"Common sense has prevailed," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said after her release was announced.

Gibbons was expected to travel home to the northern English city of Liverpool accompanied by her family.

The teacher said she did not want her experience to put people off visiting Sudan, where she said she had a "fabulous time" in an "extremely beautiful place."

"In fact I know of a lovely school that needs a new Year Two teacher," she said.

Asked what she thought about her sentencing, she said it was "a very delicate area."

"I was very upset to think that I might have caused offense to people," she added.

She said her immediate plans now were to spend Christmas with her family and then to look for a teaching job in the New Year.

CNN reporter Wilf Dinnick, who accompanied Gibbons on the second leg of her flight from Dubai to London, said the atmosphere among Gibbons' delegation was somber. British officials traveling with Gibbons told CNN she was exhausted and that she was moved up to first class to allow her to get some sleep.

She was accompanied by a security guard for the duration of the flight and did not speak to reporters during the journey.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir granted her a presidential pardon earlier Monday, and she left the country hours later under court order.

Sudanese courts ruled she should be deported after completing her sentence.

The efforts to secure her release were complicated by pressure from Sudanese hard-liners for her to complete her 15-day sentence.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/12/04...cher/index.html

I'm glad she made it out alive!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting deported from Sudan..she must be inconsolable.

Seriously, I would move to the states and open a pig farm and name every pig mohhamhed1 ,mohamed2, mohamed3...etc..... I would name it Mohameds pig farm even.My slogan would be " there's mo ham at mohameds."

And before anyone asks..no I do not care if someone opens a pig farm and names them Jesus. I like to think my savior is stronger than all that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting deported from Sudan..she must be inconsolable.

Seriously, I would move to the states and open a pig farm and name every pig mohhamhed1 ,mohamed2, mohamed3...etc..... I would name it Mohameds pig farm even.My slogan would be " there's mo ham at mohameds."

And before anyone asks..no I do not care if someone opens a pig farm and names them Jesus. I like to think my savior is stronger than all that.

Ok, that's kinda funny!:hehe:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...