Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Arthur SulzbergerI e-mailed a bunch of NYT personnel about the situation. Is this partially motivated by my attitude towards the NYT? No doubt. But it is still something that would help a family that desperately needs the help, and if a good bunch of people join me in e-mailing the NYT, it would give them notice of the power of blogs. Power that can be used to do other great things as well.
Chairman and Publisher
The New York Times
November 15, 2003
I am writing you on an issue of immediate concern.
My name is Ghayda Al Ali. While I am from Iraq, I am currently visiting the United States. As you can understand I am very interested in events back home. There is a most disturbing situation there which you should be aware of as your paper is an involved party.
My family has a property in the green zone in down town Baghdad on Abi-Nuas street. The New York Times rents the adjacent property. For several weeks now my brother Ali Al Ali has been denied automobile access to our property by security guards. Until two days ago we thought this was a coalition security measure. Now we known these guards are not coalition personal but are instead the private security force employed by your news paper.
The family property has two store fronts. Yesterday (Saturday November 15, 2003) my brother and two hired men were in one of the stores installing shelves. My brother lost his livelihood in the war and needs to open this store to make a living. His efforts were interrupted by several of the security guards employed by your paper. He was knocked roughly to the floor and threatened. Your guards pointed there AK-47 rifles and my brother and his work men and told them they would be shot if they did not leave immediately.
I feel sure if learned the United States Army was responsible an incident such as this you would feel obligated to publish the story and condemn the act.
In this his case I respectfully suggest you have an obligation to do somewhat more.
My family needs full use of its lawful property. This means no interference of any type to access to the building. Your guards also block access of potential customers to this business location. While mindful of the security requirements of your Baghdad employees I believe they do not completely supercede our legal right to use our property.
I hope this is a simple misunderstanding that you can correct quickly. My family hopes yet to have The New York Times as a good neighbor. I urge you to contact me or my brother quickly as an indication of your good faith. I can be reached at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org Ask for Ghayda (pronounced Ride-dah). I will provide an email address for my brother upon hearing from you.
I will follow up this email with a letter to your office sent by United States Postal Service.
Please look into this matter quickly.
Sincerely,Ghayda Al Ali