Written by Adel Kamel Abdulla
Published Thursday, December 28, 2006
Captivity means isolation. We were in a military base, on an isolated island in Cuba. It was as if we did not exist on Earth! We never used to see anyone or anything nor receive any news. We could barely see sunlight. Almost none of the letters that we wrote to our families were sent. After a year at the Bay we knew something was wrong when we received letters from our family saying they had not heard from us.
At night the lights were so strong that it was difficult to know whether it was night or day. We couldnít sleep because it was constantly noisy. There were lots of scorpions, insects, lizards and rats. We were allowed a 3 minute shower per week. There were no clean clothes and those we had were made of polyester, which was horrible in the hot and humid weather.
The prison is under the control of psychiatrists whose goal is to turn us crazy by the time we left, but I think itís they who are crazy now.
It was very difficult. I lost hope in my ever being released. In those first few weeks at Guantanamo prison our spirits were so low; we were depressed and entirely miserable. We turned to God for help, spending as much time as we could in prayer and reading the Holy Qurían and as the days went on we began to feel we were in Godís hands and that gave us all the strength and patience we needed to survive Guantanamo.
Without Godís help no one can tolerate that place for even one minute. Thanks to God, our stay in the prison became almost easy, as if we were on a picnic. We used to talk to each other, and joke around and make fun of the soldiers. Although life there wasnít easy, it became bearable.
I wasnít told that we were to be released until the day before. We had noticed the guards had suddenly begun treating us differently. They were nicer and became insistent upon certain things, like visiting the hospital for a check-up which previously had been somewhat optional - if you did not want to go they didnít take you. They needed a medical report to make sure I didnít have any signs of torture on my body and when I refused, a doctor and an officer came to persuade me. When I asked if the medical report was for my release they said they did not know. A day before leaving an officer came to me and said I was going to be release