Guantanamo's Shocking Conditions

Question: Were you prepared for what you saw in Guantanamo?

Mahvish Khan: No, I wasn’t. the first time I went to Guantanamo I was nervous and I was scared of meeting somebody who was Taliban or al-Qaeda because that’s all I had heard in the media, and I assumed that they must have had done something to be there. And I remember walking in to that meeting room and thinking he’s not going to want to talk to me because I’m a woman and I’d covered myself because I didn’t know how conservative the guy would be. And I walked in and there was this man standing in the corner of the room and he looked just as scared as I did, perhaps in anticipation of an interrogation, and he smiled when he saw me in my embroidered shawl and I smiled back and gave him the universal Islamic greeting, which is...translates to “May peace be upon you” and went and shook hands with my first terrorist. And his... He was known as 1154 and that’s what the guards knew him as ‘cause the guards at Guantanamo don’t know the detainees’ names, but his real name was Dr. Ali Shah Mousovi and he was a pediatrician. He worked for the United Nations. He was a Shiite Muslim who are a persecuted minority under the Taliban and so all these different factors and his-- He didn’t want his children to be raised under the Taliban regime so fled to neighboring Iran and yet there he was in Guantanamo being accused of being Taliban, and so none of it made any sense.

 

Recorded on: 7/17/08

Mahvish Khan recounts the first detainee she saw, a pediatrician accused of being Taliban.

To the very beginning: going back in time with Steven Weinberg (Part 2)

What was the universe like one-trillionth of a second after the Big Bang? Science has an answer.

Credit: gonin via Adobe Stock
13-8
  • Following Steven Weinberg's lead, we plunge further back into cosmic history, beyond the formation of atomic nuclei.
  • Today, we discuss the origin of the quark-gluon plasma and the properties of the famous Higgs boson, the "God Particle."
  • Is there a limit? How far can we go back in time?
Keep reading Show less

Surprisingly modern lessons from classic Russian literature

Though gloomy and dense, Russian literature is hauntingly beautiful, offering a relentlessly persistent inquiry into the human experience.

Credit: George Cerny via Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Russian literature has a knack for precisely capturing and describing the human condition.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are among the greatest writers who ever lived.
  • If you want to be a wiser person, spend time with the great Russian novelists.
Keep reading Show less

3,000-pound Triceratops skull unearthed in South Dakota

"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.

Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College
Surprising Science
  • The triceratops skull was first discovered in 2019, but was excavated over the summer of 2020.
  • It was discovered in the South Dakota Badlands, an area where the Triceratops roamed some 66 million years ago.
  • Studying dinosaurs helps scientists better understand the evolution of all life on Earth.
Keep reading Show less

Do we still need math?

We spend much of our early years learning arithmetic and algebra. What's the use?

Credit: Antoine Dautry via Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • For the average person, math seems to play little to no role in their day-to-day life.
  • But, the fanciest gadgets and technologies are all heavily reliant on mathematics.
  • Without advanced (and often obscure) mathematics, modern society would not be possible.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast