JoAnn Gometz

Writing | Editing | Content Strategy

9 Years Behind Bars

Over this coming weekend, Mr. Khanjani will mark the ninth anniversary of his arrest, along with his colleagues. This week, I ask you to do something for them, so that maybe the atoms that surround us all will carry echoes of you into the halls of Rajai Shahr and Evin and, perhaps, they'll know they are not forgotten. 

Here are some ideas:

  • If you're a U.S. citizen, take five minutes this Friday, May 12 to call your Representative and your Senators in their Washington, D.C., offices. Ask them to support Iran’s Bahá’ís by cosponsoring House Resolution 274 or Senate Resolution 139 if they haven't already done so (or thank them, if they have). To learn about the resolutions and how to reach your elected officials, visit the Office of Public Affairs website for the Bahá’ís of the United States. Share with your friends and hashtag it: #ReleaseBahai7Now
  • If you're a writer, write a blog post about the important things that you've done in the last nine years and what you would have missed if you'd been put in prison for believing whatever you believe. Explain why you're posting it now. Hashtag it: #ReleaseBahai7Now
  • If you're a musician, spend five minutes listening to "Forgotten" by Grant Hinden Miller and let it inspire you to write or compose or perform your own message of encouragement. Share it around and tell people why you're doing it. Hashtag it: #ReleaseBahai7Now
  • If you pray to a higher power or meditate in a more humanist approach, add Iran’s Bahá’ís to your prayers or your heart's intentions. Light a candle. Write a prayer request.
  • If you have two minutes free in your day, wherever you are, step out into the open air, feel the sun and breeze against your skin, turn toward Iran, and speak their names with love and hope: Mahvash. Fariba. Vahid. Afif. Saeid. Behrouz. Jamal.

You may not think they can hear you. That behind prison walls, they'll never know your heart is beating in time with theirs. But they will. It's amazing how far a little bit of love can reach.

Mr. Khanjani (Jamal) taught me that a long time ago. And he doesn't even know it.