Keep little Zaina safe in America

I have known Bethany since 6th grade and we have been friends ever since!  She was my 6th grade camp bunk mate, my high-school bestie, my maid of honor at my wedding and my Dave Matthews summer concert date.  Our daughters have been friends since birth and watching Beth find herself in motherhood has been a privilege.  As many of you have followed her story, you have seen the tribulations she has gone through.   This suffering has come at a cost both emotionally and financially.  Bethany is a strong woman but she needs our help to offset the overwhelming court fees.

Bethany and Zaina were stuck in Saudi Arabia for nearly 2 years. They made it back to America and are fighting in US courts to stay here.

Bethany moved to Saudi Arabia as a human rights researcher, University lecturer and journalist. She got married after moving there to a Saudi man. She struggled through an abusive relationship and got the courage to leave once she became a mother. Her ex-husband abused his legal powers as her sponsor in the country and male guardian of their daughter to trap them in the country. She filed for divorce and custody citing her husbands abuse and drug issues. The Saudi court ruled to strip her of custody due to her being too Western to parent, working full time, and needing to protect Zaina from the mom's western culture. The father was also ruled unfit to parent, but the court granted the fathers request to remove Zaina from the home where she had been living with Bethany and give full custody to his own mother (whom he was the male guardian of and lived with).

Bethany filed an appeal, which was derailed, and she was forced to settle with her ex husband. Since the courts failed her, she had to convince her ex-husband that she loved him and wanted to be with him in order to let him give them permission to travel to America.

Bethany made it here after going through Hell. She is a single mother who has been solely financially responsible for her daughter for more than 2 years. Her legal fees in Saudi Arabia to keep her child, and keep her out of prison, and file her appeal were more than $40,000. 

Bethany filed and was granted temporary emergency jurisdiction in the State of Washington in January of 2020. Their case is ongoing and she is fighting against a motion for their return to Saudi Arabia filed by her ex-husband in April of 2020. She is fighting for the right to stay in America with her daughter, and for her life, as the court noted in June if the mother were to return to Saudi Arabia: "the mother would be subject to imprisonment and possibly death."

Let's help make sure that doesn't happen.

BBC coverage of the case
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Organizer and beneficiary

Cherie Gasbar
Cashmere, WA
Bethany Alhaidari

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