Dear Cousin Moe, WHY?

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Martin Luther King Day, no school or work for Billy and the kids and the first experience for the family to go with me to Federal prison to visit my cousin Mike whom I adore and admire.

A short, heavy, red headed lady sat behind a tall counter filled with forms. She didn’t crack a smile. Her job was much too important and didn’t allow her to smile. A man walked in behind us and waited in line as we filled out our forms. It was apparent that he hadn’t done this before. He followed her orders and went to fill out his paper work. A beep went off. “WHO HAS A CELL PHONE?” The mean lady screamed in the tiny room. We all looked at each other, it wasn’t us. It was the other man. “GO BACK TO YOUR CAR AND LEAVE IT THERE.”

Mean lady, we can all hear you, there’s no reason to yell. If you hadn’t noticed, people that go for visitations are heart broke so a gentle smile would have gone a long way. I know you can smile and laugh because I could hear you shooting the breeze and laughing with your co-worker.


Mean lady gave us the go ahead to go through the metal detectors after removing our shoes, watches, money and everything that rattled. We passed this time, no random pat down for possibility of “coming in contact with illegal substances”. That was special. We went through 2 more metal doors and Yay, the third metal door and we were there.

Mike was expecting me but not my family.  His face lit up with the most beautiful and bright smile that he carries despite his hardships. We hugged, talked and laughed. A very nice visit cut too short.

“Visitation is over. Visitors on the right and inmates on the left.” The guard shouted.

As much as my daughter tried to hold it together, she broke down and cried. It was too hard for her to say goodbye. I looked at Mike as he watched us. The sadness was apparent. By now, I could see my son’s teary eyes. I choked up. I held Mariana and tried to console her.

“How do you do this Mom?” She sobbed then added, “Why did Moe do this?”

I ran out of words, excuses, and explanations. I don’t know the answer to my baby’s questions.

The two and a half hour ride home was long. I thought over and over again, Damn you cousin Moe, Why? So, I decided to write him a letter in hopes that he will read it and think about what he’s done.

Dear Moe,

Since your famous words in court were, “I don’t recall”. I will remind you of the shit you’ve done and conveniently forgot.

Do you remember why you helped the government set up your cousins and their friends. You sent them to prison for years to come.  Do you remember how many times Mike gave you a job at his clubs but had to fire you because you didn’t show up to work, stole money and showed up on drugs. I believe in court, they said it was 5 times.

Cousin Moe, do you remember the reason why our cousins Mike and Hadi are in prison? Do you remember how many times you went to his office, begged and pleaded with him to help you and your dad?  When he finally agreed, Mike told his assistant to give you whatever you needed. You then got your check and walked out smiling. As soon as you walked out of Mike’s office, you called the Feds and said “I got him, I got him.” Do you remember that cousin Moe? I do. I saw it on tape and I got sick for days.

Do you remember why you told the Feds that your own blood and cousins were terrorists, drug dealers, murderers and rapists? Those are the same cousins that gave you money, paid for your kids clothes and birthday parties. The same cousins that paid your wife’s car note over and over again while she was jet setting with her Australian boyfriend. The same cousins that paid your electric bill because they didn’t’ want your children to be without and the same cousins who baby sat your children while you and your wife went out and got wasted. The list goes on.

Do you remember that Mike employed over 300 people who had families? Thanks to you, they were out of a job overnight.

Do you remember when you called me 2 days after their arrests?  You called at midnight and promised that you had nothing to do with their arrests. You said  you were also arrested. You lied to me.

You had some nerves saying in court that family was very important to you as you looked at Mike, Steve and Hadi. You then stared at  Steve and said, “Steve is my best friend”. Your reply in court to the attorney who asked you why your stories changed. You said, “I’m a fucking liar.” Need I say more?

Cousin Moe, In case you forgot or were too high on drugs to realize, you tore up our family from Lebanon to Africa to the US. You left these boys and supposedly family and best friends penniless. Whatever the government left behind, their best friends stole.  You broke so many hearts and humiliated us. Do you remember how the media portrayed our cousins and our family?

I know how much you love your children and how you hate being away from them.  Did you ever think about your cousin Hadi’s newborn baby boy? Hadi was forced away from his wife and baby because of your lies? Federal prison for five years so far away from his family. They sent him to Georgia Moe. Do you remember?


Hadi and his baby boy Hazen

I could remind you and write pages about the things you’ve done for dirty money and revenge as was stated in court.  You had so many opportunities over the years of the investigation to figure out what you’ve done and make it right. You didn’t. You watched our family get humiliated on TV, in the newspapers and the streets. You didn’t come clean.  Cousin Moe, Do you remember WHY?

