When your grade teacher told your mother, “Your son will be a great writer,” he must have had a strong premonition. You are a GREAT writer and a GREAT hero. Your survival, your endurance, your compassion in the face ofthe evil torturer, your kindness to your inmates, your amazing memory, your truth, your love for your wife, …and your passion to tell the story of yourself and thousands of other innocent victims of IRI in and of itself is superbly heroic.
When I first began to read your book, Letters to My Torturer, I almost put the book away unfinished. At times I felt my chest tightening; I was angry, emotional, and horrified. As I came to my senses, I noticed two things: I was being selfish and that your writing is so good that I had found myself in your shoes (or slippers). I’d find myself standing in your interrogation room while you were hanging by your wrists and I could feel your shoulders and hands being pulled. When your feet were being lashed, I could almost feel the burning sensation and hear your cries. You have an amazing talent to take the reader into your hell of a torture chamber but guide them with grace, compassion, and hope.
I wished Evin and Moshtarak Prisons were turn into museums to remind us of the horror of the past so we can better appreciate the beauty of life, humanity, and freedom.
Houshang Jan, we’ve never met but I hope to shake your hand some day.
God bless you and all the Iranian families who’ve been, and are being, tormented by IRI.