My Guantanamo Diary: The Detainees and the Stories They Told Me

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PublicAffairs, Jan 11, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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Mahvish Khan is the only Afghan-American to walk into Guantanamo of her own accord. This unique book is her story, and the story of the men she grew to know uniquely well inside the cages of Guantanamo. Mahvish Khan is an American lawyer, born to immigrant Afghan parents. She was outraged that her country, the USA, seemed to have suspended its tradition of equality for all under the law with regard to those imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and so she volunteered to translate for the lawyers - including British lawyer and founder of Reprieve Clive Stafford Smith - acting pro bono for the prisoners. Because she spoke their language, understood their customs and brought them Starbucks chai, the closest available drink to the kind of tea they would drink at home, they quickly befriended her, offering fatherly advice as well as a uniquely personal insight into their plight, and that of their families thousands of miles away at home. Some at Guantanamo are terrorists who deserve to be convicted and sentenced as such. Some are paediatricians and school teachers. We cannot tell the difference until we see them as individuals with their own unique stories. They deserve that much. No other writer has had access to the detainees. This book is a testament to their captivity. It documents the voices of men who have been tortured and held in a black hole of indefinite detention without legal recourse for years. It shows who they are and also allows readers to see that these men are more similar to us than they are different.
 

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My Guantanamo Diary: The Detainees and the Stories They Told Me

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In her moving debut memoir, a young journalist recounts her time as a translator for the detainees of notorious GuantĂƒÂ¯Ă‚Â¿Ă‚Â½namo Bay prison. As a law student and American-born daughter of Pashtun ... Read full review

Contents

1 SECRET CLEARANCE 1
1
2 THE PEDIATRICIAN 13
13
3 GETTING THERE 31
31
4 THE OLD MAN 41
41
5 BIG BOUNTIES 55
55
6 THE GOATHERD 65
65
7 THE LAWYERS 83
83
8 THE BUSINESSMAN 99
99
12 HABEAS HURDLES 167
167
13 SAMI ALHAJ 179
179
14 THE DRAMA 199
199
15 JUMAH ALDOSSARY 209
209
16 WHAT THE PENTAGON SAID 229
229
17 THE POLICE CHIEF 237
237
18 THE POETS 251
251
19 SERIAL NUMBERS 263
263

9 AFGHANISTAN 109
109
10 KABUL 133
133
11 DEAD DETAINEES 153
153
EPILOGUE 281
281
Notes 299
299
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About the author (2008)

Mahvish Rukhsana Khan is a recent law school graduate and journalist. She has published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other media. She lives in San Diego.

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