Younis Ashoori, A Caged Bird Singing

Aug 04, 12 Younis Ashoori, A Caged Bird Singing

In an area filled with huge billboards of the “Bahraini” regime figures, I felt out of place and lost till I found the small door which reminded me of the door “Alice” found to enter “Wonderland” yet this small door led me to a different land, the “Injustice Land”.

I have read a number of reports and tweets about Younis Ashoori, an old humble man in his 60s who dedicated his life working in the medical field as an administrator yet out of revenge he was kidnapped, tortured and thrown into jail for fabricated case.

Nowadays, he is living under really bad conditions at Jaw Prison already suffering from a number of illness like heart problems, kidney stones, and chronic migraines. His trial was postponed for 12 times, dragging him from one trial to the other. [More Details of Younis Ashoori's case from Human Rights First]

He is accused of stealing ” 12 Oxygen Tanks” and sending them to the Pearl Roundabout, there is no evidence on the accusation except for “Secret Sources”!

They say “He stole public money”, HA! what an irony we live with in Bahrain, when royal thieves steal millions in the “Alba-Alcoa” scandal and they get away with it by a “Royal Pardon” from the King while Younis is sentenced for 3.5 years in a fabricated case!


“Free Younis Ashoori Poster on a wall”

When I entered the house,I was greeted with the smiles of his wife and only son. I could not help but notice the large birds cage next to the door and the melodies sang by the birds in it. I paused for a while thinking of Younis and when was the last time he heard his singing birds.

We talked about many topics, stories, incidents related to Younis, some made us smile and others brought a deadly silence to the room.

I was deeply moved by some stories and observations I’ve encountered during the visit. For some people these may not seem relavent or important yet I have found the greatest meaning of life in it’s smallest details.

- “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”

The entire time I was chatting with his family, his birds were singing on the background. Younis loves birds and takes a really good care of them.Mohammed -his son- mentioned that during the short phone calls Younis makes from prison, he always asks about his birds. Mohammed said as a joke “Sometimes I wonder who does he miss the most, me or his birds.”


“Younis Ashoori with birds at a park”

Few days later, I met a woman and her husband is a political prisoner with Younis Ashoori in the same prison ward. She told me that Younis never stopped writing letters demanding for medical care and demanding his freedom.


The woman quoted what her detained husband said :”Younis is in his 60s and he is more keen to exhaust every channel available to be free, while some prisoners who are in their 20s have already given up yet he didn’t”


“Younis Ashoori”


I instantly remembered the poem written by Maya Angelou :


“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”

“The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom


The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.


But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing”

Something I bet he learnt from his birds, he will keep singing even if caged.


- “You’re son Younis is studying Crisis Management abroad”

Some bad news are fatal for the weak hearted hence it is kept a secret.

And I know that for a fact because I had a relative who died instantly of a heart attack when the hospital told him that the kid who he tried to rescue died, later we discovered that the hospital gave the wrong information and the kid actually was alive.

Fearing for Younis’s mother critical condition, family told her that Younis is studying “Crisis Management” abroad. He calls her from time to time from prison. During the weeks he was out of reach being tortured, his son who has similar voice used to call his grandmother pretending to be his dad just to bring comfort to her constant questioning.

Will they ever be united before it’s too late?


- “How can I compare myself with the martyr’s family ?”

Amina, Younis Ashoori’s wife, is one of those people you can’t help but marvel at how amazing and persistence they are. She is such a delightful person in spite of the tragedy she went through.

“Amina – wife of Younis Ashoori giving a speech about his medical condition”

When the BICI “The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry” started documenting cases, Amina went to document the injustice and violations happened to Younis and her family. While she was waiting her turn, she asked the woman sitting next to her: “Why are you here?”. The woman replied : “I am a sister of a martyr”, Amina told me that the first thing that came to her mind was  :”This woman will never see her brother again! I should not be here, I can’t compare myself to what she has lost”. Amina decided to leave but she was called again to document.

A selfless spirit.
- “I Discovered My Dad”

While speaking to Younis’s only son Mohammed (20 years) , I have noticed the repetition of the word “I discovered that my dad .. “. When I asked for the reason, he explained to me that struggles his dad went through from a young age he knew not too much about, he came to discover it after his dad was arrested, a burden his dad didn’t want him to carry.
“On the left Younis Ashoori, on the right his son Mohammed”


Younis was the eldest son, as a teenager his dad had a car accident that kept him paralysed and unable to work. Younis became responsible for his entire family and started working to keep food on the table. He is loved by his siblings because he practically raised them and help each one start their own families and then he started his own.
With an age difference of more than 40 years, Mohammed is anxious to see his dad free because he still has a lot to know and learn from him.


- “A Stolen Photo, A kidnapped Memory” 


Bahrain’s mercenaries when they bombard and raid houses, they come without warrants they act like pirates but on land, they steal whatever they can carry claiming to be “evidence” yet I fail to understand how can money, jewellery, photos and cheque books be evidence!
Among what was stolen in Youni’s house was something very dear to Amina “Youni’s wife”, the only photo she has of her mother who passed away 5 years ago. It’s not even a photo, it’s a copy of her mother’s identity card. Younis promised to enlarge it and frame it for his wife of her beloved mother.
Amina tried lighten thing ups by saying : “Tell Maryam Al-Khawaja to write and demand the regime to return my mother’s photo”.


I was so honoured to be welcomed by this amazing family, I pray that my next visit to them will be soon and to celebrate Youni’s freedom.


Younis, keep singing the freedom melody awaits you.


Sign the Peititon to Free Younis Ashoori :


We Remain,



  1. Younis is Innocent at the real term of the word. I don’t know for how long this stupid government wanst to keep him behind bars?! All witnesses already testefired that he is innocent, what else??!

  2. Free Younis Ashoori and all the prisoners.

  3. عاشوري.. طائر يغرد خلف أسوار السجون

    سلمت يداك يا أخت أحلام على هذا المقال الاكثر من رائع
    حقيقة مؤثر ومتعوب عليه


  1. يونس عاشوري.. طائر يغرد خلف أسوار السجون | AhlamOun.Com - [...] “Younis Ashoori, A Caged Bird Singing” [...]

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