Guantánamo Kid : The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani
The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani
by (artist) Alexandre Franc, Jerome Tubiana
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. It is a brave decision, and one he hopes will lead to a brighter future. 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. The Pakistani forces sell him as a member of Al-Qaida with links to Osama Bin Laden, but Mohammed has heard of neither. Under the custody of the U.S. Army, he is flown first to Kandahar and then to Guantánamo Bay. So begins his rapid descent into a living hell, where interrogation, torture and racial abuse are the norm. In this eye-opening, compelling and deeply moving graphic biography, Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc tell the heart-wrenching story of one of Guantánamo Bay's youngest detainees. Guantánamo Kid is a moving study of injustice and political failure, and an important document for our times. "This is an astounding account of human endurance and faith against overwhelming odds and terrible injustice.", Publishers Weekly "With the Trump administration signing an executive order to keep the prison open indefinitely in 2018, it is more important than ever to read stories like Guantanamo Kid" , Amnesty International UK "Mohammed El-Gharani knows all about the horrors of Guantanamo, as a child subjected to torture by the US authorities and held in the prison for eight years. And yet far too many people still don't know about Guantanamo's long and abusive history, and one main reason is that no footage or photos of any of the torture and abuse has ever surfaced. Overcoming this critical lack of images, Jerome Tubiana, a journalist who spent time with Mohammed after his release in 2010, hearing his story, has worked with the talented comic artist Alexandre Franc to bring his ordeal to life in a graphic novel that deserves to be read as widely as possible, as, in page after page of harrowing memories, Mohammed tells his story with wit, endurance and unbreakable spirit." , Andy Worthington (campaigner, journalist and author of The Guantanamo Files) "Mohammed El-Gharani was just 14 when he was kidnapped and rendered to Guantanamo Bay, the location of some of the worst human rights abuses of our age. There, he was detained without charge or trial, facing brutal torture, isolation and mistreatment. The US accused him of having been an Al-Qaeda mastermind at the tender age of 6 in a country he had never visited, and his story exposes the cruel absurdity of the US' Guantanamo project and the faulty ‘intelligence' it was built on. Yet, despite all this, his is a story of survival in even the darkest of times. Guantanamo Kid is a book everyone should read – an innovative, visually stunning way of telling an important story. And a powerful way to remind us that the Guantanamo story is one that is still being played out to this day as 40 men continue to languish in the prison, watching the months and years pass by with no access to justice and very little hope for freedom." Clive Stafford Smith, founder of Reprieve and Mohammed El-Gharani's lawyer
Jérôme Tubiana is a journalist and independent researcher. He has contributed to National Geographic, Foreign Affairs, The London Review of Books, Foreign Policy and many other publications. An expert on conflicts and armed groups in the Sahara, the Horn of Africa and Latin America, he has worked for various NGOs, think tanks and humanitarian organizations, including the International Crisis Group, Action Against Hunger and the United States Institute of Peace. He lives in Paris. Alexandre Franc is a comic book artist and writer. He is the creator of over a dozen graphic novels, including Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie. He is also an illustrator for youth periodicals, educational books and the communications industry. He lives in Paris.