Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Faith, A Bird That Sings When The Dawn Is Still Dark

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The morning sun brings along the scent of my house, and the rusty village roads boast of its adolescence. The lush paddy fields brag about our diligent farmers. The common well looks worn out. Our school radiates through the jostle of the village. The ancient and widespread banyan tree with which I’ve shared just about all my secrets stands unpretentious.

The world might have moved on in the fourteen years since September 11th, 2001. But I haven’t. Events of that day are fresh as if yesterday and are still encapsulated in me, waiting to be released when I get back to the place where I come from; the house that saw me transform into a man and the woman who would be very old now. Not a single day passes when she would not pray for my well being, my mother. To my other woman, who made my life beautiful just by being in it, and our boy, who must be a teenager by now, was a toddler when I traveled to the USA in search of fortune.

A detainee stands at an interior fence inside the U.S. military prison for "enemy combatants" on October 27, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although U.S. President Barack Obama pledged in his first executive order last January to close the infamous prison within a year's time, the government has been struggling to try the accused terrorists and to transfer them out ahead of the deadline. Military officials at the prison point to improved living standards and state of the art medical treatment available to detainees, but the facility's international reputation remains tied to the "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding employed under the Bush administration.

I hadn’t yet checked out of the airport, I was called into the commanding officer’s office. They interrogated me for six long hours before taking me to the Federal prison on a suspicious case of being involved in the terrorist activity.

I screamed, I cried and begged, for it was a mistake from their side, but in vain; they had reprimanded a wrong man. I was being punished for something which I was not involved in. Was it because of my long beard or the place I came from?

Maybe the decision to travel to the land of Religious Bigot directed my destiny to a decade and a half of imprisonment. But, I have faith in my Allah; he must have thought something about me and is waiting for the opportune time; the time when I would be released and be back to my people, my village. I don’t hold any grudges against the guards here; they are just doing their duty. They were kind in allowing me to keep my Holy Quran in my cell. It gives me strength and firm my belief and helps me to have faith in Allah.

I know I would be out of here, sometime, someday. He, who is above us all, knows when’s the best time for it. And he would definitely make his move. I have faith.

“Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.”

Since September 11th, 2001 (9/11), Abdul Zain was trapped in a US federal jail on suspicious charges of being involved in the events that changed the shape of the Nation and the lives of many. It’s about his faith, what he believes in.

Aarohan Paul.

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