Then, I Remember You: The Story Vahid Tizfahm

May 14 marks 7 years in prison for the 7 Baha’i leaders in Iran. In honor of these prisoners of conscience, a campaign #7Bahais7years is telling their stories. You can read profiles of the seven leaders here. And you can read the full Twitter story of Vahid Tizfahm below…

Vahid and Family - outdoors

What is written on the walls of the heart of a prisoner of conscience? Let’s imagine…

My name is Vahid Tizfahm and I’ve been in jail 7 years for being a Baha’i.

“My father gave his life because his beliefs differed from those of the people in power…”

“Now, history is repeating itself…”

“I am serving 20 years in exile, months spent in solitary confinement, among convicts on death row.”

“But freedom-loving and open-minded Iranians are with us, defending the rights of all citizens: people like me.”

My dear son, Samim, I am writing this letter from a black pit, alone…

Sometimes I wonder: where has the light in my eyes gone?

But then I remember you, your mother…

I think of my father, who taught me the meaning of life through the way he sacrificed his own.

I experienced spring in solitary confinement in Evin Prison…

Friends brought me a tuberose plant, which somehow reached me…

I cared for this flower like a child. It had been months since I had seen such a beautiful face…

“With that flower, life, being, happiness, and love were breathed into me…”

The prison walls retreated.

My father taught me to seek reality. Blink, and the world is gone. This prison is gone. What remains?

My dear son, be a source of honor, hope, love. Become what is real. Become what will endure.

 

This story is inspired by family memories and the letters of  Vahid Tizfahm to his son, Samim.

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