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My answer was not what they wanted to hear. I was taken to a room with a steel bed in it. They tied my feet to the foot of the bed and then put heavy stockings on them, almost like oven mitts. One officer had a black whip, about four feet long, and he began whipping my feet. Another officer sat down next to me at the head of the bed with a pillow in his hands. When I cried out, he pushed the pillow into my face until I was quiet. I could not stop crying out, so a second officer came to put an extra pillow over my face.

As I was beaten I went unconscious, but when I woke up the officer was still whipping my feet. When I got to the end, there was another officer waiting for me. He whipped me until I ran back to where I came from. They made me run back and forth.

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Later, I learned why they did that. I assume the pillows were so nobody could hear my cries. Next I was taken to something that looked like a small, aboveground swimming pool. It was filled with ice-cold water. It was so cold that I tried to get out, but he whipped me every time I made a move.

When I woke up I was lying on my back in the bed where they whipped my feet, still in my wet clothes. One evening I was taken outside behind the building.

I saw what looked like a small, concrete room with no windows or doors. The only opening was a skylight on the roof. I could also see there was something swimming on the top of the water. This is my grave, I thought. They are going to kill me today.

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I slid down into the opening and felt the water rise up over my body, but then to my surprise I felt solid ground under my feet. The water only came up to my shoulders. Then rats, which were what I saw swimming in the water, started crawling all over my head and face. These rats had not been fed for a very long time. My interrogators were being clever. They left me there all night and then came back the next morning to see if I were alive.

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When the skylight opened and I saw the sunlight, it was hope for me that I had survived and was still alive. All that night not one rat bit me. They climbed all over my head and in my hair and played with my ears. One rat stood on my shoulders.

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I felt their mouths against my face, but it almost felt like kisses. I never felt a tooth. The rats were utterly faithful to me. Even today when I see a rat, I have a feeling of respect. I cannot explain why the rats behaved this way. Meeting with a Dear Friend The interrogation was not over. There was nothing else in the room.

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Two people took me inside and then left me and shut the door. This was the first time my heart cried out. In my heart I cried to my Creator, You are my father, my God. You are to look after me. How can you leave me in these evil hands? I walked to the middle of the empty room and slowly sat down cross-legged on the floor. The dog came and sat down in front of me. Minutes went by as this dog looked me over.

I watched his eyes move from top to bottom over and over again. I went in my heart to prayer to the God I did not yet know. The dog got up and started walking in circles around me, liken animal about to eat something. Then he came to my right side and licked year with his tongue.

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He sat down by my right side and just stayed there. I was so exhausted. After he just sat there for a while, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the dog was in the corner of the room. He ran to me, as if to say good morning.

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Then he licked my right ear again and sat down again at my right side. When the officers opened the door they saw me praying with the dog sitting next to me. There is unseen power standing behind this man and protecting him. This man is an infidel. Someone watching over me they took me back to my cell.

As soon as I got back in the cell, he was ready to kill me. But I had only been in there fifteen to twenty minutes when a police officer came with transfer papers for this man and took him away. I had to ask myself, What is going on here? What power is protecting me? At that time, I did not know the answer. I did not spend much time wondering about it. In a short while my own transfer papers came through. I was to be taken to a permanent prison in southern Cairo. At this point I did not think that my interrogators were even human. I had been arrested for merely questioning Islam.

Now my faith was really shaken. And I was on my way to another prison. The next week I spent in a prison in southern Cairo. It was relatively relaxed time. God sent me a prison guard who did not agree with radical Islam.

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All during this time my family was trying to find out where I was. He is gone.