This moving, eye-opening memoir of an innocent man detained at Guantánamo Bay for fifteen years tells a story of humanity in the unlikeliest of places and an unprecedented look at life at Guantánamo.
At the age of 18, Mansoor Adayfi left his home in Yemen for a cultural mission to Afghanistan. He never returned. Kidnapped by warlords and then sold to the US after 9/11, he was disappeared to Guantánamo Bay, where he spent the next 15 years as Detainee #441.
Don't Forget Us Here tells two coming-of-age stories in parallel: a makeshift island outpost becoming the world's most notorious prison and an innocent young man emerging from its darkness. Arriving as a stubborn teenager, Mansoor survived the camp's infamous interrogation program and became a feared and hardened resistance fighter leading prison riots and hunger strikes. With time though, he grew into the man prisoners nicknamed "Smiley Troublemaker": a student, writer, and historian. With unexpected warmth and empathy, he unwinds a narrative of fighting for hope and survival in unimaginable circumstances, illuminating the limitlessness of the human spirit. And through his own story, Mansoor also tells Guantánamo's story, offering an unprecedented window into one of the most secretive places on earth and the people—detainees and guards alike—who lived there with him.
Twenty years later, Guantánamo remains open, and at a moment of due reckoning, Mansoor Adayfi helps us understand what actually happened there—both the horror and the beauty—a vital chronicle of an experience we cannot afford to forget.