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I have someone waiting to see me …..

January 30, 2010

I often talk about my advocacy for children but no one really knows what my commitment is to this cause. I have a special story. I’m always being asked if I have any kids, in which I reply, “Yes, I have a son….he is in prison.” I was able to get him a letter out for his birthday through all the chaos of the last year …. he knows I’m on my way …. but I wonder how long the days feel for him waiting. At least when I get my car …. I can  go see him soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 

The Day Kyryhan was sentenced through the eyes of his friend
Current mood:  melancholy
Category: Life

January 3, 2007
  
Hello,
  
If you are receiving this e-mail it is because you showed interest in helping Kyryhan.  Today he was sentenced and I wanted to update you.  First I would like to thank all of you who donated books. He knows they are coming and he is thankful.
  
Today I sat in court while he was sentenced to give him silent support. I truly believe our efforts has made a difference in his situation. This is what he told the Judge:
It appears that my life is about to take a delay from society. I can’t take back anything I did in this life because I can only move forwards, but the lessons that I learn from the past makes up my future. Seeing that certain mistakes can lead to drastic repercussions that will forever change my life. I am certainly willing to change and do what it takes to mold my life into a positive figure.
Going from the middle of my teenagehood into the early stages of adult hood behind a wall that shows no love what so ever is wasting my youth. My history isn’t only what you see before you on papers, I’ve helped younger kids growing up in the same unstable environment that I have, so they wouldn’t make the wrong turns in life just like I have. These kids might go on to be singers, dancers, comedians, actors, or many other professions in life. The name of the program is called the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. I hope that takes away from the monster that I am portrayed to be, because I’m not a monster. I was a misguided teenager who made a mistake and is now learning his lesson.
When I’m released I would like to continue to work with kids. Currently I’m trying to finish highschool by getting my GED while in the county jail so when I’m in prison I can waste no time and get into college classes.
I have no family present today because my mother moved to Florida with my little brother when I was 15, my grandparents can’t leave the house due to disability. My father was deported back to his country about 2 and a half years ago, and my brothers are my co-defenders. So in more ways than one I’m going through this alone. I try to imagine what those people were thinking or how they were feeling at the time of my crime. But thats all I can do is imagine. I wish this never would have happened because I know in some way I’ve damaged a part of their lives, but in another way this is my wake up call, my reality check. Things like this shouldn’t happen, if someone would’ve gotten hurt this would be a totally different situation, and I thank GOD that nobody had gotten hurt.
I stand here today addressing you the Judge, Prosecutor, Attorney, and everyone else in the court room today that I deeply apologize for my wrong doings in hopes that I am forgiven, and granted a second chance at freedom for all the right reasons. I’m also asking for my sentence of 10 years with an 85% stipulation at least to come down to an 8 year with an 85 and I’ll do counselling programs, community service, as far as talking to young kids in school or talk to young kids in the youth houses or youth camps so their problems don’t get to be like mine or worse than mine. Anything as a part of my parole or sentence I’ll do. Because I do want to make a better life for myself. I do want to help people instead of hurt them. This is a slap to the face for me, it lets me know that I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do these stupid things anymore because it’s only wasting my life. I hope that my apology is accepted and my sentence is taken into reconsideration for the better. Thank you!
  
Well, the Judge and Prosecutor were moved but did not reduce his sentence.  The Judge said that the county jail will probably move him to state’s prison because when holding a minor it uses a lot of resources that they would like to free up. So I suppose in about three weeks I should have a new address for him, and then we can begin sending him the books, and continue this support to give him strength through this next 8 + years.
  
The only way I can describe this, is if you watch that show Cold Case, and at the end of the show they show the person as a young person, and then as they are years later in the story older. I knew that the last time I would see this little boy looking out of the glass window of the holding cell was today, and he will come out the other side 25 years old, and I pray he is strong to make it, and come out ready to be good.  It just made me cry.
  
~h
  
August 18, 2007:
The 60 books that were collected to send to Kyryhan were rejected from the state prison. Only new books being sent directly from bookstores are accepted. He now gets a book every once in awhile. He has a few books on a list that I send to him as I can.
Sunday, September 30, 2007 

Off To College
Category: School, College, Greek

Hello Everyone…

This is Heather, the person who manages Kyryhan’s myspace while he is paying his dues.

Kyryhan passed his test while in prison and earned his High School Diploma! The prison he is in does not assist in college and therefore he has to find the tuition money on his own, which is a catch 22 since he is locked up. He is applying for a job in the prison that will pay him $100 a month to put toward college. I of course, will put what I can toward his college. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get grants or scholarships for someone in this situation? If so, please leave in a comment or send a message.  Thanks again for reading his blog. The support is important. If anyone wants to write Kyryhan directly, please send a message, I will give you the address.  I will also give you my PO Box address to use as a return address.

