On today’s episode, my grandpa shares what his experience was like on the day he was released from prison.
Here’s the seventh segment of the SHACKLED interview series.
Adam: What was the day you were freed from prison like?
Khaled: That was in…1945..1946…it was in the winter time. Actually, I had pneumonia at the time. I was in the hospital and my cousin came from Qala-e-Jadid (prison ward), my brother was in the hospital with me watching over me, and my cousin told us, and Azim jan, my cousin, came and he said, “One soldier from Wilayet (prison) is here and told me that we are free. I have this soldier with me now.” My brother came out and asked him and he said, “I saw your firman (letter)…your papers…that somebody bring it to the direction of this jail.” But I didn’t believe it. My brother went to the director of the jail, Mr. Abdul-Khaliq, and asked him if it was true. He took the telephone and called Wilayet, and then said, “…yeah, it’s true. You are free – all of your family. And this letter, you’ll receive it very soon.” Then, my brother came to my room and I was so excited! I couldn’t stay anymore in the hospital. And I said, “Yes. I come out.” And I came and I asked my brother, “Can you bring me to the director of the jail?” He said, “What are you doing there?” I said, “Yeah, yeah. I have something.” And then I went with my brother to the director of the jail and I told him, “Please, let me go faster with one soldier.” It was usual if one prisoner was allowed to go out, they had to be with a soldier. He said, “Why can’t you wait 1 or 2 or 3 hours until your letter comes? Then you will be free.” I said, “No. I want to go.” Then, he gave me one soldier and I went out from the jail and to the other jail where my mother, sisters, cousins, and aunties were. I was so excited! We were so excited to see each other!
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I wrote SHACKLED alongside my grandpa, as it chronicles his life from being imprisoned for decades when he was six-years-old.
The book has been receiving some incredible praise from readers already.
Here are a few reviews from readers:
A beautiful, spellbinding historical account of Khaled Siddiq’s life with photographs throughout the book. Adam Siddiq, the author, captured the essence, magnificence, and radiance of his grandfather, Khaled Siddiq, in this remarkable and awe-inspiring true story. It takes place in Khaled’s homeland, Afghanistan. A government takeover results in terror used as an instrument to control people, and led to the imprisonment of thousands of political prisoners for many years including the very young Khaled and his many close family members. Khaled’s life, along with his family, was about survival, sorrow, bereavement, injustice, grief, and a love that transcended broken dreams. Adam’s grandfather is the embodiment of resilience powered by patience, hope, and the gift of love bestowed upon him by family and generations of ancestors. He learned patience at a young age, and held on to hope and love while he and his family endured unimaginable hardship, deprivation, and imprisonment. He witnessed indescribable cruelty and inhumanity. This story, for me, was about surviving unending darkness through the light of love. Adam Siddiq, how fortunate you are to be a recipient of your grandfather’s legacy of love.
– Ilaann W.
If you’ve enjoyed books like Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, or Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela, or any book or movie or story that has a profound depth to it with overcoming a horrendous situation….you will enjoy reading SHACKLED. Written by Adam, the grandson of Khaled, there’s an extra dimension that makes this book so special.
– Daniel P.
This is an amazing, inspiring, heart-wrenching and heart-opening story of a man who walked in courage and love even amidst the harshest treatment and circumstances from a tender young age. Masterfully and lovingly written by the equally inspiring Adam Siddiq, this book addresses the ultimate question we all face in life: How do we find inner peace and spiritual freedom when faced with hate and difficulty as we walk as human beings in this world? The bond and collaboration between elder and grandson shine through the pages of this book. If only we could all find the courage and honor to share the stories of our elders in such a devoted way.
– Donnaah S.
Gripping story, beautiful imagery and a necessary literary contribution to the global library… Also a unique perspective on this historical account for those seeking to delve deeper into Afghanistan’s truth from the 1932 coup to the 1979 Soviet invasion. The story reinforces the idea that our time is precious and nothing may be taken for granted, while encouraging generational bonding… Many complements to the author as this is a “must read.”