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Human Rights Law

: Never In Our Names

Guantanamo Poetry--Prison Darkness

By possum

Poems written by the Guantanamo prisoners have been posted here at NION in the past.  Tonight we have one more poem.  These are posted in hope of keeping alive the dreams and ambitions of the men who write.  We must not let them be forgotten.

The 72-page book edited by Mark Falkoff is now available for all to read.  The collection is writings produced by the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  These words were written on paper, scratched on styrofoam cups, and etched into napkins.  The detainees managed in whatever way was possible for them.  The writing was one way to keep some semblance of sanity.

According to Falkoff an old Arabic saying says poetry arises from suffering.  In that instance the detainees will rise to the level of some of the world's great poets.

Abdulaziz wished not to reveal his full name.  He traveled to Afghanistan just after graduation from university in his native Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.  After finding his brother and planning a return home the pair were detained by Northern Alliance Forces.  After being tortured in an Afghan prison, Abdulaziz and his brother were turned over to American forces in early 2002.  Both men were subsequently transferred to Guantanamo and declared enemy combatants.  The brother has been released.

Prison Darkness

O prison darkness, pitch your tent.
We love the darkness.

For after the dark hours of the night,
Pride's dawn will rise.

Let the world, with all its bliss, fade away--
So long as we find favor with God.

A boy may despair in the face of a problem,
But we know God has a design.

Even though the bands tighten and seem unbreakable,
They will shatter.

Those who persist will attain their goal;
Those who keep knocking shall gain entry.

O crisis, intensify!
The morning is about to break forth.


Full post as published by Never In Our Names on May 02, 2009 (boomark / email).

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