 

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 

  Letter to Heather – One Year Later
Category: Writing and PoetryDear Heather,I’m sorry it took so long to write back after I got your letter. I’ve been writing colleges to take as many courses as possible. I finally got the kitchen job so I work during the day and go to college at night. I take intermediate algebra right now because that’s all I can take until I get some more time in, even though I’ve got over a year in this place.I’m trying my best to keep myself in study mode, because summertime is coming and trouble is always around. So far I’ve been able to get into every Islamic study class and get into free college here, even though 4 credits is all they have to offer until I’m able to get into more classes, but four credits is better than none.I appreciate so much your kindness for wanting to send me those things (*Heather’s Note – I wanted to send him socks, towels, and underwear) but unfortunately due to the lack of standup inmates who are willing to sacrifice for what should be given to us, privileges such as the thoughtful one that you came up with for me, gets taken away without a fight.These people even took away the picture project so now we can’t take pictures anymore. I want to stand up and say something but there’s not enough of us to make Administration hear our grievance. They’d lock us in ad-seg with a group demonstration charge for speaking the truth. I’ll just stick to good ol’ books and letters. By the way there’s a book out there by Tupac Shakur called “The Rose That Grew From The Concrete.” It’s a great book full of strong and powerful poems and also inspirational stories. Can you please keep an eye open for that book for me? Thank You J !!!! (*Heather’s Note – I sent him the book so nobody needs to send him a copy.)It’s amazing how you seem to deal with all this big business, take care of yourself, manage school, and still have time for me. I commend you on your consistency of gradualness. I’m not sure if I’ve ever said this before but if there is anything that I can do for you that’s within my reach, let me know and I’ll get it done for you A.S.A.P.Honestly, the most frustrating part of this whole prison thing is that my first year in, mostly all my family and friends left me. They were the same ones that when I was home would say, “If you need anything, just let me know,” but when I did need them they were nowhere to be found.I guess it was my immaturity that made me feel like they were supposed to be there for me. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad you are doing this time with me, because if you weren’t then I’d probably be in and out of lock-up, ad-seg, or getting transferred to different youth correctional facilities until these cops finally smash me half to death.You’ve done more for me in almost a year than anybody has done for me in the two years and some change I’ve been locked-up. And that motivated me to keep studying and push myself into better education. These people, (cops and inmates) call me young Malcolm X or Malik Shabazz, because I move so militant with a strong amount of intellect to be so young.But you seen the better me even when the weak me was shackled and about to lose the rest of his childhood, you took the good over the bad and didn’t judge. For that, I sincerely thank you and hope we stay friends for a long time! Be Safe!!!

Love,

Al-Tariq Ab’dul Ali

*Heather’s Note – In a previous letter the name he signs his letters with is his Islamic name and has special meaning – when I write him and use his birth name – Kyryhan

 

Monday, June 09, 2008 

  Letter to Heather – with pictures inside!Dear Heather,Sorry for taking so long to write back. The prices on stamps changed. Plus, I ran out so I had to get some more. But for the time being I’ve been working! I got a little notebook that I’m filling with poetry on multiple different topics, but exclusively about how I feel. When I fill it up I’m going to send it to you.The reconsideration that was in the works is almost complete. All I have left to do is make copies and mail it to the Judge, Prosecutor, and county clerk. I’m going for a reduced sentence of 10 to 7 with an 85. *Heather’s Note – Kyryhan was sentenced to 10 years with the NERA (No Early Release Act) which his sentence is mandatory that he spends 85% of his time in prison equal to 8.5 years! He is writing to the courts to request his sentence reconsidered and has extenuating reasons – for one – he never physically hurt anyone. Although, he understands that the victims of crime suffered mental stress. A lots riding on this reconsideration, if it goes through than we can get things running much faster. I’ve got a good feeling plus I’ve been having dreams about being home early.Also I took the pictures real close this time. I know your probably thinking why I look so sad. Well, because I am. Not a day goes by without me thinking about the huge mistake I’ve made growing up and how I’m going to live in the future. I just can’t bring myself to make a smile because it just wouldn’t be sincere. But overall the pictures came out great, hope you like them!!!Now that that’s all been said, how is my very special friend? Is she doing ok!? I hope works not getting to you and everything’s fine. If I’m not mistaken Alabama was 4th state to apologize for slavery. Alabama holds a lot of history and pain.Before I got arrested, I used to work with kids who were in some of the roughest parts of Paterson and they liked the fact that I was just a little older as well as I spent time with them, so they listened. The youth must understand that history repeats itself to a certain degree and that’s what I failed to convey onto them when they were all ears.My main goal for the future is to educate the youth, but not as a teacher in some classroom. I want to show them a better way on a much bigger scale. Show them that family is important, that prison is a waste of time on so many different levels, and that they are the future in respect to the past.Sure I think it would be a great idea to put my letters to you on My Space. I want people to know and remember me by my dedication to changes not by what they’ve seen on the news.I can’t wait for you to come and visit, then we can talk and get to know each other better. Have you ever heard of Astral Projecting? Because I’ve been reading a little bit about it and so far it’s quite profound. Just asking.

