Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Meditation: The Poetry of Guantanamo

For your Sunday contemplation, here is news of a forthcoming collection of poetry, including a sample poem by Jumah al-Dossari, from detainees at Guantanmo. Jumah al-Dossari's personal account of his incarceration was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times,
I would rather die than stay here forever, and I have tried to commit suicide many times. The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed. I am hopeless because our voices are not heard from the depths of the detention center.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo whose beliefs, dignity and humanity were abused. Please remember that there are hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo suffering the same misfortune. They have not been charged with any crimes. They have not been accused of taking any action against the United States.
Lengthier testimony is also available from Amnesty along with a case sheet and downloadable action.

This reminded me of the story from nearly a year ago of another Guantamo poet (now released and writing a book). From the BBC,

At first, deprived of paper and pen, he memorised his best lines or scribbled them secretly on paper cups. He recited a verse: "What kind of spring is this where there are no flowers and the air is filled with a miserable smell?"

Sadly, it looks like there is no shortage of poets for the collection.
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