But while I was in danger of giving up, I began to understand what a waste that would be. And I have noticed how strong I can be when I want to achieve something. Back when I lived with my parents and was sheltered from everything and everyone in the world I would never have thought any of that possible. On Facebook people were talking like mad about the injustice that had been done to him and to other journalists in Saudi Arabia. I was concerned that I was no longer emotionally capable of answering the questions that I was now being asked. " However I did ask her not to send the journalists until the children were back at school on Monday.
So I continued playing my game of hide-and-seek with them. I brooded for nights on end about how I could protect the children against all the media reports I was provoking with my activities. " "No, they're not hurting him," I lied and took my glasses, wet with tears, off my nose. "Do you think he'd stay there of his own accord if they didn't? " I told him that Dodi had arranged a shoot with Luke the following day. One of the warders told me." It took me a moment to understand what he was telling me. We'll say: We'd like you to meet them quite normally. You can't stop them doing that." "It's better if they find out from you," Robert the social worker tried to convince me. Robert leapt in and picked up the thread of the conversation for me. But now he's better again." My children reacted very strangely to this new revelation. They stayed quite still and didn't ask any questions.And eventually, when suspicion got the upper hand, the children became really cantankerous: they were unbearable at home. I was at my wits' end, so I asked a social worker what to do. I simply couldn't imagine the authorities going ahead with it. "I suggest we organize things as follows," the principal went on."Tell them the truth," she advised me -- just as Mireille had done before. "The teachers and I, along with the psychologist, will talk to the pupils. ." I couldn't go on because with every word I wanted to say I immediately felt the tears welling up."There are a lot of nutcases on the Net," I told him. " All three children had also seen the CNN interview I gave when we were still living in Lebanon. I was disconcerted to see his familiar picture behind the faceof a blonde newsreader. But from her words I could tell that she didn't have much detailed information from Riyadh. He was wearing a white shirt and dark trousers, and his hair hung down to his shoulders. The man himself could not be made out in the video. But as we were sitting together in the kitchen over cornflakes and maple syrup my phone rang. "Your mother still has some things to discuss with the principal. Even in the playground I noticed the other children looking at me and whispering. They had all heard about the weekend's terrible events and seen the television reports.In it I had expressed my worst fears, and pleaded with the Saudi king to show mercy to Raif. What do you say when the person you love tells you that he's going to be abused in the most horrible way? It felt terrible, hearing her talk about Raif as if he was a random foreign news event. But I saw clearly that he was striking Raif with all his might. In very quick succession he took the blows all over the back of his body: he was lashed from shoulders to calves, while the men around him clapped and uttered pious phrases. It's indescribable, watching something like that being done to the person you love. How severe were the wounds that he had suffered from this brutal abuse? The violence of the blows almost made me suspect as much. So I'll stay with you," she explained to the children. If this gang bothered me so much, how were my children going to fare? I wouldn't be able to send them to school for weeks. The principal had already assembled a council of teachers, a social worker and the school psychologist. "It's important that we think together about how to ensure that your children don't suffer any harm from this."Freedom for Raif," my friend Jane shouts into her megaphone.