To my dad… because you destroyed my life

Enab Baladi Issue # 96 – Sun, Dec. 22, 2013

Vector illustration of a man lock up in prisonBaylasan Umar

“Every day, one of us will receive a visit from his parent, his wife or his children. Such visits are like a celebration for us; we express joy of what they bring to us in the visit of clothing, medicine and money as if the owner of the visit is on an Eid day. We prepare ourselves for the visit and we wear flowery clothes as what is possible, we wear whatever perfume we have. Ahead of time, we prepare gifts of beads and paper and the remnants of the fruits of cypress and letters to family and loved ones and perhaps poems. We embrace the gifts with us till it is the time of the visit as if we embrace pieces of ourselves. Everyone in the dormitory prepare themselves for a possible visit for one of us as we used to collect all the money in one fund and spend them together, we are the group of friends. We also used to share out chats about the visit as if it is an official and historical visit that no one had ever lived its moments even kings”. This was Ahmad’s friend’s impression in Adra central prison on the matter of the visit. This friend continues “Ahmad, my friend, and a handful of other friends have not had the chance to be visited because of the difficult circumstances of their areas and the the difficulty of the arrival of their parents to Adra prison. We sympathised with their situation and we knew the bitterness that they felt while we had our visits”. “One day we were surprised by the guard’s voice calling Ahmad and telling him that he has a visit; Ahmad’s mind and ours were almost going to fly out of joy. He sent for his wife and his family several times to come for a visit. It was an alerted day in the dormitory; one of us handing Ahmed his clothes and the other is combing his hair; while others were writing on pieces of paper the numbers of the families of Ahmad’s friends to communicate with them and make sure to tell them about their sons’ status. Ahmad left to his visit as the joviality filled his face and ours. We put our last touches on Ahmad as if we were doing magic before he left for his visit; he joked with us “stop flirting with me”. We were sitting and waiting eagerly for Ahmad to be back from his visit, and each one of us is weaved a vision for the whole event on his return to be interrupted with Ahmad’s voice crying and weeping from the bottom of his heart. He entered the dormitory, fell down on the floor without saying any word. We sat next to him asking him to say something that would reassure us on his situation but he was unable to speak and he continued unchanged for several hours until he fell asleep. We were able to find a picture of his son that he held in his hands before going to sleep. On the picture, it was written “to my dad… because you destroyed my life”. Our pain tears on Ahmad had surprised us, what a harsh word!! And how tough human beings are when they do such a thing to their brothers and sisters in humanity. When Ahmad was able to talk, he told us that his wife sent him this picture of their son and she took him and went out of the country after she sent divorce papers to her husband to be stamped out. She was tired because of Ahmad’s ideas and being a subject to questioning in different security centers; therefore, she preferred to leave with her son and be away from these circumstances. Ahmad remains adamant to embrace the picture of his son and his pain at separation while his heart wrenches grief as our hearts.

Translated by Ruba Al Jarf

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