Saudi Arabia offers few prospects for the bright young Mohammed El-Gharani. With roots in Chad, Mohammed is treated like a second-class citizen. His access to healthcare and education are restricted; nor can he make the most of his entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 14, having scraped together some money as a street trader, Mohammed seizes an opportunity to study in Pakistan.
One Friday in Karachi, Mohammed is detained during a raid on his local mosque. After being beaten and interrogated, he is sold to the American government by Pakistani forces as a member of Al-Qaida with links to Osama Bin Laden. Mohammed has heard of neither. Under the custody of the US Army, he is flown first to Kandahar and then to Guantánamo Bay. In this landmark work of graphic non-fiction, Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc tell the eye-opening, heart-wrenching story of one of the Bay’s youngest detainees.
Written in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani, Guantánamo Kid reflects as closely as possible his memories and experiences of life in the camp.
This book is endorsed by Amnesty International.
This expertly rendered and wrenching graphic narrative relates the experiences of Mohammed el Gharani, a native of Saudi Arabia who, at the age of 14, was detained by Pakistani guards during a trip to Karachi shortly after 9/11, falsely accused of having ties to Al-Qaeda, and subsequently transferred to American control and held at Guant namo Bay for eight years. Routinely facing cruelty, privation, and torture, el Gharani never loses his tough, rebellious spirit, protesting for better conditions whenever possible. He also relies upon his religious faith, which helps power him through even the worst of the abuse: "I believe that in Guant namo, God was testing us, too. He was testing our patience." Though el Gharani was released in June 2009, he relates his continued difficulties in an appendix interview; as of 2018, he lives in West Africa "still waiting for a safe country' to grant him asylum." Tubiana, who scripted the story in collaboration with el Gharani, keeps the often complex story clear and focused, while illustrator Franc's fluid, appealingly cartoony black-and-white drawings imbue even the most harrowing passages with grace and humor (such as a soldier drawn like Beetle Bailey). This is an astounding account of human endurance and faith against overwhelming odds and terrible injustice. \n