I know I say this all the time, but I want you to know that I mean it and that I’ll never forget it!!! You’re a great person and friend, the future holds tremendous amounts of opportunity. I almost closed that door thinking that no one cared, so why should I!! Then you came and showed me that there are people who care, so have hope! And for that I thank you with sincerity and much respect! You are my Lady of Light in dark times of lonely regret!!! Be Safe

Much Love,

At-Tariq Abdul Ali

 

Saturday, June 14, 2008 

  Letter to Heather – Mail Catch UpDear Heather,

I hope you had a safe trip and everything’s fine. I wrote you a letter already to your PO Box before you gave me this address so is there any way you can get it forwarded to where you’re at now because that letter has my pictures for you. At the top of that letter I apologized for it taking so long, then I got your new letter telling me you were gone and I felt bad because I didn’t know if you were going to have to wait until you came back to get it.That book you sent me is like a guide of information as towards how those people lived and conducted themselves in different situations. *Heather’s Note – I am editing a book for a Medicine Man who is Indian and I sent Kyryhan a portion of the book to read to encourage him to begin writing his book so I could get it published too. If I was to write anything about Indian Civilization I can conceive an idea from what I’ve read. Some of their religious beliefs are understandable and comparing it with the Bible was cool, but if they would’ve compared it with the Qur’an that would’ve been amazing. There are profound facts that can’t be explained as far as how man would know such detail so long ago. That’s why we are certain that these revelations come from the All-Knowing and not from the pen of a really smart person.How many chapters do you want me to finish up in my book before I send it to you or do you want me to finish up the whole thing? I haven’t heard anything new as far as the music instructor goes. So I’m going to keep my ears open and push the issue a little more to see what happens. *Heather’s Note – When Kyryhan asked me what he could do for me, I asked him to book the Altino Brothers at the prison so he and the other inmates could see them perform. The Altino Brothers are two virtuoso pianists who perform gospel, jazz and classical music. You can see them on http://www.thealtinobrothers.com.Can you believe I’ll be 19 in three more months? And I’ll have 3 years behind the wall in seven months! Time Flies!!! Be Safe, I’ll talk to you next time.

Much love,

At-Tariq Ab-dul Ali

*Heather’s Note – This is the first letter in over a year and a half that I had ever noticed had been open by the Prison staff, read and stapled back shut. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

Saturday, July 19, 2008 

Letter to Heather
Current mood:  bummed
Category: Life

Hey Heather,

Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I’ve been trying to find the best answer to your question about school. To start off, I would like to apologize for not telling you earlier about it. I’m going to just give it to you straight even though you might be a little disappointed in me, but maybe what I have to say later might cheer you up and help you consider forgiving me for screwing up.

I stopped going to Algebra class after my second exam, so I never actually completed or received credits. In my defence I stopped going before I found out about the credits you get even if you don’t pass. When I started the class I was hanging on but then it started to get harder….that’s why I kept bombing on every test, but my homework was consistently good…the person who was tutoring me decided to stop coming to class and it was like I was in the middle of the ocean with no idea of what direction land was in.

College registration comes back on August 11, so I’ll be sure to apply and stay no matter what the outcome is. There’s a college program that offers the credits that all the classes consist of and a certificate that says your educationally capable of starting your own business, it’s packed with over 20 credits, but the thing is you have to be 5 years short to enter. I’ve only got 3 or 4 more months until I can get in so I’m going to take whatever class I can now and then I promise I will at least get that certificate.

Writing this letter isn’t enough, I wish there was something else I could do to make up for letting you down. Sorry! I talked to the music instructor (about bringing in the Altino Brothers to perform) and he basically told me no too. He said that there were no pianos here, just a keyboard, the prison won’t let them bring in anything else except what’s already here, and also the people who are in charge of letting performers come in pretty much book the same people for all the events. No prison is supposed to be a cakewalk but this one sucks!!!

If I do get the reconsideration and stay out of trouble for awhile then I can go to a half way house for 18 months, then I’ll be released on parole. Yes, I do need you to write a letter to assist me in my reconsideration day in court. I need all the help I can get. Thank You!!!

I’m still learning how to successfully step onto the astral plane. I’ve done it a few times and the feeling was almost incomparable to anything, it makes everything look better than what it really is. Every time I project I’m always in space or on my way to space. I’m never on Earth, but I’ll still look for you. I tried to keep a dream book for every unsuccessful projection I have, it’s always blurry and hard to remember.  (Heather responds: I actually dreamed of Kyryhan coming to me and talking to me at the edge of my bed until the morning when I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. to catch a flight….I wrote him to let him know I did see him!)

