An Open Letter to His Majesty King Abdullah and Her Majesty Queen Rania

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Your Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania,

Jumana Salti and I grew up together. We played together on our school’s soccer, basketball, and volleyball teams, and we shared the unbreakable bond of teammates ever since, until her untimely death on Friday, November 6th. My heart aches. Jumana’s spirit, her generosity, her playfulness and her goodness will live on, but she is gone. I have been trying to write a tribute, honoring Jumana’s life. But I can’t because I need closure. Her friends need closure, her family needs closure and most importantly the citizens of your country need closure. And it is for that reason I am writing you.

Like so many people who knew Jumana and Soraya Salti, I believe from the bottom of my heart that they did not commit suicide. This is not denial or wishful thinking; it is a tragedy no matter how it happened, and nothing will bring them back. But there is a glaring lack of concrete evidence – or even any indicators – that either sister struggled with suicidal ideation or depression. Even if they did, violent suicides (such as jumping off of a building) are much more commonly associated with men than with women. And sibling suicides? Incredibly rare, even more so for siblings of their ages. There is a lack of convincing forensic evidence to support the suicide story (both sisters landed on their backs, hands over their hearts after a 3-story fall, with no blood splatter?). Instead, the media has delivered a frankly implausible story, one that is too neatly packaged (suicide note, two eyewitnesses, and a text message) but leaves too many questions unanswered, and seems to presume a complacent, gullible citizenry. I am one of thousands who feel that the truth is purposefully being kept from us. This feels like a cover-up of epic proportions, and I am asking for your help in finding out what really happened to Jumana and Soraya.

Jumana and Soraya were model citizens. They are your citizens, they are daughters of Jordan. They represented Jordan in ways no one else has.  They opened doors for female athletes, activists and entrepreneurs. You cannot be an advocate for education, gender equality and youth and let Soraya’s death go unanswered.  She represented and worked tirelessly for all those things.

President Obama mentioned her in a speech saying “We have people like Soraya Salti of Jordan who are empowering the young men and women who will be leaders of tomorrow.” How many Jordanians get mentioned in a speech by the President of the United States? Leaders are supposed to protect their citizens, even more so in their home country.

There is a heavy cloud over Jordan.  Your citizens are scared, and they want answers.  How could the deaths of two prominent Jordanians be deemed a suicide (without actual evidence), and without a thorough investigation?  If that can happen to them, what can happen to the rest? No one dares speak out, no one questions.

For the last 7 days, there has not been a word. I keep waiting and hoping that you will do what is right for Jordan. That you will help to reveal the truth and justice will be served.  That those who committed this atrocity will be held accountable

Earlier this year when First Lieutenant Muadh al-Kasasbeh was murdered by ISIS, you showed true leadership. You went after those that dared harm one of your citizens, one of your sons. You put on your military suit, and led the charge. Today I am begging for that same leadership. Jumana and Soraya were murdered on your home soil. I am begging you to find out who would dare do this to our beloved Soraya and Jumana, and to go after them. Not doing this will do irreparable harm to the trust that your citizens have in you and put others in danger if there are no repercussions.

Respectfully,

Luma Mufleh

An Open Letter to His Majesty King Abdullah and Her Majesty Queen Rania

59 thoughts on “An Open Letter to His Majesty King Abdullah and Her Majesty Queen Rania

  1. Nabil says:

    Kudos to Luma Mufleh – well said. Based on the below announcement from the Prosecutor General of South Amman, it appears as if the authorities want to swifly sweep this incident under the rug. What do they have to hide?

    نظرا لان رواية الشرطة لم تنطلي على الشعب الاردني … المدعي العام يمنع نشر اية معلومات اضافية عن ( مقتل ) الشقيقتين جمانة وثريا

    November 15 2015 15:55

    عرب تايمز – خاص

    قرر مدعي عام جنوب عمان أيمن المصالحة منع كافة وسائل الاعلام ( الاردنية طبعا ) من نشر أي تحقيق أو معلومات حول ( مقتل ) الشقيقتين ثريا وجمانة السلطي رغم ان الشرطة اعتبرت الملف مغلقا بالقول ان الشقيقتين انتحرتا قفزا من فوق عمارة مهجورة على طريق المطار …

