Nine months prisoner-of-war camp because of a ripe banana

By Rafique Tschannen; Associate Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

I am not joking. This is what happened to a group of people in Baghdad.

It was told to me by the Finance Director of an Iraqi State Enterprise. He was Chief Accountant of a Fruit Importing Company previously.

The fruit importing company also imported bananas. Bananas when imported are green. In the morning of the day when they are going to be sold in the market the whole-seller uses gas bottles to heat the room where the bananas are kept. The heat will turn the bananas green, ready for consumption.

It so happened that there was more than one fruit importing company in Baghdad. Consequently the staff of a competing company had a good idea:   He ‘denounced’ the competitor as ‘terrorists’ to the American Occupation Forces, telling them that in this and that store they have gas bottles ready to be exploded under your vehicles.

The Americans raided the fruit store and sure enough they found gas bottles. Without asking or thinking further they arrested all the staff of the fruit importer, a dozen or so, and shipped them off to the infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad.

Well, the other fruit importing company could now sell their bananas without any competition. I suppose they got a better price for them.

After a couple of months in Abu Ghraib the group were shipped off to a larger prisoner-of-war camp near Basra.

The Finance Director told me that a US Army Lady Doctor, when checking his health, mentioned that ‘I do not think that you belong here’. The Finance Director told me that I told her that I also do not think so, but would you Kindly mention it to the appropriate US prison authorities please.

It took all of nine months for this group of prisoners to be released. One of them, who was elderly and not in the best of health died in the meantime.

These are the true ‘side-stories’ of war.

See my experience in Baghdad: here

Leave a Reply