The first time I had to leave Bahrain, I was given 24 hours to do so and told not to tell anyone. My father had been informed that my name was coming up during interrogations of political detainees, and that is usually a sign that arrest will follow. 

I left for London in September 2010 with a heavy heart, determined to return. And so, after the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East began, I was active in calling for protests in Bahrain, and I returned home to take part in them.

The second time I left Bahrain, my father had convinced me that it was critical to have someone carry the voices of the movement outside the country. I felt the weight of the entire uprising on my shoulders. I thought my exile was temporary; I had no idea that it would not be.


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