Life will go on for us and the truth will prevail because we believe in God. He never forgets the innocent. No matter the outcome, we have each other and God. WE ARE FAMILY.

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  1. …let us not forget to remind him how many times he outright said in court and on tape that ‘Mike would never have done it if he knew it was drug money’. You said it though! Everyone else will carry on as a family and he will be stuck fending for himself, for once. 0:)

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Yeah, you’re right. That was so important but no one listened :( The truth will prevail! Stay tuned. Hugs

  2. Manal, god awaits, but never forgets. What he has done will go down in infamy. It was obvious his priority in life. Family comes way below money revenge and other selfish and stupid reasoning. We have a saying in Egypt goes like that “if something wrong came out from bad person ….that’s the normal” he bit the hand that fed him. What did you expect? We just have to be thankful that this person will never be involved in our lives. Steve and hadi are in small prison two and half hours away from here. But your cousin is in jail wherever he goes. Here, Lebanon, Africa, and even mars. He will carry this with him until the day he dies. Can you imagine how miserable his life must be now? Believe me …..what he did didn’t take away from Steve and hadi the love and support of the family, just their freedom. He loses and Steve and hadi win

    • Go Go Girl says:

      I so agree with you! He will always be in his own jail/hell. We will move on. Hugs and thanks for your support :)

  3. This is all so upsetting. But I am glad that your family is leaning on each other. I feel like you should really send him this letter… though he may be beyond hearing what you have to say.
    Aussa Lorens recently posted…Douchebag’s Dossier: How To Get A Restraining OrderMy Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      He’s way beyond common sense.. When I tried to contact him and his sister, they went to the feds and told them that we’re threatening their lives. My husband and son were kicked out of trial for “intimidating the witness”..It never stops. I love this blogging thing cuz I know somehow he’ll see it :) Thank you so much for your support and your much needed comments. Hugs:)

  4. Wow…I can’t even begin to imagine. Thanks for taking us into your world–and I wish you all strength and peace.

    (Dropping by from Bloppy Bloggers on FB)
    Karen recently posted…Alcoholic parents: Shifting the narrativeMy Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Thank you for your well wishes and for reading this post. I will have a much funner post for you the next time you stop by:)

  5. Manal, If only your wings were visible on earth! Love u!

  6. I wouldn’t have the strength to visit him. I would be one of the people that just writes him off. But your forgiveness knows no bounds.
    A Pleasant House recently posted…Through The Looking GlassMy Profile

  7. Wow this was so powerful. I was riveted. I’m so SO sorry your family has gone through this excruciating ordeal. This letter should be sent to him, although it’ll probably be more cathartic for you than for him. He may not ever see.

    You went to see him because you forgive him? I can’t even wrap my brain around that. You’re amazing.
    Beth Teliho recently posted…I’m Out Way Past My Curfew!My Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      I’m hoping that the letter will get to him thru friends sharing. I would never ever ever ever never visit the bad cousin, lol..Thank you so much for your nice comments.

  8. God Bless your kids for having the strength to go to such an intimidating scary place. Sending you all a big old hug!!! Without a doubt Manal, they have your heart and soul! We will probably never know how special and intense seeing all of you walk in the door was for Mike, but I can only imagine he was on cloud nine after that visit!!! :)♡


    • Go Go Girl says:

      Thanks Karla! You know these kids are tough now :) Yes, Mike was thrilled to see us.. It was so worth it. His face lit up the whole room. Hugs, kisses and thanks for reading my posts. I love you!

  9. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. It still breaks my heat for Mike, Steve and Hadi in addition to the collateral damage. It scares me that I have nothing but contempt and hatred for Moe and do not consider him even a human being. Somehow God will use this for his betterment, although it is difficult to see how just yet. You could not have said it better. It is a clear example of how bad things happen to good people. I wish I could be as gracious as you all have been, but alas, I cannot see my way clear where Moe is concerned. As I said before, your cousins are so evidently out of place in prison, their class shines through the glass even with tears in their eyes. The injustice will surely be equalized by perhaps the higher power. In the meantime, know I love you and will always be there however I can for you and yours.

