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Someone smarter than me once wrote that everything ends up for the better – if you wait long enough.
As he languished for 14 years in the military prison at Guantánamo bay, Mohamedou Ould Salahi certainly never thought that anything good would come of it. He was tortured. His prime ebbed away. He faced no charges. He was put in solitary confinement. Fellow prisoners lost their minds. He was alone.
Though not completely alone. His jailer, a US sergeant called Steve Wood, very gradually began to befriend him, starting with cups of coffee, a game of cards, a slice of pecan pie.
“It was impossible not to like the guy,” Wood said. Now, more than a decade later, the two men have been reunited. Guardian film-maker Laurence Topham was there to see it happen, and has made a remarkable short film about how this most unlikely friendship blossomed in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet.
Despite the story’s dark contours, it is one of the most Upsidey things you’ll watch this year.
Otherwise, we’ve been happily diverted of late by:
•Elderly high achievers: the 90-year-old triathlete and other superstars. Four-minute read
• The women starting businesses in lockdown (thanks to all of you who responded). Three-minute read
• How Covid is generating a whole new lexicon (in German at least). Zwei Minuten!
• Oranges are not only fruit; they can make electricity too. Three-minute read
• How Britain made such a success of its vaccine effort. Very quick jab
Flu has virtually disappeared in the US this year, and cases are dramatically lower elsewhere in the world too.
Violent crime has decreased by more than 70% in England and Wales over the past 25 years. Rough sleeping has fallen sharply in England through the course of the pandemic, though it remains higher than it was a decade ago.
What we liked
The Atlantic was cautiously optimistic this week in exploring how we will know when the pandemic is over.
The world’s first carbon-neutral cargo ship sounds like a positive development, given how much CO2 the industry spews out each year.
Banks generally get a bad rap these days – but here is one that only lends to worthy social projects, via Positive News.
And this is sweet: how courting spiders gift loved-ones silk-wrapped goodies.
What we heard
This week, we heard almost nothing from you lot. Where are you? What have you been doing with yourselves? Hopeful about anything? Let us know.
Where was the Upside?
In the UK’s timetables for the end of lockdown. And with the promised return of Frasier.
Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend. Where else do you see the Upside? Write in and tell us all about it.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Do good things come to those who wait? | Guantánamo Bay