The title of my poem book is called “Thoughts from a Poet” but if that’s not catchy enough then you can take one of the titles from another poem in my book. I was thinking, the autobiography that I am writing, maybe I should hold off ..ing it here and wait till I come home to give it its final touches. What do you think? I started writing “kayotic” too, so far it’s good. I like it, but I need to write more and let everybody read it to get stronger reviews.

Since you’ve taken the World Religion class and have studied some things about Islam, tell me what you agree with and what you don’t agree with about the religion. I’d love to know how you feel towards it.

I’ll talk some more in my next letter, I really just wanted to apologize about the school situation. If I find you on the astral plane, I promise…I’ll make it up to you!!!

Much love,

At-Tariq Abdul Ali

aka…Kyryhan (KC-K -chubs,etc) 

 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 

Letter to Heather
Current mood:  ashamed
Category: Friends

Dear Heather,

I know my last letter was probably more upsetting than it was pleasing. I really do want to make a better future for myself despite my past. I’m sure written apologies don’t always hit as hard as a spoken one does, but my actions and my intentions are to be educated and to achieve success. I’m dedicated to reaching my goals by all means, but this place, prison in general seems only to be at war with me mentally, not physically, not even spiritually, just mentally. I’m not trying to make me being locked-up a justification for not finishing that class, I just want you to understand that me going through this kind of experience, mistakes become my 1 enemy because I’ll make so many, but in the end they will all become an ally because I’ll learn from the previous ones.

There’s times when I wake up and my mind is scrambled thinking about work, which inmate I’ve got to keep an extra eye on, or staying off the radar of these egotistical cops. The biggest thing that I forget when I wake up is that I’m in prison and that lets me know that I’ve lost a mental battle, but I’m still in the war. Getting comfortable in this place is a strong no-no because once you do it becomes so easy to comeback for another term, maybe 30 years next time or life! I can’t do it. I can’t come back to this place. It has it’s own way of stripping you of everything then leaving you to fend for yourself to get it all back.

All I have is my religion and You! My family only contacts me when they feel guilty for leaving me alone and that’s once in a blue moon, I can feel it in their choice of words that they don’t really care. So I don’t bother caring either! But you, you keep me looking ahead because you’ve been by my side the whole time and the faith that I have in the Allah The Most High keeps me striving for Paradise in the next life!!! Until net time just know I’ll appreciate every part of you that you give to me especially your heart!!! Be Safe!!!

Much Love,

At Tariq Abdul Ali

aka Kyryhan 🙂 and all the other nicknames you know me by

 

Saturday, March 21, 2009 

Letter to Heather
Category: Life

Dear Heather
I’ve got a lot to update you on. First, which I think is the most important. I was approved for a prison transfer. At my yearly review I asked to be moved to another prison closer up North, so they sent me to Annadale, NJ. I like it here, aside from the over active cops, it’s OK.
The bad side of things is that when they called me to pack my property up I was washing clothes. I told the officers at the Yardville Prison to have it dried before sending it to this prison and of course, he didn’t. So when I got my property all of my clothes were destroyed, they were still wet, smelled horrible, and had mildew all over them.
AllI have now is what the state provided, 2 pairs of shirts, socks and shorts. I had to wait for my property to get here or else I would of written you earlier, but I didn’t remember your California address. To make a long story short, I’m doing kind of bad nad hoped that you could send me something to get me on my feet until I start working. (Note: Heather who manages this blog has sent him  money, but anyone else who reads this who cares to assist his new address is MYCF 31 Petticoat Lane, Annadale, NJ 08801…and he never asks me for anything).
It’s been awhile since we’ve talked and I do miss hearing from you! (Note: I was sent to California to work on a major problem for the government and was working 20 hours a day…but still managed to send him letters and money, just not as often, and couldn’t visit since Thanksgiving). I got your last letter while I was still at the other prison in Yardville, but t hey moved me before I could respond. Is everything going well , I can send ou all the info for this place while you’re still in Cali or do you want me to wait until you come back?
I started a book of short stories I’m sure you’re going to like and when I get the stamps and envelope for it I’ll send you all of the poems for that book. I’m sorry it took so long but things are so out of order right now.
The circumstances for college is the same as the other prison so as soon as I’m able I’m in there. I don’t know if I told you but I passed the algebra class. I’m not too sure of everything that’s going to happen but so far it all looks good.
Tell me what’s new with you and how long it’s going to be until I see you again. Oh and take lots of pictures in Cali for me too! Until next time be safe, write back soon.
Much Love!!!
At-Tariq Abdul Ali
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