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Awww! Thank you so much Lisa for these beautiful words. I keep going everyday because of people like you that are supporting us and energizing us. I could never thank you enough for the trip you made with me. That’s when I needed it most and you were there. I pray for your recovery every day. Love you:)

  11. Your powerful writing deeply touch my heart, brought tears and relief of sharing!!!! I am proud of you ….You are an inspiration to us all. Not only I love your writing, but I love your strong believes and your photos. Manal you are amazing !!!!!The truth always prevails.
    Blessings & Love to you and your family :))

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Thank you! Are you loving the Chuckie photo? Lol..I worked hard on that one. Thanks for your energizing words. Hugs:)

  12. Manal, You are so wonderful. I can’t tell you enough. Our true friends and family will stay strong and together through all the lies that this “man” (hard to call him that- But I feel that I should only think positive from here on OUT) has done to Mike, Steve, Hadi, their colleagues and friends. I do myself feel terrible for all who were hurt during this time that weren’t directly involved also. i.e.: employees, families, friends… Only time will tell and bring us back together with them. God has given us reason to smile through this pain and will continue to do so with faith, hope and a little “pixie dust” (I am so watching to many cartoons with baby H these days :) ) I love you so much and thank you again for your strength and courage to bring justice to our boys! XOXO

    • Go Go Girl says:

      I agree with you! I also feel bad for all the friends and people. Remember that God didn’t forget us, He gave us our miracle baby, Hazen on the first day of trial so we’re not so upset by the trial. I know He has a plan and I’m confident that the truth will prevail. In the meantime, I will do my share and blab about it to whoever will listen. Love you tons. Hugs and kisses :)

  13. This is so sad and tragic. I’m sorry your family went through this, Manal. Very courageous of you to share your story here with us. Sending big hugs your way! XO
    Menopausal Mother recently posted…Are You A MILF?My Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Thanks Marcia! Writing about it has helped so much. When it’s safe for me to do, I plan to put it all out. I appreciate your support and kind words. Texas size hugs to you:)

  14. I love Mike, Hadi and Steve like brothers. As soon as I heard of the arrest I thought ohh no way they did this. I sat in court and I was so stupid to believe our justice system would see thru the lies and back and forth stories coming from Moe. The hope I had everytime I looked over and saw that innocent childlike smile Mike would give me. Never did I imagine they would be found guilty. My heart broke when they were sentenced. I did not believe it then and do not believe it to this day that they did this.. I pray for Hanna , Tata, and Ashley for if I am hurting they must be breaking inside. But they are strong for them and I can’t wait till they are all back together.

    • Go Go Girl says:

      I couldn’t believe it either. Throughout the trial, I was feeling so positive and especially when Moe said “If Mike knew it was drug money, he wouldn’t have done it”. How much more did they need to hear? I guess the system was never on our side. Thank you so much for reading, commenting and supporting Mike, Steve and Hadi. Mike still has that smile :) Prayers for a good appeal!

  15. I am heart-broken and speechless for all those horrible atrocities this man has done to you and your family….

    God’s got this, Manal. Justice will be served. You stay true to your God and your people, and in the end- Every last one of you will be blessed for it!!!
    Chris Carter recently posted…This Is How God Works: Part 3My Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Amen to that Christine! I have no one to lean on except GOD. I truly don’t wish ill on anyone but cousin Moe shouldn’t be running the streets while the innocent are in prison. I can’t thank you enough for your continuous support. I love all my bloggy friends and I love you! Hugs:)

  16. oh, Manal. I’m so sorry for the heartache your family has been through. Even if he doesn’t see this or ever get it, I’m glad you’re blogging about it. It will help you–and your family–true family–will pull together as you talk about it.
    Jen @ Real Life Parenting recently posted…You Might Be an Asshat: Richard Sherman and the Knee-Jerk RacistsMy Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      The blogging has helped me out tremendously. Once I write about it, I feel a weight lifted. Then, when I get all the wonderful and supportive comments, I get energized and go again. I appreciate you reading and taking part of my journey. I feel that I found great friendships in my bloggy friends. Thank you for being there! Hugs :)

  17. OMgosh,

    I appreciate your honesty here about your family.

    I need to go back and read more about what is happening here.

    Writing & Words & God saved me. I can see they are doing the same for you, dear. Xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Slices Of SoulMy Profile

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Yes Kim, writing and God saved me too. I have so much more to say but all in due time. Thank you so much for reading. I pray for your peace. Hugs!

  18. Aron saen says:

    I looked up to Mike. He was an aspiration to everyone who knew him on a personal level. I think Mike will learn from this. Mike did treat other people in a morally unhealty way sometimes, like not paying their employees the last paycheck before they quite or got fired, i can go on and on. But what goes around comes around. I am sure Moe has his day.

    • Go Go Girl says:

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this post Aaron! Nothing that Mike has done warrants what has happened to the family the past couple of years. You’re right, what goes around comes around. I hope you’ll stick around.

  19. Josh Cook says:

    Absolutely awesome Manal!! God Bless you and your family! Mike and Hadi will be with us again soon!! You and your family stay strong! :)

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