On that day, “A” didn’t know that his life was going to flash in front of him every day for the next ten days; he couldn’t even dream that his sick heart would bare all that pain.
That day seemed like any other in “A”’s routine life. His medical condition prevented him from having sex in spite of his young age but he was always trying to break the routine by going to a park with some friends. He would get lost in his imaginations but even those would affect his ill heart if he drifted away with his thoughts.
He was used to seeing other gay guys in the park. They were all used to seeing police cars patrolling the streets around it without coming close to them, until they started thinking that nobody cared about their sexuality; they have been going to the park for years. But, that was about to change soon.
The police cars closed in and surrounded the park as if they were raiding a dangerous mob that threatened national security. They hunted the gay men down, one by one, and took 30 of them to the police station. “A”’s heart beats were almost killing him as they rose too fast to become more than his poor heart can handle.
Humiliation began at the very moment of the arrest. Verbal abuses were pouring on the detainees, and in between them, orders to get into the police car that none of the men needed; it was clear by now that they were targeted.
Before they even thought about how they were going to get out of their cells, they wondered about what would happen after their release. Would their parents find out about their sexual orientation? Would the neighbors, friends and coworkers find out?
They all begged their captors for forgiveness for sins they didn’t commit. But their begging was overshadowed by the insults of the screaming prison guards. Their calls for mercy were lost between the letters of words like “faggot” and “sodomite”. Everyone nearby knew that they were the ones they called “faggots”.
“A” told his captor about his health condition, but the latter didn’t care. Instead, he asked him to dance naked in front of a group of officers who were supposed to arrest real criminals. “A” couldn’t do anything but give in to their demands while his life was flashing before his own eyes. The most thing he remembered back then was the operation room where his poor heart was saved. But his captors didn’t see any of that; it wasn’t only their hatred that blinded them from his pain.
“They raped me, more than once. And every time they did, I wished that my heart would stop beating.”
interviews by: Sami Hamwi
translations by: Nour Maarrawi
translations edited by: Adam Domari