Mum Amina 'brightened life when it was all pitch black', says Ibrahim
Ibrahim Halawa has paid an emotional tribute to his mother, who is currently battling cancer, describing her as his "hero".
In a letter sent from his prison cell in Egypt and later posted on social media, the 21-year-old spoke of how his mum Amina "brightened his life when it was pitch black".
Ibrahim, from Firhouse in Dublin, has spent four years in prison in Egypt after being arrested during a protest against the ousting of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo in 2013.
He is currently awaiting his return to Ireland after he was acquitted of all charges during a mass trial of 490 defendants last month.
Speaking about his love for his mother, Ibrahim wrote: "For so long, I have been admiring your endurance.
"You went through so much in the last four years. In those four years, my sisters and I were imprisoned - we were tortured and beaten.
"But yet you didn't give up. You stayed by my side."
It is understood Ms Halawa was diagnosed with colon cancer after her son was imprisoned.
She underwent an operation on Tuesday and is currently resting in hospital.
"You made me smile when my smile died out," Ibrahim continued.
"You brightened my life when it was pitch black.
"And you always assured me that I will be free and that tomorrow is a brighter day.
"That bright day did come when I was acquitted, but it rained when you were diagnosed."
Despite her illness, Ibrahim said he is convinced his mother will get better.
"Mom, I know you will be better, just believe in God," he said.
"You will make it because you are a hero - my hero."
Speaking to the Herald last night, Ibrahim's sister Somaia said it took a lot of stress off her mother once her son's innocence was proved.
"I'm very glad she had the operation after Ibrahim was found not guilty," she said.
"It was such a relief for her knowing that he will be home soon. I really don't think she would have been able to handle it if the verdict had gone the other way."
The Halawa family are hopeful that Ibrahim will be home before next Wednesday, October 18.
Egyptian authorities have said that there are a number of hurdles to overcome prior to his release, but it should be imminent.
"We heard that the delay can't take longer than a month, according to Egyptian law," said Somaia.
"If his release papers are not written by the judge within a month of the verdict then he will get in trouble."