Boy Hernandez has dreamed of showing at New York Fashion Week for most of his life. Fresh out of fashion school in the Philippines, he arrives in NYC in 2002 dirt poor but with big ideas. Of course, all he needs is a little cash.
How appropriate, then, to meet such a generous neighbor, Ahmed Qureshi, a businessman who dabbled in this and that. Mostly trade, mostly fabric, but other things too. (No need to worry!) Ahmed is hospitable and not short on compliments and immediately hires Boy to design two custom suits for a whopping $2500. The cash is too good to turn down. In the blink of an eye and a whip of a stitch, Boy and Ahmed are in business together.
For the hardcore New Yorker in 2002, one might notice the red flags with more ease, but Boy was blinded by ambition and the small possibility that he met the right person at the right time.
But then came the knock at the door in the middle of the night, an event that landed him in Guantanamo Bay and fighting for his innocence.
From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant sounds like it would be a serious delve into the inner-workings of the Dept. of Homeland Security, but it’s not. There’s fashion and humor and head-scratching scenarios that make you want to scream at Boy for his innocence. Poor thing didn’t know what he had coming.
The book is just what the title claims – a snippet of his memoir, or testimony, rather, that explains how Boy’s involvement with Ahmed was motivated by fashion, not terrorism. He loves America, after all, the golden bastard. Filipino by birth, fashion designer by trade, terrorist by association.