I recently travelled across much of Canada to speak about my six years of exile and current situation as an individual on the UN's 1267 list. Several people asked me about Paul Koring's article Abdelrazik's Lost Years (Sept. 28), which suggests I am a mysterious man with a hidden past.
During a six-hour interview, Mr. Koring asked me about a wide range of subjects covering two decades of my life. I freely answered questions about personal activities, feelings and beliefs, providing straightforward, often detailed, answers.
While the article maintained I failed to "fill many of the gaps" in my story, in fact I declined only one question - how I funded my travels. On the urging of my lawyers - aware that the answer, though personal, was in no way prejudicial to me - I later informed The Globe I had earned the money by reciting alms. I had not wanted to invite scrutiny of those who paid me, knowing where guilt by association can lead.
Throughout the interview I spoke frankly about how I felt that it was my duty, as a human and a Muslim, to help those in need and that it was this duty that drives me both in life, generally, and in work I have done overseas. I also explained the reasons I had travelled to Bosnia, Pakistan and Egypt.
I am a black Muslim born in Sudan, but this does not make me an "enigma" or a man of mystery.