Roxana Saberi on learning forgiveness in an Iranian jail
|Roxana Saberi authored a book about her captivity in Iran|
Saberi, whose father is Iranian and whose mother is Japanese, wrote a book about her experiences, Between Two Worlds. She took a moment to talk with us this morning about empowering the voiceless and rising above hate.
One of the lessons Saberi learned in Iran, she says, is how important it is to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves.
When she was in an Iranian prison, she was strengthened by the knowledge that there were people around the world supporting her.
"These people, I later found out, were all over the world, including many people in Minnesota and North Dakota," Saberi says. "When I heard these things, I felt empowered."
Even though she is out of jail, Saberi remembers the people she met in captivity, and others like them imprisoned in Iran. She points out that there are many people suffering in Iranian prisons, from journalists to attorneys to labor organizers.
"Even in prison, people find out when people on the outside are speaking for them," Saberi says. "That empowers them."
At first, Saberi was placed in solitary confinement, but eventually shared a cell with two Bahá'í women, members of a minority faith that is persecuted in Iran. Saberi says her cellmates were sentenced to 20 years in prison each, but that they taught her not to hate.
"They said they don't hate them, they forgive them, and don't want to become like they are," Saberi recalls.
Asked if she shares that philosophy, Saberi says she tries.
"Of course it's hard sometimes," she says.
She believes that a person's "essence" is different from their "actions."
"I think our foundation is that we're all good people," Saberi says.
Roxana Saberi is giving a talk at Hennepin Church Sunday morning at 11 a.m. The theme of the service is "A time for respect and reconciliation."