[www.edu-right.net] Sama Nourani, 21 years old, was expelled from the National University of Tabriz, Iran, because he was a member of the Baha’i Faith. He merely questioned the university administrators regarding his expulsion. He was then arrested, and, in an unjust court, he was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to one year of imprisonment. He is currently incarcerated in sector 350 at Evin prison.
Sama wrote a letter to his younger brother (Alborz) after he was also expelled from the university because of his religious beliefs. The letter he wrote is as follows:
My Dear brother Alborz, I love you and I am with you all the time. The day when you came with Mom to visit me at Evin prison, Mom told me, during a few minutes of greeting, that you, my little brother, had recently been expelled from the university. I was so sad; it was as if it was the end of the world for me. I had a strange feeling I had never felt before, even when they expelled me. I was quite shocked. I stared at you, while you had a smile on your face, as if you were telling me that I was not alone, and that you also have been deprived of your rights because of your beliefs. At that point I wished that no one else would join me on this difficult path.
The difficult moments of that day came to an end, and I was ashamed that we have not done enough, so that you could have your rights. I kept thinking that perhaps what my friends and I and previous generations had done to get back our legal right of a higher education in our country had been all in vain. Injustices such as being denied an education, being expelled from universities, and being sent to prison solely for questioning why our right to an education, to which we are entitled under our constitution, has been taken away. For hours all these thoughts preoccupied my mind and ruined my hopes, which at that point were my only haven — hope of a future in which no one anywhere in the world is deprived of their rights due to their beliefs, a hope of a land wherein all its youth, Baha’i and non-Baha’i, men and women, are not deprived their rights, especially the right to an education, which is the most exalted human right.
I was immersed in my thoughts for a day or two, and reflecting on the past, I realized it has always been costly to achieve lofty goals. Reviewing the history of the Baha’i Faith, so many lives have been sacrificed and so many properties have been confiscated; perhaps there should be even heavier costs paid before we reach the point when everyone has equal rights. So I am thankful for you and all our friends who have sacrificed one of their dearest wishes, which is a higher education. Upon reflection, I am certain that all our youth’s efforts, either in previous generations or in our time, will not have been in vain at all.
If a few years ago Baha’i youth could not even take part in the entrance exam, now, because of all the efforts and follow-ups, they can attend the exam — some of them have been able to study at the best Iranian national schools for a few terms before they are expelled. Be assured that after our legal effort there will come a day when we will all be studying at Iran’s universities without any inequality or discrimination, and that we will use all our power to reconstruct Iran and serve our noble compatriots.
Rest assured that these sacrifices will not be forgotten, and be even more certain that those beautiful days of equality will come soon.
My Dear Alborz, from behind the prison bars your proud smile revealed to me that you and your friends know these facts better than I do. My hope for a brighter future is now strengthened, and my beautiful days here are more colorful.
I am here with my new friends, who are mostly professors, but also students deprived of receiving an education due to their beliefs.
Accept their warmest regards and convey it to your friends as well.
Love forever, Sama
Translation by Iran Press Watch