By Saeid Rezaie
Translation by Iran Press Watch
Today, after four years, Mahmoud Badavam, Farhad Sedghi and Ramin Zibaie, faculty members of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), have been released from Rajai-Shahr Prison. In a letter, Saeid Rezaie expresses his heartfelt sentiments and delight for these friends, and his wish for a society free of deprivation and discrimination with equal rights for all Iranians.
The “Practical Dreamers” were released today. These are the ones who came in springtime, and after four years are leaving in springtime. These are the ones who can truly be called the “practical dreamers”. Their dream is love, peace and equal rights for all human beings regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, belief and ideology. However, in the reality of this place and time they faced violence and enmity instead of love and peace, and deprivation and discrimination instead of freedom and equality. They observed the children and youth of this land who have been deprived of education because of their beliefs ‒ the same children and youth who have seen their fathers killed, imprisoned, deprived of jobs and all social benefits based on the same baseless crime! Existing, prevalent norms put two paths in front of them: one would have been to feel sorry for themselves and to become passive, and the other would have been to manifest violent confrontation in face of the discrimination and deprivation. Instead they took a third path: “Constructive perseverance”. They stayed true to their beliefs and did not succumb to violence. They initiated a constructive effort to create a scientific institution ‒ the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education. These practical dreamers neither destroyed nor perpetuated destruction, they built and revived, and they stood up for what they had built and revived, even if they have been accused of destruction. They have whole-heartedly accepted oppression, tyranny, deprivation, discrimination and imprisonment, but have not given up their dreams, nor have they stopped their practical efforts. They worked hard in prison too, ranging from teaching English to their cellmates to distributing items from the prison store, and from membership of the committee for prisoners of conscience to cooking and washing dishes, as the current realities of this place necessitate these services. And they still have the same great dreams: a prosperous and prominent Iran free of discrimination and deprivation ‒ a joyful, progressive and dynamic society.
Today, Farhad Sedghi, Mahmoud Badavam and Ramin Zibaie, faculty members of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, have been released from Rajai-Shahr Prison after four years. There are still other practical dreamers who are in prison, hoping to bind their dreams to their realities. Who knows how many steps there are between dream and reality?