Letter from prison: clinging to hope

Zizo Abdo
2 Min Read

In the desolation and stillness of the prison cell, you sit with all your senses in a state of alertness, waiting for one of two things. You wait for either a voice from within you to keep you company throughout the night, mixed with memories of your friends, and your loved ones. You talk to them as if they were there. Prison gives you a lot of time, maybe too much time, to look at the faces of your loved ones.

Or, you hear the creaking of the cell’s gate, which means that your jailer is close by, so you lose the pace of your breathing and your heart begins to race.

There is a sky and land, a surface and bottom, beauty and ugliness, and hope and despair.

Imprisonment is a bitter thing that takes your soul and kills all that is human inside you. Nevertheless, a glimpse of hope within you remains. Maybe you do not know its source, but you hold on to it like a lifeline.

Many times, I think I am forgotten. Prison days are suffocating and similar, until you see the faces of your loved ones through the “glasses of the cell door”, letting peace in. That is when your breathing calms and you spend your night preparing yourself to see their faces again and again, until finally your eyes close with comfort, and you are ready to face all your nightmares. All the nightmares you have to deal with every single night.

You mutter to yourself “all those dreary days shall pass, and the voice within you gets louder and louder, saying: ‘I miss freedom’”.


Zizo Abdo is a political activist in the 6 of April Youth Movement. He was arrested on 5 May.

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