OK so the tiny house truly is not in the middle of nowhere. There are neighbors within eyesight. But coming from the city, it certainly feels more remote than I’m used to.
So when I awoke to an urgent *BANG*BANG*BANG*BANG* on the side door, I was startled. I wasn’t expecting anyone. I rolled out of bed and stumbled to the door.
A strange man was standing on the other side of the glass. What on earth … ? He must have noticed my skeptical glance, and he raised his right arm … in his hand … my purse!
Suddenly it all made sense. See, the prior evening I had dined at Café Gulistan, a Kurdish restaurant in Harbert owned by Ibrahim Parlak. And I must have left my purse behind. Here stood Ibrahim himself, kindly returning my purse before I’d even realized it was missing. Tracking me down must have been no easy task, either; there was little in there to tie me to the tiny house. Just a key fob with the name of the seller’s real estate agent still on the house key. He must have called her, asked if she’d sold a house to an Elizabeth. Then found our very poorly-marked house on a dead end road.
Of course, I thanked him profusely, and he was on his way.
Now it’s my turn to try to return the favor. For over a decade, the government has been trying to deport Ibrahim for lying on his assylum application about his ties to the Kurdish separatist group, the P.K.K.
His case was recently profiled in The New Yorker. He receieved assistance from both Democrats and Republicans (Sen. Carl Levin (D) and Rep. Fred Upton (R)). Author Alex Kotlowitz covered the case in the New York Times back in 2005, Chicago journalist Carol Marin wrote other piece this October, and the late Roger Ebert expressed his support. And yesterday the Sun-Times published an editoral stating that the Department of Homeland Security is making a mistake.
Please take a moment to sign this petition in support of Ibrahim. It’s nutty. He’s not a terrorist. His lawyers are worried he could be deported on December 23rd. So please sign.