Saturday, August 20, 2016

Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran by Shirin Ebadi

I decided to read Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran by Shirin Ebadi for three reasons. One, I'm always looking to better understand cultures from around the world. Two, I think human rights are worth fighting for. Three, I admire people who are willing to put their whole lives on the line to fight for the rights of not only themselves but others. I started to read Ebadi's story unsure what to expect. The story was filled with moments of hope and moments of utter despair that took me on an emotional roller coaster. I laughed at times and fought back tears at others. I felt outrage and fear and joy. Ebadi tells her life story through the lens of her fight for human rights without denying what her fight for the rights of not only herself but others cost her, personally and professionally. At times, she downplayed her losses in comparison to other people's, but even then her story made me think. Sometimes, we use words so carelessly, but for people living under a truly dictatorial regime, careless words are death sentences, sometimes even careful words are death sentences. Yet, it is important that words that shine light on atrocities are spoken and written and shared with the world. Ebadi tells the story of how she worked her whole life to speak for those who aren't in a position to speak for themselves. Ebadi's story of dealing with the Iranian government are enough to give anyone chills but remind us that there are real people living under oppressive rule everyday and there are real people living under those regimes fighting for the rights of themselves and others. Until We Are Free is a well written and engaging book that is at once thought provoking, heartbreaking and inspiring.


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