    وقال المصالحة، من خلال كتاب رسمي ارسل الى جميع الصحف ووسائل الاعلام الاردنية اليوم الأحد: “السادة هيئة المرئي والمسموع، أرجو التكرم بالايعاز لمن يلزم بمنع كافة وسائل الاعلام من نشر أي تحقيق صحفي أو معلومات حول حادثة سقوط المتوفتين ثريا وجمانة حفاظاً على سرية التحقيق” … ولوحظ ان المدعي العام لم يذكر كلمة ( انتحار ) وانما قال ( سقوط ) كما انه يشير في رسالته الى ان التحقيق لا زال مستمرا رغم ان وزير الداخلية قال ان الاختين انتحرتا وان الملف قد اغلق

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  2. Mr Nuvolari says:

    I am completely heartbroken to have read of such foul murder.

    I suggest that you write a petition directly to the President of the United States, who commended Soraya asking for a full and thorough investigation via the auspices of The US State Department and the FBI.

    https://www.change.org/petition

    By US Law, they are entitled to a full and transparent investigation by American authorities, as American Citizens who have died overseas. As the suspect husband is US Citizen, apparently with residence in Los Angeles, there are certain things that can only be done from within the United States.

    I am sure that the King and Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom would welcome such an outside inquiry which might make his position easier relative to internal politics within the Jordanian national police.

    Additionally, as Women, and as Human Rights workers they deserve honesty and justice, and in fact they would DEMAND the same for others who suffered their fate.

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  3. Melissa says:

    Amazing letter Luma! Thank u for standing up and being the voice for all of us. Hope it made some sort of impact even if a small one. We all know these 2 beautiful and loving sisters would never even think of suicide so I hope that justice can be served and the truth will come out ! There is a criminal out there and he needs to be thrown in jail forever, someone who was threatening and stalking them in my opinion from all the evidence, and maybe even threatening a family member which they sacrificed themselves for.. There is someone who did not want those photos on her laptop to come out .. Someone who would do anything .. Even kill.. To keep his reputation clean.. Although every single person that’s ever met him and perhaps even worked with him knows who he is !!! Maybe he’s reading everything right now on FB and on social media and I hope he’s scared because the truth cannot be hidden .. It always come out ! I hope and pray that our collective consciousness can create a miracle!

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  4. Jalousi says:

    Thank you Luma for being our voice ! Hoping ur letter made an impact someway or another, for we all know it was not suicide that took the lives of these two beautiful souls, but murder instead. The criminal is still out there and maybe even now lurks paranoidley around social media sites such as FB and perhaps even on this platform. This person was stalking and threatening them and maybe even threatening the safety of their family members in which case they would’ve sacrificed their lives for. He took their lives to cover his photos up .. The photos that were on their laptops .. He would do anything to save his reputation and he did.. He killed two women. But he will never be able to get away with it because the truth always comes out and it will haunt him till the day he is thrown in jail. We will not let him get away with this and justice needs to be served and the truth needs to be heard. I’m sure whoever knows him knows it’s him who did it. Good luck with trying to escape this one!!! Look at what you’ve created .. A wall of guardian angels! May their souls rest in peace knowing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patricia Nabti says:

    Thank you, Luma Mufleh, for giving voice to what so many of us feel – and doing it so thoughtfully, eloquently, and courageously. I have known the Saltis for 33 years and stayed with them twice while I was in Jordan. And I saw Soraya at a number of conferences representing Injaz . The Saltis are all wonderful people, and I have felt haunted by this incident ever since I heard about it – imagining each one of them as this horrible situation unfolded. There is no way, in my mind, that Soraya and Jumana willingly gave up their lives. I have sent Luma’s letter, with my added personal comments, to President Obama and to the US Ambassador in Jordan, though I have no idea if it will actually get through to them. I encourage others to do the same. It may be that there is an ongoing investigation, as some comments here suggest, but it is important that those of us who care keep the pressure on until there are satisfactory results. While the guilty person may well be Soraya’s ex-husband, her note that “This is so much bigger than us” suggests something bigger and even more insidious. We all have the right to know, and to be assured that the person responsible is held accountable. May Soraya and Jumana rest in peace, and may their parents and Soraya’s daughter find some comfort in knowing that these two wonderful women inspired and were loved by so many of us in the Arab world and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

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