In 2012, Hakeem al-Araibi was a promising young player on Bahrain’s national football team when he was arrested and wrongfully imprisoned. After three months of torture, Hakeem was released. He fled the country and made his way to Australia, where he was granted refugee status. Hakeem made a life here and was playing for the suburban Pascoe Vale Football Club, in Melbourne. He thought he was safe.
But, in November 2018, on a holiday to Thailand, Hakeem was again arrested. The Bahrain Government wanted to extradite him. What happened next shows the best of what football can do, and the worst the governing body of FIFA brings. If it wasn’t for the Australian football community and former Socceroo Craig Foster, Hakeem May never have been freed.
This powerful memoir reveals how a local football legend fought tirelessly to help bring home a man he’d never met. From Pascoe Vale to Switzerland, Canberra to Thailand, Foster raised his voice and tens of thousands of Australians were galvanised to #SaveHakeem.