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BOOKS & THE CULTURE I BY EMILY DEPRANG Truth Comes a Bit Closer Here’s a fuzzy photograph of Fuad al Rubiah on his graduation day. He is walking, diploma in hand, the sharp line of his pressed gray slacks peeking from below his billowing black gown. He wears shiny black shoes and plastic glasses. His smile is strikingit’s wide, genuine, and spontaneous. Beside this is a picture of al Rubiah with his children. No cap or glasses this time. His son and daughter are on his knees, and his hands are so wide they cover the children’s slender upper arms. His daughter, on his left, is kissing his cheek. He is smiling again. This is a private smile, eyes shut. Overexposure washes red over the right edge. These are pictures of pictures, taken before al Rubiah, a Kuwaiti, was picked up in Pakistan and transported to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he remains. His photos are among 88 exhibited in Guantanamo: Pictures From Home. Questions of Justice. How they got from a modest home in Kuwait to the walls of the Fotofest gallery in Houston is a story of relationships flourishing in the voids between East and West, Muslim and Christian, caged and free. Margot Herster is why the exhibit exists. Herster, a 29-year-old Austinbased photographer and artist, is married to Scott Sullivan, a lawyer with international law firm Allen & Overy. In March 2005, Sullivan traveled to Guantanamo to meet 11 detainees he’d agreed to represent. When her husband returned, Herster had “a million questions. Being a visual person, I really wanted to know, Who are [the detainees]? What do they look like?” But Sullivan could say little. Issues of national security and client confidentiality limited him to generalities. “One of the few things he could tell me was that the men were all really small,” Herster 26 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 20, 2007