It's awesome to be home, says al Jazeera's Peter Greste after arriving in Australia
Australian journalist, who was freed few days ago after over 400-day ordeal in an Egyptian jail, has arrived home in Brisbane and is quiet elated.
Brisbane: Australian journalist, who was freed few days ago after over 400-day ordeal in an Egyptian jail, has arrived home in Brisbane and is quiet elated.
Ecstatic on having arrived back in his native land, Peter Greste said, "It`s awesome to be home, back on Australian soil and I`m a very, very happy man".
Greste was freed on Sunday when he left Australia. Before arriving in Brisbane, his first stop was Cyprus from where he also tweeted a picture of himself enjoying at a beach, calling it a “sweet” moment to be back online after 400 days.
Free in Cyprus! Feels sweet. Peter back online for first time in 400+ days. Special thanks to Mike 4 nursing twitter pic.twitter.com/APATL1RljI
— Peter Greste (@PeterGreste) February 3, 2015
Speaking in the first news conference after being freed, Greste added that he imagined his freedom “about 400 times”, that is, almost everyday he was in jail so far.
"I didn`t think I`d see this day. I imagined it many, many times - about 400 times in fact. This is a moment that I`ve rehearsed in my mind over the last 400 days and it feels absolutely awesome," he said.
He thanked his family, Australian government and the public for the mammoth campaign that facilitated his release. While Greste chose to refrain from talking about the rigours of jail, he said he did exercises for remaining fit and meditation to keep himself ''calm, focused and relaxed''.
Greste said that he wanted to continue to be a correspondent as he didn't want to give up journalism as his job.
Trying to justify his love for journalism to his mom, he said, "Mum, would you mind closing your ears for the moment?"
To which his mom laughed and said, "Oh dear, I know what's coming."
"I don't want to give this up - my job. I'm a correspondent, it's what I do," Greste said.
"How I do it, whether I actually do go ahead with it, I don't know. That's the way I feel right now."
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste was arrested in Cairo hotel raid in December 2013 along with his two other colleagues - Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy on the charges of spreading false news and supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement.