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The General

The Ordinary Man Who Challenged Guantanamo

Ahmed Errachidi, Gillian Slovo


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A revelatory and necessary survival memoir of five years of illegal detainment and torture in Guantanamo Bay

On September 11, 2001, in a cafe in London, Ahmed Errachidi watched as the twin towers collapsed. He was appalled by the loss of innocent life. But he couldn't possibly have predicted how much of his own life he too would lose because of that day. In a series of terrible events, Ahmed was sold by the Pakistanis to the Americans in the diplomatic lounge at Islamabad airport and spent five and a half years in Guantanamo. There, he was beaten, tortured, humiliated, and very nearly destroyed. But Ahmed did not give in. This very ordinary, Moroccan-born London chef became a leader of men. Known by the authorities as The General, he devised protests and resistance by any means possible. As a result, he spent most of his time in solitary confinement. But then, after all those years, Ahmed was freed, his innocence admitted. This is Ahmed's story. It will make readers rethink what it means to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It will also make readers look anew at courage, survival, justice, and the War on Terror.

Random House UK, 9780099572299, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2014

About the Author

Ahmed Errachidi was born in Tangier but lived and worked as a chef in London for 18 years before being detained in Guantanamo. He now lives back in Morocco with his wife and children and is opening his own restaurant. Gillian Slovo has written nine novels, including Ice Road, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and Red Dust, which was made into a film starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Her first play, Guantanamo, was an off-Broadway hit.