Rabia Siege

I went through some very dark times and it took me years to get over not only being a hostage, but the aftermath and everything that brings.

A human right's lawyer, Perth mum of three Rabia Siddique is also a hostage survivor.

17 hours is a long time, I was only held for 8 or 9 hours and that seemed like an eternity.

Dropped into war torn Iraq to negotiate the release of two British Soldiers, Rabia herself was taken captive.

It evoked old memories of what I went thorugh 9 years ago, but really my thoughts were overwhelmingly for what they were going through, and empathising with them.

Watching events unfold in Sydney, she felt horror for those inside the cafe.

I imagine it was an emotional rollercoaster for them, the intial shock and fear of the minutes that unfolded and realising they were being held hostage, that they were in a prison if you like, I'm sure at times their thoughts wouold have turned to whether they were going to get out of their alive.

The moment of release, a gut wrenching relief.

This sheer will to survive and to flee and i think there would have been an odd euphoria that they escaped with their lives, then that would have been followed up by a very quick feeling of what's happening to the people still in there.

Sadly, two victims never made it out, one a Mother of three, a lawyer, just like Rabia.

We need to remember this is the actions of one evil mad man who had his own personal agenda, this was not the actions of religion.

Rabia's hope is that this terrible tragedy doesn't divide our nation.

Not only a human rights lawyer, Mother of three and Australian, but also a Muslim i would appeal to everybody to remember we're all grieving and we all need to look after each other.

For those who did make it - Rabia says it will be tough.

Many people will be shocked, traumatised or distressed. I would have it a guess some will suffer some sort of post traumatic stress.

Rabia knows all too well what lies ahead for Sydney's hostage survivors - but in time, she hopes like her they will heal - with the help of a nation behind them.

Hopefully, they will all chose to be survivors and they won't allow this to define them; that's my wish and prayer for them.


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