By Shaheen Rowhanian
Translation by Gloria Yazdani and Saghi Jaihoon
Morning flirts its way through my window…
While from amidst the spheres which are my thoughts;
Your countenance, even a brighter morn,
Smiles before me like an ocean of jasmine blooms….
I see an ever more radiant sun in your loving smile;
Ready to dawn from the highest horizons upon the skies.
I begin my day with the sun-bright aura of your face;
Which dawns from vistas that are none other than my fanciful gaze…
I write with you and I sing with you …
I walk with you and I speak with you;
Enthused by a thought unattainable — that of holding your hand;
I no longer walk upon the earth, but rather soar on a flight so high…
When I sit bewildered in my solitude or in a crowd,
I hearken to the melody of your gaze …
Then at times, amidst the crowds in the city;
I forget all that there is, other than “you”, my forever loving companion, My Saeid …
My beloved Saeid:
Congratulations. I am speaking of our life together. Another year has passed; for the eighth year you are held imprisoned away from me in the darkness of injustice and prejudice. You are far from me, and I love you more than ever; I am proud of you, my precious love.
I will say it again: I patiently await your return.
Your wife, Shaheen — January 2016
Saeid Rezaie, one of the leaders of the Baha’i community of Iran known as “Yaran-i Iran”, was sentenced 7 years ago to a 20 year prison term. He is 58 years old. For 20 years he ran a successful business as a leading agricultural engineer. He is known for his extensive scholarly work in Baha’i studies, and has authored several books on the subject. Saeid Rezaie was born in Abadan and raised in Shiraz, where he completed his university education at Pahlavi University. In the 1980s, when persecution against the Baha’i community intensified, he moved to northern Iran where, despite the pressure on Baha’is, he remained for several years. He then moved to Kerman and worked as a carpenter, holding various odd jobs despite his higher education.
Mr. Rezaie and his wife, Shaheen Rowhanian, have three children. Their two daughters, both in their 20s, were among a group of 54 young Baha’is arrested in 2006 in Shiraz while engaged in a project aimed at helping underprivileged children. His son was 12 years old at the time of his father’s arrest.
Mr. Rezaie had once been arrested earlier for being a Baha’i, and was held in solitary confinement, regardless of his various heart problems. In 2014, he underwent heart surgery. However, he has been repeatedly denied proper medical attention and hospitalization by security forces and prison authorities.
The seven Baha’i leaders, who were initially sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, actively served the Baha’i community of Iran, as well as the Iranian people in general, for years. Six of them were arrested on 14 May 2008 at their homes in Tehran, while Mrs. Mahvash Sabet was arrested earlier on March 5th during a trip in Mashhad. These individuals were held in custody for weeks without any information released, and were denied access to legal representation for over a year.