Seize The Moment Podcast

Mohamedou Talks The Mauritanian, Closing Guantanamo Bay

On episode 90, we welcome author Mohamedou Ould Slahi to recount his imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay and working on the biographical film The Mauritanian.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian man who was detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp without charge from 2002 until his release on October 17, 2016. Slahi wrote a memoir in 2005 while imprisoned, which the U.S. government declassified in 2012. His memoir, titled Guantanomo Diary, was later published in 2015 and the new movie, The Mauritanian, which is out now, is based on the events of that time, his memoir and his experience.

Mohamedou experienced the worst torment imaginable. Wrongfully imprisoned without charge, he spent almost twenty years in Guantanamo Bay. The Mauritanian highlights his plight and triumph, exhibiting what it takes to overcome horrifying adversity.


On our latest episode, Mohamedou spoke about the regrets his trials sparked, telling us that he didn’t care about being poor or unknown. Mohamedou taught us that the meaning of life was captured in our relationships; being a good person is all that really matters.

Topics discused with Mohamedou

  • Black and white thinking in the American narrative of the good guys vs. the bad guys
  • Why he still loves Americans and can see the good in them
  • America’s descent into fascism
  • The importance of applying the rule of law to both American and foreign citizens
  • The role of dehumanization in sadism and torture
  • Defeating racial stereotypes
  • Why he chose to forgive the American agents and guards who tormented him for 20 years
  • Working on the biographical film The Mauritanian
  • What he learned about the meaning of life from his harrowing experience


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