Towfiq Bihani has been held at Guantánamo Bay since early 2003. He has never been charged with a crime. Towfiq has been ‘prepared for release’ twice – coming agonizingly close to leaving the prison , and seeing his beloved family again.
Towfiq is a keen poet, and has written poetry in English and Arabic during his time in Guantanamo. Below are two of Tawfiq’s poems, which he has shared with his Reprieve lawyer Shelby Sullivan-Bennis:
Go everywhere you would like my darling.
Don’t look behind.
Don’t fear the sight.
Live in happiness.
Sing as loud as you can,
Dance as much as you would like.
Enjoy all the fun you can.
My darling, forget your past.
And go ahead to start,
A new way, another way
Don’t look back on yesterday
Don’t feel sorry about me,
Or even worry about me
Don’t think who you left behind
Go everywhere you would like
Don’t look behind
The morning’s sun has risen. And I saw all the drops of dew on the leaves of the trees.
When I looked at the rays of the golden sun, it reminded me your yellow hair.
When I watched the beauty of the pure blue sky, I remembered your blue eyes.
When I gazed at the dew on the leaves, I remembered your tears that were running down your smooth face
When I heard the chirping of birds, I remembered your sweet voice, when you sang the song “remember me this way”
My darling, please don’t forget the promise that you made, you have nothing to worry about, we will be together again.
My darling, when will you return to me?
I want you to take me in your arms.
I want you to know that there is nothing left of me except the pain in my heart.
My darling, I am begging you to come to be before the hands of death abduct me.
I hope that I can see you one last time in my life, then I will say to death, I am ready to sleep in your lap forever.