December 6, 2007
Looking for a Job
British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons safe at home.
British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons, 54, is back home in Liverpool. She had been convicted in Sudan of "insulting Islam" before receiving a pardon and being expelled from the country. Now Gibbons is hoping to rest before starting a job search. A public relations person hired by her family tried to shoo away inquisitive reporters.
Some at the home were happy to talk to reporters – British Muslims delivering a message of support and a bouquet bearing the message: "Welcome back, Gillian."
"It was outrageous, she shouldn't have been treated that way," said Dr. Abdul Hamid. "She's been the victim of something ridiculous. We're glad she's back home and her ordeal is all over."
While her supporters scoffed at the allegations, the woman herself, although out of Sudan, treaded carefully when asked at Heathrow about her offence. "I don't think I really know enough about it to comment really," she said. "It's a very difficult area and a very delicate area."
She added, "I was very upset to think that I might have caused offence to people."
The AP report notes, "Children and staff at Liverpool's Garston Church of England Primary School, where she taught for 12 years until 2000, had been praying for her safe return."
There was no word about whether the teddy bear made it out of Sudan safely.