My Life as a Traitor / Zarah Ghahramani

My Life as a Traitor / Zarah Ghahramani

Touching. If I had to pick one word to describe this book, that would be it. Zarah Ghahramani tells the story of her incarceration at Evin Prison in Iran on a multitude of false charges – most of which wouldn’t even warrent attention in the pre-Bush America (yes, I think he’s a bit dictatorial). What makes this book more interesting than most others in similar vein, is that there’s not much in the way of whining – Zarah knows she’s there on mostly trumped up charges. She’s scared, even terrified. The games, both physical and psychological, that the interrogators play with her result in her mind swinging between the extremes of confessing to “crimes” she did not commit and dreams of torturing and killing her captors. Her descriptions of the vacillations are vivid, raw and have left me feeling impotent rage at the injustice heaped on her and millions like her. Books like this induce a strong sense of shame in me for belonging to human kind. What is it that would lead someone to visit the kind of torture on a fellow being? Money? Power? What? Emotional and thought provoking, raw and naked. The one thing I’m disappointed in, is that the story stops with Zarah’s release. What happened to Zarah after her release from Evin Prison? Was her theory on who got her out correct or mere conjecture? What was her recovery like from the trauma? How did she get out of Iran? How is her life now in Australia? I really wish Zarah had filled in these details.

Verdict: Highly recommended.

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