Marina Nemat: Prisoner of Tehran
@ The Writer's Cafe

Prisoner of Tehran
A Memoir

Marina Nemat

Viking Canada, 2007

Topic: Biography

In 1982, sixteen-year-old Marina Nemat was arrested on false charges by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and tortured in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. At a time when most teenaged girls are choosing their prom dresses, Nemat was having her feet beaten by men with cables and listening to gunshots as her friends were being executed. She was condemned to die, but survived because one of the guards, whose family was well-connected to the Khomeini regime, pleaded for her life. But the price Ali exacted was high: Nemat, a fervent Christian, would have to convert to Islam and marry him.

Soon Nemat found herself being welcomed lovingly into the family of her husband and captor. She learned that Ali was not the monster his actions suggested; that although he was an interrogator in an evil regime, he was also a beloved son and brother who truly believed his unwilling wife would come to love him.

Marina Nemat’s nightmare ended when members of a rival political faction assassinated Ali. She was returned to prison but, ironically, it was Ali’s family who eventually secured her release. She rejoined her own family but was further traumatized by their reluctance to acknowledge her ordeal. She found solace with the young man who had waited for her; they married and emigrated to Canada.


Listen to Marina Nemat discussing Prisoner of Tehran

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