Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A little perspective

In 1979 I was 10 years old. I lived north of Brainerd, Minnesota on our family resort where I spent my long summer days playing with my Sunshine Family dolls, cleaning cabins, fending off the dreaded "lake itch" and hanging out with all the kids at the resort. My biggest problem at that time (besides running out of calamine lotion) was how to get out of cleaning cabins on Saturdays so I wouldn't miss Hong Kong Phooey.

A world away in 1979 Marina Nemat was living in her family's cottage on the Capsian Sea in Iran. When the Shah of Iran was exiled and Ayatollah Khomeni became the country's leader, Marina's carefree life began to change. Classes in school changed - where there used to be calculus now there was only government propaganda. Marina, a free-willed headstrong girl convinced her class to strike against their math teacher's new curriculum. They followed her, but it lead to her imprisonment in one of the most notorious prisons, Evin. She and hundreds of other girls were tortured and sentenced to death. That is until one of her interrogaters, Ali, offered her a way out. In order to stay alive she was forced to marry Ali and convert from Christianity to Islam.

Marina's book "Prisoner of Tehran - One Woman's Story of Survival Inside an Iranian Prison" is called by the Christian Science Monitor "...not so much a political history lesson as it is a memoir of faith and love, a protest against violence that cannot be silenced. Her persistence in standing for goodness is a lesson for us all." Tune in to Realgoodwords this week for my conversation with Marina.

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