Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom

Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom

Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom

Trapped in Iran: A Mother's Desperate Journey to Freedom

Synopsis

In 2009, Samieh Hezari made a terrible mistake. She flew from her adopted home of Ireland to her birthplace in Iran so her 14-month-old daughter, Rojha, could be introduced to the child's father. When the violent and unstable father refused to allow his daughter to leave and demanded that Samieh renew their relationship, a two-week holiday became a desperate five-year battle to get her daughter out of Iran. If Samieh could not do so before Rojha turned seven, the father could take sole custody--forever. The father's harassment and threats intensified, eventually resulting in an allegation of adultery that was punishable by stoning, but Samieh--a single mother trapped in a country she saw as restricting the freedom and future of her daughter--never gave up, gaining inspiration from other Iranian women facing similar situations. As both the trial for adultery and her daughter's seventh birthday loomed the Irish government was unable to help, leaving Samieh to attempt multiple illegal escapes in an unforgettable, epic journey to freedom. Trapped in Iran is the harrowing and emotionally gripping story of how a mother defied a man and a country to win freedom for her daughter.

Excerpt

Searing heat, unlike any I have ever known. Sweat runs down my face, soaking and pooling below. My skin burns, my throat aches for water from a bottle that has long been drained and discarded. I look down at my five-year-old daughter, Rojha, collapsed for the second time on the hard mountain face. “My legs hurt, Mummy. I can’t walk anymore,” she whimpers.

“We have to keep going, Rojha. It is not safe here,” I plead, pulling her up to her feet. Iran’s harsh Zagros Mountains had looked so enticing and magnificent from a distance, but close up they are covered with loose rocks and rise at a treacherous incline. As we climb, I deliberately keep Rojha to the right of me. One wrong step and we plummet to our deaths, but this desperate journey is the only way I know to get Rojha and me out of Iran. I’d rather we die than go back and subject my daughter to the lifetime of oppression that awaits her there with her father. We have to get out of here. We’re never going back to him.

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