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TitleUniversity of San Diego to Host "Poems From Guantanamo"
Date5.03.10
ContactMelissa Wagoner
Contact E-mailmwagoner, at sandiego.edu
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659
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SAN DIEGO—Tomorrow, the University of San Diego is hosting a rare opportunity to hear the words of detainees from Guantanamo Bay detainment facility, on the southeastern coast of Cuba. The readings, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, will feature panelists who have spent a considerable amount of their career working with prisoners. William Aceves, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of Law, California Western School of Law will speak, as will  Steven Hubachek, a supervisory appellate attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, and  Sean Riordan, a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney for the  American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego. Actors from “Write Out Loud” will read poem selections, after which the panelists will offer comments and then take questions from the audience. 

The poems, which are in some cases the only form of outreach prisoners have while confined to Guantanamo Bay, talk of the desperation and solitude that face the prisoners every day.

The below poem, written by Jumah al Dossari, is an example of the desperation felt by prisoners after being held for five years, and since 2003, in solitary confinement.

Death Poem by Jumah al Dossari*

Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.
And let them bear the guilty burden before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the “protectors of peace.”

* source: http://www.uipress.uiowa.edu/books/2007-fall/falpoefro.html


Poems from Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak will take place Tuesday, May 4th from 7:00-8:30 P.M. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theater. It is free and open to the public.