Survivors by Country: Tunisia
Tunisian Man Without a Country, Cleared for Release But Still at Guantánamo
Adel al Hakeemy was born in Ben Arous, Tunisia, in 1969. He was one of 10 siblings, and jobs were scarce in Tunisia, so at 16 he emigrated to Italy. There he secured legal residence and learned to cook, eventually working in well-regarded restaurants and as a chef’s assistant in a Bolognese hotel. In 1998, approaching the age of 30 and wanting to find a Muslim wife, he traveled to Pakistan and was married there. The in-laws asked him to move with them to Afghanistan, and a false Belgian passport was arranged. They settled in Jalalabad and talked about starting a restaurant there, serving European-style food, with Adel as the chef.