Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: Between Two Worlds, My Life and Captivity in Iran

Between Two Worlds, My Life and Captivity in Iran
Author: Roxana Saberi

The Overview: 
Evin Prison. Labeled Iran's most notorious. A black hole for those who think outside the prescribed national box. Political activists, students, those of the previous regime, journalists, those who preach a different gospel and even bloggers can get checked in for a awhile. This is the hell that Roxana Saberi woke up to one morning. She was taken to Evin Prison...accused of espionage. 
Before being falsely accused and imprisoned, Roxana, an Iranian-American journalist had two main goals for her time spent in Iran...the first was to live in a culture that claimed half of her origin, the second was to write a non-biased book about Iran for Americans to read and fall in love with a place that she herself was quickly falling for. That second goal earned her months of interrogations, months of wading through lies and months of wondering about her future or if she even had one. She did end up writing a book, but not the one she had expected.
The Good:
Eye witness experience...what could be more powerful than that? I wanted to keep reading and read quickly! I felt like the longer I took the longer she remained in prison! Even though I knew the end was happy, reading her story was still very interesting and page turning.
The Bad:
I found myself wanting to punch people in the face. Mostly the characters in this book who were manipulating and lying to accomplish their own will.
I spent a year in Egypt experiencing a different culture, a different religion, and a different way of living life in general. I loved it there. I loved the people, the new ideas, the eye-opening experiences and I came back with a new life goal...I want to always think positively of other cultures, religions and people who are different than me in general. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I don't agree with their thoughts all the time, but I don't want to fall into the rut of thinking the way I live and do things is the way everyone else should be thinking and doing things. This book made that goal difficult. I found myself angry...annoyed...dumbfounded. The justice system seemed so unfair. Roxana was mistreated, unfairly accused, manipulated, and emotionally tortured. And for something that seemed so innately human to me. It didn't make an logical sense. But...I have been bred for is a delicious consequence of being born to my parents in this country. I will not expect to understand. But I don't like it...Amnesty International agrees with me. 
The Memorable:
The women she described in this book, her fellow inmates were incredible. Strong and spirited...the ultimate beauty in my opinion. They knew that they fought the system alone...and yet they still fought. There was no United States, no pleas from the president, little or no media coverage to hang their hope on. They put their foot down...on their beliefs, their God, their unwavering resolve and were prepared to stand there in Evin, until they and their conscious could be called free.
The Recommendation: 
Read it! Roxana grew up in Fargo, ND...good things come from there.


krista said...

don't loan this out until i can read it this summer!

laSonya said...

I like how you stated you "have been bread for freedom". Others don't understand that about us, but we can't help it it's how we are bread.

xfr said...

Can you loan it to me before Krista gets back? Good review, Jessi! Fargo. Hahahaha

Justin Jones said...

Great review. I heard an interview with this lady on NPR. It was very interesting. I want to read this. Maybe you can loan it to me before you loan it to Chris and Krista? Just kidding...but, seriously.

Luxembourg said...

This is a beautiful and moving portrait of one women's fight for the souls of Iran's people against the tyranny of a government who has forgotten it's people. It reflects on the individuals who she met along the way who taught her about faith in God and the sacrifices it takes to find illumination.