Monday, September 1, 2014 |
In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahar was imprisoned for 118 days in Evin Prison after covering the Iranian presidential election that year. Bahar was born in Iran but had been living mostly in Canada since his university days. During the election, Bahar had been staying at his mother's house in Tehran, which is where the authorities arrested him. While in prison, he was threatened and beaten, but was eventually released thanks to international political pressure. He chronicles this experience in his memoir Then They Came For Me, which was co-written by Aimee Molloy and released in 2011.
Then They Came for Me was adapted into the film Rosewater by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart in 2014..
"I could smell him before I saw him. His scent was a mixture of sweat and rosewater, and it reminded me of my youth.
When I was six years old, I would often accompany my aunts to a shrine in the holy city of Qom. It was customary to remove your shoes before entering the shrine, and the servants of the shrine would sprinkle rosewater everywhere, to mask the odor of perspiration and leather.
The morning in June 2009, when they came for me, I was in the delicate space between sleep and wakefulness, taking in his scent. I didn't realize that I was a man of 42 in my bedroom in Tehran; I thought, instead, that I was six years old again, and back in that shrine with my aunts."
From Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy ©2011. Published by Random House.