Ahmed Errachidi

The General
  • The General

  • On 11 September 2001, in a café 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, 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 you rethink what it means to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It will also make you look anew at courage, survival, justice and the War on Terror.

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 is a highly acclaimed South African-born novelist, playwright, memoirist and activist. Her work includes Ice Road, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize; Red Dust, which was made into a film starring Hilary Swank; and the play Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom which was put on in theatres all over the world.

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