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Chapter Nineteen

 
Raising my palms towards heaven, I prayed vehemently: "O God, the ordeal seems to have no end. We are being transferred from one cell to another, each worse than the other. Have mercy upon your servants, O Allah!" This was Monday, two days after my arrival here. They had promised my release the next day, but freedom was not in sight. Majid's words rang in my ears: "Yes, they told me so seven months ago"; and the prospect of being incarcerated indefinitely in this gloomy environment frightened me out of my wits.
 
I recalled how earnestly I had prayed in the preceding days. Once as I prostrated before my Creator, beseeching for mercy, I fell into a momentary trance. How distinct were the words, which were heard from nowhere: ‘Verily, Allah is ever vigilant over His servants.’
 
I raised my head not believing that I heard the words. Alas! My prayers were answered. The horrors of detention in the Mukhaberat nightmarishly haunt my mind even today, but I feel profoundly soothed and placid when I recall how my communion with the Almighty was lovingly answered. A call of distress it was, which cannot be re-enacted in days of ease and plenty.
 
I had not finished my prayers when a car was seen at the door. It was from Mukhaberat. I heard the frightened friends warning each other: "It is from the Devils - It is from Mukhaberat. Heaven knows who is the victim." Right then my name was announced. I stood up to prepare myself for the departure, but I could not guess where I was transported. Was it another cell? Am I going back to the cell No.58? My legs shook as I put on my shoes. It was all the more difficult to handle my luggage. Majid helped.
 
I saw my wife already seated in the car, and I arranged myself next to her. The officer politely informed that I was booked for London next morning, showed me the tickets and then said: "You will be our guest for tonight-in the cell of course. Keep ready tomorrow at six." As the car sped through the streets of Baghdad, members of the public regarded it apprehensively; for the infamous car was well known.
 
Back to the cell, we waited for the dreary night to pass, a night which seemed long and endless.
  

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