Open Letter to Port of Seattle Commission

Iranian protesters at the World Cup in Qatar

Port of Seattle Commission
PO Box 1209
Seattle, WA 98111

December 2, 2022

Dear Honorable Commissioners:

The American Mideast Coalition for Democracy (“AMCD”) is a non-partisan, grass-roots organization dedicated to empowering the estimated 10 million Americans of Middle Eastern descent to promote greater understanding and beneficial policies for both America and for the countries of the Middle East.

As the AMCD Co-chair, who has called the Seattle area home for the past forty-one years, I applaud the Port of Seattle Commission for promoting their stated values such as Respect, Anti-racism and Equity, Integrity, Stewardship and Excellence.

Today, I am writing to let you know you have an opportunity to promote those noble values with the Port of Seattle clients and show that there are consequences for those who deliberately disregard those values.

We are writing to you about utter disrespect the Qatari government has shown toward the extraordinary courage of women in Iran who have been “standing up, speaking up, and speaking out for their basic rights.”

The Qatari government has gone so far as to provide personal information on FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 games’ visitors with Western passports who may be sympathetic to the Iranian women’s struggle for freedom.

Commissioners should know that the Qatari security forces have been confiscating and deleting smart phone photos, performing bodily searches, and even giving cover to Iranian regime terrorist groups stationed at the games in order to threaten and even to beat the supporters of the Iranian freedom movement. They are specifically targeting anyone who has garments or decorations supporting Iranian women at the games. Although the Port of Seattle has no connection with the Qatari government, it does have a special relationship with Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C, operating as Qatar Airways—its state-owned flag carrier. It is the most visible representative of the Qatari government in our community.

Because the Port of Seattle has has taken a lead role in regional and national efforts to achieve equity and social justice, we recommend you consider reprimanding the Qatari government by suspending Qatar Airways’ Seattle flights for a short period. This unprecedented move will further support the communities the Port of Seattle serves, not just in words but by action that those who deliberately perpetuate inequities are held accountable.

As the past USO NW Chair and its current Emeritus Director, I have worked with the Port of Seattle, im particular with former Commissioner Bryant, serving our community. I believe that visibly standing up for human rights may be something that the honorable commissioners should consider as it would generate positive publicity and good will among the community at large.

As members of the Seattle area Iranian-American community, we would like the honor of attending one of the Commission’s meetings to represent the Iranian women and young people and to address the Commissioners about how the rights of Iranian women and children are violated by the Iranian regime and their collaborators, in this case, the Qatari Government.

I have submitted a copy of this letter to our local media, so the community is aware of how the commissioners are supporting our values here at home and abroad.

Sincerely yours,

Hossein Khorram, American Mideast Coalition for Democracy Co-Chair

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