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American hiker Sarah Shourd freed from Iran leaves Oman

September 18, 2010

Gulf | Oman

American hiker Sarah Shourd freed from Iran leaves Oman

Freed American hiker Sarah Shourd left Muscat on Saturday night for an undisclosed destination

  • By Sunil K. Vaidya , Bureau Chief
  • Published: 23:10 September 18, 2010
Muscat, Oman

  • American Sarah Shourd (center, left) tours the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat on Saturday, September 18, with her mother Nora and Omani guides.
  • Image Credit: (Photo courtesy of Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Muscat.)
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Muscat: Freed American hiker Sarah Shourd, who enjoyed a five-day hospitality in Oman after Iran released her last Tuesday from 13-month imprisonment on spying charges, left Muscat on Saturday night for an undisclosed destination.

Shourd made a brief statement but did not take any questions.

“I want to begin with thanking His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed for welcoming me to this beautiful country upon my release,”she said at the start of her statement at the Muscat Interantaional Airport’s VIP lounge.

She expressed her deep appreciation for Dr Salim Bin Nasser Al Ismaily, CEO of the Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (OCIPAD) for bringing her from Tehran.

Al Ismaily refrained from saying in what capacity he extended the help after he had presented Sarah and her family a bouquet of flower.

On her part Sarah also did not elaborate on the role played by Al Ismaily.

The American hiker also said that she was thankful to Al Ismaily for the honour of his friendship and most importantly, for this continued engagement in her life, in the life of her fiancé Shane (Bauer) and her dear friend Josh (Fattal) during the past 13 and a half months.

She also thanked the American ambassador Richard J. Schmierer and his wife Sandy for hosting her and her family during what she termed “unfortunately very brief stay”(in Oman).

“It will be pleasure to return to Oman and it is my deepest hope that I will be able to soon show Shane and Josh the Grad Mosque, one of the most peaceful and powerful places of worship I have ever seen,”she reiterated.
She was all praise for Oman in her statement. “I will always associate your country with the first breath of my freedom. The sweet smell sandalwood and the chance to stand by the ocean listen to the waves,”emotionally charged Sarah told media.

“I thank the good hospitable people of Oman for their support and ask you to please extend you prayers for my fiancé Shane and friend Josh. Insha’A llah, they will soon be free,”she hoped.

It was not known where she was headed or by which flight. “We cannot tell you where is she going and by which airline,”a spokesperson for the embassy said.

Sarah was accompanied at the airport by her mother Nora Shourd and her maternal uncle Michel Sandys

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